Newark mayor defends actions in city’s water crisis

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The mayor of New Jersey’s largest city is denouncing comparisons between high lead levels in his city’s water and the recent crisis in Flint, Michigan.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said Thursday his administration is taking multiple steps to address the high levels caused by aging lead water lines.

A lawsuit claims the city hasn’t taken adequate precautions and has misled residents.

Between 15,000 and 18,000 homes are estimated to have the lead lines. Newark has about 280,000 residents.

Flint’s water was found to have elevated lead levels in 2014 and 2015 despite officials’ insistence the water was safe.

Some state health officials in Michigan have been charged with failing to alert the public about an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the Flint area that some experts believe resulted from poorly treated water.