Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to offer “immediate assistance” to Newark, New Jersey, as the city struggles to distribute bottled water during the escalating lead crisis, NJ.com reports.
In a letter Friday, the EPA recommended city officials begin distributing bottled water after recent surveys showed that two of three homes with old lead pipes still contained high lead levels, despite the use of filters.
Booker, former mayor of Newark, says the EPA, which previously determined that the filters made the water safe to drink, holds some responsibility for the crisis and should act on it.
“We urge EPA to identify additional resources to offer assistance in providing bottled water to Newark residents in order to ensure a sustained source of clean drinking water while further sampling is conducted,” Booker, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, and Reps. Albio Sires and Donald Payne, Jr. said.
In 2016, Newark Public Schools shut of water fountains at 30 schools after elevated levels of lead were found. In addition to Flint, Michigan, poisoned water has also been a hazard in Selma, Alabama., and in Jackson, Mississippi.