WILL STATE PAY $20M TO GET THE LEAD OUT OF NEWARK’S WATER INFRASTRUCTURE?

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The chairwoman of a key legislative committee is pushing a new bill that would provide $20 million to fund improvements to the city of Newark’s water system in an attempt to deal with high levels of lead in at least 30 schools in the district.

The legislation (A-3583), sponsored by Assemblywoman Grace Spencer (D-Essex), would divert money from the state’s Clean Energy Fund to make the necessary improvements to the city’s water-supply infrastructure. Spencer heads the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee.

The proposal is the latest initiative put forward to address problems of elevated levels of lead found in water at Newark schools, which led the district to switch to bottled water at the facilities when the problem was made public earlier this month.

While Newark and state environmental officials have not pinpointed the source of the contamination, both have said the source of supply — the city’s water system — is free of lead. The high levels of the toxic metal were a result of old lead plumbing and lead solder in fixtures from the streets to the buildings, according to officials…”

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