NYT Investigation Details How Govt. Failures Led To Newark’s Water Crisis | The 11th Hour | MSNBC


>>>WELL, WE MENTIONED THIS A>>>WELL, WE MENTIONED THIS A MINUTE AGO, BUT OVER THE WEEKEND MINUTE AGO, BUT OVER THE WEEKEND “THE NEW YORK TIMES” REPORTED ON “THE NEW YORK TIMES” REPORTED ON A LONG LINE OF QUESTIONABLE A LONG LINE OF QUESTIONABLE DECISIONS THAT LED TO THE DECISIONS THAT LED TO THE CURRENT WATER CRISIS IN NEWARK. CURRENT WATER CRISIS IN NEWARK. OUR GUEST NICK SHARED A BY LINE OUR GUEST NICK SHARED A BY LINE ON THE STORY. ON THE STORY. IT READS, QUOTE, AN IT READS, QUOTE, AN INVESTIGATION BY “THE NEW YORK INVESTIGATION BY “THE NEW YORK TIMES” BASED ON DOZENS OF TIMES” BASED ON DOZENS OF INTERVIEWS AND HUNDREDS OF PAGES INTERVIEWS AND HUNDREDS OF PAGES OF PUBLIC RECORDS REVEALS OF PUBLIC RECORDS REVEALS BLUNDERS AT ALL LEVELS OF BLUNDERS AT ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT IN SAFEGUARDING GOVERNMENT IN SAFEGUARDING NEWARK’S WATER INFRASTRUCTURE. NEWARK’S WATER INFRASTRUCTURE. CITY OFFICIALS BRUSHED ASIDE CITY OFFICIALS BRUSHED ASIDE WARNINGS AND ALLOWED THE SYSTEM WARNINGS AND ALLOWED THE SYSTEM TO DETERIORATE WHILE STATE AND TO DETERIORATE WHILE STATE AND FEDERAL REGULATORS DID NOT FEDERAL REGULATORS DID NOT INTERVENE FORCEFULLY ENOUGH TO INTERVENE FORCEFULLY ENOUGH TO HELP PREVENT THE CRISIS. HELP PREVENT THE CRISIS.>>>TILL WITH US, NICK AND>>>TILL WITH US, NICK AND DR. JOHN TORRES. DR. JOHN TORRES. NICK, SO TAKE US THROUGH THIS NICK, SO TAKE US THROUGH THIS BECAUSE THE POLITICAL RESPONSE BECAUSE THE POLITICAL RESPONSE FROM THE CITY OF NEWARK FROM THE CITY OF NEWARK INITIALLY WHEN THERE WERE INITIALLY WHEN THERE WERE INDICATIONS BEGAN EMERGING WAS INDICATIONS BEGAN EMERGING WAS ESSENTIALLY THERE’S NO CRISIS ESSENTIALLY THERE’S NO CRISIS HERE. HERE. AND YOU ALSO UNCOVERED AND YOU ALSO UNCOVERED TECHNICALLY SPEAKING WHAT TECHNICALLY SPEAKING WHAT APPARENTLY HAPPENED TO TRIGGER APPARENTLY HAPPENED TO TRIGGER THIS CRISIS IN THE FIRST PLACE. THIS CRISIS IN THE FIRST PLACE.>>YEAH, IF YOU WERE TO GO BACK>>YEAH, IF YOU WERE TO GO BACK TO 2015, IT APPEARS THAT THAT’S TO 2015, IT APPEARS THAT THAT’S WHEN THE CITY STARTED TINKERING WHEN THE CITY STARTED TINKERING WITH ITS WATER A LITTLE BIT TO WITH ITS WATER A LITTLE BIT TO DEAL WITH A PROBLEM WITH DEAL WITH A PROBLEM WITH CARCINOGENS, AND TO DO THAT THEY CARCINOGENS, AND TO DO THAT THEY STARTED MAKING THEIR WATER STARTED MAKING THEIR WATER SLIGHTLY MORE ACIDIC. SLIGHTLY MORE ACIDIC. NOW, WHAT THAT DID WAS FOR 20 NOW, WHAT THAT DID WAS FOR 20 YEARS NEWARK HAS BEEN COMBATTING YEARS NEWARK HAS BEEN COMBATTING LEAD. LEAD. IT HAS THESE ANCIENT OLD PIPES IT HAS THESE ANCIENT OLD PIPES AND USING SODIUM SILICATE TO AND USING SODIUM SILICATE TO PREVENT THE LEAD FROM REACHING PREVENT THE LEAD FROM REACHING THE WATER. THE