Orange Mayor says "Our water is perfectly safe"

Dangerously high levels of lead found in the drinking water in Flint Michigan has set off alarms all across the country and has put communities, many comprised primarily of African Americans and low income residents on alert.

The uncovering of the cover up in Flint has left those residents feeling angry at, and abandoned by, the elected leaders that are supposed to protect them. 

In recent days residents in Newark, NJ have discovered that at least 30 of their own public schools have been serving up lead contaminated water to students. Reports show that these 30 district schools tested as high as 35 times above the federal limit for lead. Documents suggest Newark’s school officials may have known about this issue as far back as 2004. 

Last year, a local internet radio show “Real Talk Radio” conducted an interview with Kim Gaddy—a candidate currently running for 1 of 3 seats in an upcoming April 19th Newark Public Schools Election. In the interview, Ms. Gaddy points out that, when she sat as a Newark Public School Board Member nearly 20 years ago, she reported high levels of lead in the drinking water and that she personally had water fountains shut off in many of the schools.

Given the degree of anxiety in many communities across the country including Newark (over water contamination issues), residents in neighboring Orange, NJ became alarmed when they saw flyers on their doorsteps questioning the quality of water in their Township. 

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Flyers placed on resident's doorsteps and car windshields

The climate surrounding this environmental danger requires swift and immediate action so we reached out to Mayor Dwayne Warren’s office earlier today and asked about the quality of the drinking water in Orange and below is the statement we received.

STATEMENT FROM DWAYNE WARREN; MAYOR OF ORANGE, NJ

It has come to my attention that a group of individuals are spreading false and misleading information regarding the City of Orange Township’s water system in an effort to create fear and worry in the minds of our residents.  These communications show phony photos of Orange’s water pipes, bogus headlines and give erroneous information about the township’s water quality.  Let me assure you that Orange’s water is safe to drink and use as we normally do.  

Orange water meets and often surpasses all the health and safety standards set in place by the United States Environmental Protections Agency and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.  Orange’s water is tested monthly and the results are on file with the NJDEP.  

Furthermore, we do not plan, nor have we ever planned to sell our water system to a private company.  We take great pride in our water system as it is our precious resource. Therefore, we will continue to provide safe and clean drinking water for the families, businesses and residents of Orange.”

Thank you for helping me to keep moving Orange forward. 

Hon. Dwayne D. Warren, ESQ.
Mayor, City of Orange Township

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