Amid water crisis, Newark mayor hints at announcement on lead line replacements

After weeks of being relatively silent in the face of a water crisis impacting his city, on Friday, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka took reporters on a tour of three out of the city’s four water distribution centers.

“You know, if it pulls through we’ll be able to make an announcement next week about some advances that we’ll be able to make around lead replacement,” said Baraka.

Throughout the crisis, frustrated residents have continually placed the blame on the Baraka administration, saying they have mishandled the situation.

“I’m not concerned about that,” said Baraka. “Right now, I’m concerned about getting through this lead issue we have in this city. When election time comes around we’ll talk about that.”

Gov. Phil Murphy has declined to declare a state of emergency, which could bring a ton of federal dollars to speed up the program to replace lead pipes from the street to private houses.

The mayor’s tour ended with advice to be on the lookout for his upcoming announcement. Perhaps some progress to counter the panic over lead-contaminated drinking water.

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