Baraka Denounces Comparisons of Newark To Flint Michigan

Nov 5, 2018

Mayor Ras Baraka addresses water crisis at the opening of Newark's 7th Police Precinct in the city's North Ward.
Credit Alexandra Hill / News

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is pushing back against reports of elevated levels of lead and other toxins in the city’s water supply amid comparisons to the crisis in Flint, Michigan, by the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

Baraka says Flint's water crisis, which was caused by the city's failure to apply corrosion control treatment is incomparable to that of Newark, adding that they became aware of the issue in October after a self-commissioned report.

“Our corrosion control inhibitor stopped working we didn’t purposefully take it out of the water, so to make a comparison is not only disingenuous, and to me its almost insulting, because we didn’t do that. Ours stopped working and we immediately began to put another corrosion control inhibitor in the water, plus we advocated with the state before the report came out, to change people’s lead service lines.”

Baraka says when it comes to lead, it is the older lead service lines that are to blame, and says less than twenty thousand residents out of a population of more than three hundred thousand are affected.