Over the past few months, the Newark Water Coalition has tirelessly been advocating for residents of Newark and taking action to spread awareness of the Lead Water Crisis. What started as a small group of activists working to simply spread information about this crisis to residents has since ballooned into a larger movement with education, social media, and canvassing campaigns as well as a place for Newark residents to come for access to free, clean drinking water with no questions asked. The Water Coalition has always been about educating our neighbors and making sure that they are not inadvertently harming themselves or their families. Our Coalition has been immensely successful in advocating for clean water for Newark. We have hosted demonstrations at Mayor Baraka’s State of the City address and the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs).
More lead in more water and the grotesque parallels across the country with regards to testing, notification, repairs and accountability. Next, as the prison strike continues, we go inside with an artist who seeks to help prisoners defy their oppression through art. But beware, this isn’t therapy - this is revolution. From tweets to marching in the streets, this is Act Out!
Yes, water is a human right, fundamental to life - yet if you are an average American, you would be lucky to have access to it, at a price you can afford to pay and not be poisoned. Just ask the residents of Flint, Michigan - a low income community forced for years to use expensive bottled water for everything from cooking to showers - they believe their tap water is good for one thing, and one thing only: To flush the toilet. Flint first gained notoriety for lead-poisoned water in 2014, when the water source for the municipal water supply was changed from Detroit to Flint's own river.
A federal appeals court in California this week ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must update their antiquated federal lead regulations within 90 days. Advocates for the change have been fighting in court to get the EPA to update very outdated regulations regarding lead, a harmful neurotoxin. The new rules will strengthen lead hazard standards. The EPA has previously concluded that “lead poisoning is the number one environmental health threat in the U.S. for children ages 6 and younger” and that the current standards are insufficient. The previous standards the EPA was using for dangerous levels of lead in paint and dust were 17-years-old. “This is going to protect the brains of thousands of children across the country,” said Eve C. Gartner, a staff attorney for Earthjustice, one of the groups supporting stronger standards.
By Nika Knight for Common Dreams - Public schools in Newark, New Jersey, were forced to shut off water fountains on Wednesday after test results showed high levels of lead in the water supply. "Officials say they do not know how long students at nearly half of the Newark's schools may have been drinking water with elevated levels of lead," reported Dan Ivers atNJ.com. The water supply at a total of 30 Newark schools tested higher for lead than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s "action level," 15 parts per billion, at which point the agency requires "additional testing, monitoring, and remediation," accordingto ABC.