New Jersey Strong Water Disasters – Trenton Water Lead Toxic Flow
Hamilton, NJ: Watch video of Trenton Water Works 2019 educational water contamination Hamilton Twp public meeting and 2016 Trenton public school press conference .
During the HAMILTON TOWNSHIP COUNCIL May 7, 2013, Hamilton resident Ms. Elaine Candelori of Stewart Street stated that she is a recipient of a recent letter sent by Trenton Water Works and is deeply concerned about the toxic chemicals within the water. When she contacted the EPA about the matter, the advice given to her was that maybe she should drink some of the water and then some bottled water; she had to wonder what kind of people are working at EPA. She asked the Council what was being done about this matter. She asked if there was a public health agency currently investigating the health outcomes of ingesting this water.
Mr. Burbage stated that Trenton Water Works has nothing to do with Hamilton other than the fact that they charge us to drink their polluted water. They are regulated by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and BPU. There are certain standards that they require Trenton Water Works meet, and they do meet those minimum standards; sometimes they don’t. In regard to the last letter that went out, they’re only required by law to notify the public when they’ve had three straight quarters of negative numbers.
Ms. Candelori stated that she had been involved in such problem like this in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina when her husband was in the military; she gets a letter every year that tells her the status of the people who ingested the toxins in that water, the same toxin that is now in this Trenton Water. She pointed to the data; bladder cancer, breast cancer, esophageal cancer, female infertility, hypatic stenosis, kidney cancer, leukemia, lung cancer, miscarriages, multiple mialoma, neurobloastoma, nonhodgkins lymphoma, renal toxicity, scleroderma.
Mr. Burbage stated that unfortunately there is not much that can be done; the infrastructure that they supply to the four outside water users, are controlled-owned by Trenton Water Works. American Water was going to buy them and upgrade the system and repair it but that did not go through because of a referendum in Trenton. It’s a public utility and as a result, as long as they comply with the DEP, those regulations and are under the auspices of the BPU, there is nothing we can do about it. This body has done resolutions, sent it to the Assembly, sent it to the Senate; we do not have any authority to control what happens at Trenton Water.
Ms. Candelori asked that Council react in a positive way that intimidates or threatens DEP or Trenton Water Works; withhold the monies since it seems that ‘money talks’. President Gore asked that Mr. Burbage prepare a status report inclusive of data that Councilman Schirmer asked to be included and that Ms. Candelori be provided a response. Ms. Candelori requested that the Mayor call the governor who should instruct the head of DEP to take action. President Gore added that part of everyone’s bill goes to not only pay the operating expenses, but for capital repairs. They’ve stolen the money for capital repairs to balance their budget; therefore the water underneath the pipes in Hamilton is leaking hundreds of thousands of gallons water a day that you’re paying for and DEP or no one else seems to be concerned about that also. It was later requested by President Gore that Mr. Ricci prepare a report outlining what has been done up to this point about the water issue. It was suggested by Mr. Keelan that the township do its own testing and send the bill to Trenton Water Works.
Mr. Vinnie Capodanno of Englewood Boulevard asked with regard to the Trenton Water Works issue whether a class action suit could be brought against the city because it is affecting our health. Mr. Burbage advised that it would have to be initiated by citizens who would have to hire an attorney who would file the suit. Mr. Capodanno stated that he does not trust the DEP or any federal or state agency because they don’t seem to have the citizens in mind; they always seem to have the powers of corporation more in mind than anything. Secondly, he asked how the officer that was indicted got a pension. President Gore advised that there is going to be a discussion about the matter at the next meeting, but the town did notify the state Pension Review Board that he was under indictment and they didn’t do anything. Ms. Sandra DiPiro mentioned that some schools such as the one her daughter attends does not allow the children to bring a water bottle into the classroom so they must use the water fountain which gives her concern. President Gore suggested that she contact the Board of Education and inquire what the policy is. Ms. Tennille McCoy of 606 Assunpink Boulevard felt that the water situation has presented the opportunity to work together across all party lines from the senate down to the Council to be able to partner with Trenton in getting them on board to have a meeting with the Governor’s office, Department of Environmental Protection as well as BPU. If the Governor was able to push PSE&G to work with them as they did with Sandy, he should be able to work with Hamilton to make this work. Mr. Burbage stated that it was an excellent idea. A letter from Mayor Yaede was directed to the Governor who has the power to go at least to DEP and start squeezing the city. He encouraged everyone, and agreed that it should be nonpartisan, to make noise.