$120 Million Loan Could Slash Years Off Newark Lead Pipe Replacement Project : NPR

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, pictured on August 14, thanked city and county officials on Monday for partnering with us to accelerate a 10-year lead pipe replacement program. Seth Wenig / AP Hide caption

Toggle labeling

Seth Wenig / AP

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, pictured on August 14, thanked city and county officials on Monday for partnering with us to accelerate a 10-year lead pipe replacement program.

Seth Wenig / AP

The year-long Newark water crisis could be resolved within the next 30 months as part of an ambitious new plan to replace thousands of contaminated pipes, government, city and county officials announced on Monday.

As part of a new partnership, the Essex County Improvement Authority would place a $ 120 million loan on the city of Newark to replace the old pipes that pollute the water when it enters households from one of the city’s main processing plants flows.

An earlier schedule for the massive company saw the project about 10 years after its completion, but on Monday Essex County executive Joseph DiVincenzo said the cash injection would cut it by several years.

“As an elected official, I don’t want to wait that long. I want this long-term solution to come sooner rather than later,” DiVincenzo told a press conference, adding that it could be completed in 24 to 30 months.

DiVincenzo said the county’s recently acquired AAA rating – the highest credit rating available – ensures the loan will be delivered at a significantly lower interest rate, “Newark’s $ 15 million to $ 20 million interest over the life of the bond saves “.

Newark's drinking water problem: lead and unreliable filters

“We are pleased to pass these significant financial savings on to Newark and help modernize the water system so that all residents – pregnant mothers, babies, seniors and the sick – have safer water to drink. This challenge was too important to ignore,” Said DiVincenzo.

The plan has not yet been finalized. A district spokesman said NPR city and district officials will vote Tuesday to approve the $ 120 million bond.

The quick plan to replace the pipes comes weeks after tests have shown that filters, distributed free of charge by the city, do little to reduce the increased lead levels in drinking water.

In a letter to city officials, including Mayor Ras Baraka, an EPA regional administrator reported earlier this month about two tests in separate households that filtered drinking water contained more than 15 parts per billion lead, which is in line with federal and state standards.

Since then, the city has offered free mineral water to around 14,000 affected households. In May, the city launched an anti-corrosion treatment program that treats water in the distribution system with chemicals that are designed to form a protective coating in the existing pipes so that lead does not dissolve in the water.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy thanked Essex County officials for providing the funds to accelerate the project, which is expected to begin in a few weeks.

“We all know we need to work faster, harder, and most importantly, together to restore residents’ confidence in their water,” said Murphy. “It goes without saying that this is a situation that none of us welcomed, but that we are all committed to getting it right.”

It is time for us to repair our nation’s aging water infrastructure. Thank you Essex County for stepping up to accelerate Newark’s lead exchange efforts. Clean water is a right for every family and community. pic.twitter.com/cbVbN2Up00

– Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) August 26, 2019

In a tweet, the governor wrote, “It is time for us to repair our country’s aging water infrastructure. Thank you for stepping up Essex County to expedite Newark’s replacement of guidance services. Clean water is a right for everyone Family and every community. “

The previous plan called for homeowners to pay a fee to replace the pipes, but on Monday Baraka said they no longer need to intervene. “With this new money, we reckon that no one would have to pay to get it. Your senior service lines have actually been replaced,” said Baraka.

The new money from the county will be added to a $ 75 million bond the city took out in March.

You might also like

Comments are closed.