WATER. WHEN THEY MADE THE WATER ACIDIC WHEN THEY MADE THE WATER ACIDIC TO DEAL WITH ONE PROBLEM THEY TO DEAL WITH ONE PROBLEM THEY RENDERED THE SODIUM SILICATE RENDERED THE SODIUM SILICATE INEFFECTIVE. INEFFECTIVE. THEY NEVER DID A TEST BEFORE THEY NEVER DID A TEST BEFORE DOING THAT. DOING THAT. THE STATE WAS UNAWARE THEY WERE THE STATE WAS UNAWARE THEY WERE DOING THIS. DOING THIS. CITY OFFICIALS COULDN’T PRODUCE CITY OFFICIALS COULDN’T PRODUCE ANY TESTS THAT SHOWED WHEN THEY ANY TESTS THAT SHOWED WHEN THEY WERE LOOKING TO CHANGE THE WERE LOOKING TO CHANGE THE ACIDITY, THEY WONDERED WHAT ACIDITY, THEY WONDERED WHAT OTHER IMPACT IT MIGHT HAVE ON OTHER IMPACT IT MIGHT HAVE ON THE WATER. THE WATER. THAT’S WHAT STARTED SNOWBALLING THAT’S WHAT STARTED SNOWBALLING THE EFFECT FROM OUR REPORT THAT THE EFFECT FROM OUR REPORT THAT BROUGHT US TO 2017 WHEN THE BROUGHT US TO 2017 WHEN THE FIRST LEAD LEVEL EXCEEDENCE FIRST LEAD LEVEL EXCEEDENCE FIRST CAME TO NEWARK. FIRST CAME TO NEWARK. THAT CAME TO JUNE, JULY OF 2017, THAT CAME TO JUNE, JULY OF 2017, AND THE MAYOR WAS BASICALLY, HIS AND THE MAYOR WAS BASICALLY, HIS ENTIRE MESSAGE WAS THE WATER IS ENTIRE MESSAGE WAS THE WATER IS COMPLETELY SAFE TO DRINK. COMPLETELY SAFE TO DRINK. DON’T WORRY HERE. DON’T WORRY HERE. THERE WERE LEGAL THINGS THE CITY THERE WERE LEGAL THINGS THE CITY HAD TO DO, TESTING, MAIL ANYONE HAD TO DO, TESTING, MAIL ANYONE WHOSE HOUSE TURNED TO POSITIVE WHOSE HOUSE TURNED TO POSITIVE TESTS. TESTS. THOSE ARE RANDOM SAMPLES YOU THOSE ARE RANDOM SAMPLES YOU DON’T EXTRAPOLATE FROM. DON’T EXTRAPOLATE FROM. 18 MONTHS THE ENTIRE MESSAGE 18 MONTHS THE ENTIRE MESSAGE FROM THE CITY WAS THESE ARE FROM THE CITY WAS THESE ARE OUTRAGEOUSLY FALSE STATEMENTS OUTRAGEOUSLY FALSE STATEMENTS COMING IN ABOUT OUR WATER AND COMING IN ABOUT OUR WATER AND THE WATER IS ABSOLUTELY SAFE TO THE WATER IS ABSOLUTELY SAFE TO DRINK. DRINK. WHEN YOU WERE IN ONE OF THOSE WHEN YOU WERE IN ONE OF THOSE 1400, 1500 HOUSEHOLDS GETTING 1400, 1500 HOUSEHOLDS GETTING ELEVATED LEAD LEVELS OF THE ELEVATED LEAD LEVELS OF THE WATER FROM THE LEAD LEACHING TO WATER FROM THE LEAD LEACHING TO THE PIPES, THAT WAS NOT TRUE. THE PIPES, THAT WAS NOT TRUE. THE MAYOR WAS TRYING TO SAY THE THE MAYOR WAS TRYING TO SAY THE WATER SOURCE FROM THE RESERVOIR WATER SOURCE FROM THE RESERVOIR WAS NOT CONTAMINATED. WAS NOT CONTAMINATED. THAT WAS TRUE. THAT WAS TRUE. BUT WHAT WAS COMING OUT OF THEIR BUT WHAT WAS COMING OUT OF THEIR FAUCETS, THERE WAS A SIGNIFICANT FAUCETS, THERE WAS A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT WHERE THE WATER WAS NOT AMOUNT WHERE THE WATER WAS NOT SAFE TO DRINK. SAFE TO DRINK.