SHORTLY AFTER SUING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT earlier this year for its do-nothing update to the Lead and Copper Rule-the outdated federal protection meant to keep lead out of drinking water-NRDC saw a victory in our ongoing city-level lead work. In Newark, New Jersey, a litigation settlement was reached that will ensure the city of Newark continues to replace all the lead pipes it can identify, conduct free water testing, and distribute free filters and replacement cartridges. The settlement resulted from a citizen suit brought by NRDC and the Newark Education Workers (NEW) Caucus, a group of educators who teach in the city’s public schools. The city’ s lead service line replacement program could serve as a model for the nation once completed.
Work like this reinforces our commitment to partner with local activists as we address the burden of contamination facing so many largely Black and brown communities. It also underscores the importance of NRDC’s public health advocacy at every level of the U.S. government, as well as through international treaties and forums.
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Yvette Jordan, a founding member of NEW Caucus speaks before a court hearing seeking an emergency order to force Newark, New Jersey city officials to provide safe drinking water to residents.