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Reports finds all Atlantic County’s schools have elevated levels of lead in drinking water

There are concerns in Atlantic County about the presence of lead in water faucets and fixtures in the county’s schools.

News 12 Staff

Mar 17, 2022, 12:20 AM

Updated 826 days ago

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There are concerns in Atlantic County about the presence of lead in water faucets and fixtures in the county’s schools.
As parents voice their concerns about a new report about the elevated levels of lead in all of the districts’ drinking water, a Republican state assemblyman is calling for a state investigation.
“How much lead is in the water? How’s it affecting the kids?” asks Margate parent Chris Booker.
Parents picking up their children outside William Ross Elementary School in Margate say they are worried.
“We should do something about it. Or we should at least have tests that get us into a position where we can find out what’s actually happening,” says Booker. “It is a systemic issue.”
“I was surprised, because I know we have well water here. The water’s tested so frequently,” says parent Rosemarie Freed.
In nearby Ventnor City, the City Council says it will cost up to $50 million to replace lead service lines and galvanize steel pipes. State Assemblyman Don Guardian represents this area. He says that the state and federal governments should be doing more.
“It’s not a Republican or Democratic issue. It’s all of us being concerned to do what’s right for our state,” he says.
Guardian is the former mayor of Atlantic City. He personally handed a letter to state Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn LaTourette last week asking that the DEP investigate.
“Once lead enters your body, it doesn’t leave,” Guardian says. “It is bad for everyone. It’s very, very bad for children and pregnant women.”
Guardian says he wants a federal infrastructure bank back in business and stimulus funds to be used to continue lead remediate projects statewide.
“You’ve got to make sure water is safe everywhere,” he says.
A spokesperson for the state DEP says the agency neither confirms nor denies the existence of environmental investigations.
The report by Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center considers any amount of lead a hazard. Guardian says he wants the DEP to independently assess the report's findings.


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