Lawmaker wants emergency declared regarding Newark’s water issues

Posted: Updated:

A state lawmakers is calling on Gov. Phil Murphy to declare a state of emergency for Newark due to the ongoing issues with lead contamination in the city’s drinking water.

Assemblyman Jamel Holley sent a letter to the governor this week. He is also calling for the National Guard to be used for distribution of bottled water.

This is all happening while a federal judge is deciding if more Newark residents should be given free bottled water.

The Natural Resources Defense Council took the city of Newark to court over the issue. Newark residents living in areas of the city serviced by the Pequannock Water Treatment Plant have already been receiving free bottled water. But now Judge Esther Salas will decide if people living in other parts of the city should also get the free water until the crisis is resolved.

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Newark residents say that they have grown accustomed to drinking bottled water and say that everyone should have access to it.

"Of course I think it should be the entire city,” says resident Gloria Mills. “I have certain situations and there are hundreds of people with problems with their health. I'm a senior."

The staff at Café Pao de Queijoa along Ferry Street say they have been using jugs of water instead of the tap.

CONTINUING COVERAGE: Newark drinking water crisis
MORE: Newark drinking water situation FAQ

"It's been such a part of the routine that we don't even mind it. It tastes better than the tap water,” says owner Paul Sangolqui.

Newark residents were previously given water filers, but tests showed that they may not effective in getting the lead out of the water.

The Environmental Protection Agency says that they are testing the water samples again. City officials say that the testing could take a month to complete.

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