>>YOU KNOW, DR. TORRES, WHEN>>YOU KNOW, DR. TORRES, WHEN YOU READ NICK’S STORY AND YOU YOU READ NICK’S STORY AND YOU THINK ABOUT HOW BIG THIS COUNTRY THINK ABOUT HOW BIG THIS COUNTRY IS AND HOW COMMON POLITICAL IS AND HOW COMMON POLITICAL DYSFUNCTION IS, AND YOU HAVE ALL DYSFUNCTION IS, AND YOU HAVE ALL THESE INTER MINGLING OF AGENCIES THESE INTER MINGLING OF AGENCIES AT DIFFERENT LEVELS OF AT DIFFERENT LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT, WE’VE SEEN IT IN GOVERNMENT, WE’VE SEEN IT IN FLINT, WE’VE SEEN IT IN NEWARK. FLINT, WE’VE SEEN IT IN NEWARK. ARE WE LIKELY TO SEE THIS IN ARE WE LIKELY TO SEE THIS IN OTHER PLACES? OTHER PLACES?>>STEVE, I THINK WE ARE BECAUSE>>STEVE, I THINK WE ARE BECAUSE THE INFRASTRUCTURE IN THIS THE INFRASTRUCTURE IN THIS COUNTRY HAS AGED. COUNTRY HAS AGED. IT HAS A HARD PROBLEM OF TRYING IT HAS A HARD PROBLEM OF TRYING TO GET THAT UP TO DATE AND TO GET THAT UP TO DATE AND MODERNIZED. MODERNIZED. LIKE YOU SAID, 1986 IS WHEN THE LIKE YOU SAID, 1986 IS WHEN THE STANDARD CAME OUT SAYING STANDARD CAME OUT SAYING ANYTHING AFTER 1986 YOU CANNOT ANYTHING AFTER 1986 YOU CANNOT HAVE LEAD PIPES IN THE HOUSE. HAVE LEAD PIPES IN THE HOUSE. WHAT THE EPA SAYS, HOUSES BUILT WHAT THE EPA SAYS, HOUSES BUILT BEFORE 1986 MORE THAN LIKELY HAS BEFORE 1986 MORE THAN LIKELY HAS LEAD PIPES OR LEAD SOLDER TO LEAD PIPES OR LEAD SOLDER TO JOIN THE PIPES TOGETHER THAT JOIN THE PIPES TOGETHER THAT COULD BE LEACHING LEAD. COULD BE LEACHING LEAD. THOSE ARE HOUSES THAT NEED TO BE THOSE ARE HOUSES THAT NEED TO BE TESTED. TESTED. DIFFERENT SOURCES ARE SAYING DIFFERENT SOURCES ARE SAYING THERE COULD BE HUNDREDS OF THERE COULD BE HUNDREDS OF CITIES OUT THERE THAT HAVE CITIES OUT THERE THAT HAVE SIMILAR PROBLEMS, MAYBE EVEN SIMILAR PROBLEMS, MAYBE EVEN WORSE PROBLEMS. WORSE PROBLEMS. WE JUST DON’T KNOW ABOUT THEM WE JUST DON’T KNOW ABOUT THEM YET. YET.>>NICK, VERY QUICKLY, THE>>NICK, VERY QUICKLY, THE MAYOR, GIVEN WHAT YOU’VE TOLD MAYOR, GIVEN WHAT YOU’VE TOLD US, GIVEN WHAT YOU’VE REPORTED, US, GIVEN WHAT YOU’VE REPORTED, WHAT’S HIS STANDING IN NEWARK WHAT’S HIS STANDING IN NEWARK RIGHT NOW? RIGHT NOW?>>HE’S AN INCREDIBLY POPULAR>>HE’S AN INCREDIBLY POPULAR MAYOR. MAYOR. UP UNTIL THIS MOMENT THERE UP UNTIL THIS MOMENT THERE HASN’T REALLY BEEN MUCH OF A HASN’T REALLY BEEN MUCH OF A CONTROVERSY, MUCH OF A SCANDAL. CONTROVERSY, MUCH OF A SCANDAL. HE TOOK OVER FROM CORY BOOKER HE TOOK OVER FROM CORY BOOKER WHO WAS POPULAR. WHO WAS POPULAR. AS HE LEFT THERE WERE A FEW AS HE LEFT THERE WERE A FEW ISSUES DUE TO RISING CRIME, ISSUES DUE TO RISING CRIME, BUDGET CUTS. BUDGET CUTS. UP UNTIL NOW THE MAYOR HAS BEEN UP UNTIL NOW THE MAYOR HAS BEEN VERY POPULAR. VERY POPULAR. HE’S A VERY IMPORTANT ALLY OF HE’S A VERY IMPORTANT ALLY OF GOVERNOR PHIL MURPHY. GOVERNOR PHIL MURPHY. HE’S WELL LIKED IN THE STATE. HE’S WELL LIKED IN THE STATE. WHICH IS WHAT SURPRISED SO MANY WHICH IS WHAT SURPRISED SO MANY PEOPLE TO SEE HOW HIS MESSAGING

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