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New Jersey governor: No state of emergency over Newark water

Posted: 3:29 PM, Aug 21, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-21 17:31:39-04

NEWARK, N.J. — New Jersey's largest city continued to hand out bottled water to affected residents Wednesday as clergy and the National Action Network stood on the steps of City Hall to show support for Newark's Mayor Ras Baraka.

"Not only are we are standing with our mayor, we believe that he is the perfect leader to bring us out of this situation," Pastor Patrick Council said.

Some weary Newark residents have expressed frustration with the government and how it has handled the water crisis.

Sheila Montague showed up to the rally looking for guidance.

"I'm just a little bit confused. I see that the clergy is pretty much supporting the mayor but I thought I would hear more information pertaining to the water," Montague said.

Governor Phil Murphy said on Wednesday he is not declaring a State of Emergency over lead in Newark's water.

Manuel Vega picked up bottled water at the Vince Lombardi Center, one of 4 city distribution sites. Vega said he's been skeptical of Newark's water safety for years.

"I've tasted the tap water from here. It's nasty. It's disgusting," he said.

As the city waits for corrosion control to reduce lead levels, water testing continues.

Replacing all of the lead service lines in Newark is expected to cost around $75 million.

Bishop Rudy Carlton acts as a liaison between residents of the West Ward and City Hall. He said he is focused on moving forward.

"There's enough blame to go around. There's enough things to look at, people to point fingers at. But this is not that time," Carlton said.

A federal judge is expected to decide a pending court case that would expand bottled water distribution in Newark.

The National Action Network said Rev. Al Sharpton and Mayor Ras Baraka are expected hand out water Sunday at the NAN Newark Tech World at 1:30pm.