According to a new report by the New York City Coalition to End Lead Poisoning, about one in five New Yorkers may be drinking water carried through lead pipes.
The report made by the coalition, which comprises advocates, doctors and lawyers, analyzed data from the city’s Department of Environmental Protection and found that about 41% of water service lines in the five boroughs are made of lead or possibly contaminated by lead.
Those lines serve as many as 1.8 million New Yorkers, or a little more than 20% of the city’s population — mostly in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Lead is a poisonous, heavy metal that can result in serious public health effects.
The report is calling on the city council to pass legislation that would replace these pipes over the course of the next decade.
In a statement, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection assured residents that the city’s water supply is safe.
We don’t agree that the City, and ratepayers, should subsidize repairs to all private homes, especially where the homeowner can clearly pay for the repairs,” DEP Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala said in a statement. “That’s why our strategy has been to maximize federal dollars to pay for these repairs to private property — we are trying to help homeowners fix their private property while not raising every New Yorker’s water bill.”
Two of the reports contributors, Joan Leary Matthews, a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Joshua Klainberg, senior vice president of the New York League of Conservation Voters, joined NY1 political anchor Errol Louis on “InSide City Hall” Thursday to discuss more.