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New Jersey's Water Problem, in One Graphic - Pacific Standard

New Jersey's Water Problem, in One Graphic

Children in 11 municipalities and two counties in New Jersey have higher levels of lead in their blood than children in Flint, Michigan.
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New data released by the green development organization Isles Inc. adds another frightening twist to our nation's growing water crisis: Children in 11 cities and two counties in New Jersey have higher levels of lead in their blood than kids in Flint, Michigan.

The Isles reports claim 3.3 percent of children under the age of six in Flint have tested positive for high levels of lead in their blood, while 13 New Jersey jurisdictions had higher concentrations in 2014.

Although New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has dragged his feet on the issue, there have been local attempts to reduce the problem, such as legislation to add $10 million in the budget for the Lead Hazard Control Assistance fund, and a push for a law moving inspections to a local level.

While Christie certainly deserves some blame here, the real problem can't be pinned on just one person or agency. As Jared Keller wrote last week:

[T]he dismal state of America's water infrastructure is no secret to state and federal authorities. The American Society of Civil Engineers' 2013 "Report Card for America's Infrastructure" gave our national water infrastructure a "D+" grade based on its aging pipes. Those aging pipes, which result in an estimated 240,000 water main breaks every year, are outright killing us: A 2015 report from the American Water Works Association found that "up to 96 million Americans could be found to be drinking water with unsafe levels of lead."

The problem goes way beyond Michigan, way beyond Ohio, and way beyond New Jersey.

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