Newark and New Jersey officials reach settlement in yearslong lawsuit over lead contamination of city drinking water

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The city of Newark, New Jersey, resolved yearslong litigation Tuesday in connection to its water crisis, in which city drinking water was contaminated with illegally high levels of lead.

Officials from the city and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) reached an agreement with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Newark Education Workers Caucus, which sued city and state officials in June 2018 for ongoing violations of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, including their failure to address the lead crisis on a timely basis.
A New Jersey federal judge signed an order Tuesday approving the settlement.
Around the time the lawsuit was filed, quality reports published by the city found drinking water in parts of Newark to be unsafe for 18 months. In 2018, according to the city’s water quality report, lead levels at several sites were above 47 parts per billion; federal EPA guidelines say lead levels should fall below 15 parts per billion.
Photo Credit: CNN

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