Senator Greenstein on Water Quality and Climate Change
Steve Adubato sits down with Senator Linda Greenstein (D) – NJ, 14th Legislative District, to discuss the issues surrounding clean water throughout New Jersey and the state’s approach to climate change.
"Welcome to State of Affairs. I'm Steve Adubato. We're in fact, coming to you from the Agnes Varis NJTV studio in Brick City, Newark, New Jersey. We're pleased to welcome state senator Linda Greenstein who represents the 14th legislative district, which is where? It is in Central Jersey, near Princeton, near Trenton... that whole area around there. Senator we thank you for coming all the way up to Newark. Let's jump right into this. We just had mayor Ras Baraka on. Check our website to see that interview. Much that a discussion was about the Newark water crisis, but it is not just Newark. It is other older communities with older pipes with lead pipes. potential issues? We don't scare anyone, but there's a joint legislative Task Force on drinking water infrastructure created in 2016. What is it, and how is it related to this whole discussion of water? Well, that was a task force that really is over already. We presented a wonderful report to the legislature, it's on our legislative web page, and it talks about all of the recommendations that came out of that two-year task force. Originally we were only looking at infrastructure, the age of the pipes, the fact that people don't... are not able to disclose where they are because people don't have that information, which is amazing. And there really was no plan to fix a lot of the pipe. So we were pushing for that, but in addition we looked at the lead issue because this was right after Flint Michigan, and we wanted to see what was going on here and we weren't surprised to find out that lead is a major problem. Serious problem in New Jersey? Yes, it is. How seriously do you believe the state and their many state agencies, the DEP, Department of Health and others. How seriously are we taking this situation? I think we're taking it very seriously now, particularly because of the problems in Newark? I know the mayor and others are working very hard on that and pushing to make sure that something is done. Prior to this, we were talking in terms of well, we will change the lead service lines, or the water service lines, I should say, within 10 years. Then it went down to 3 years and I think now we're thinking even less than that. We're trying to come up with the funds to get these lines changed quickly. You know, it's interesting, senator... we don't want to scare people, but we want to have an honest conversation. as soon as Flint gets put into this conversation, does it scare the heck out of people? Well I think the reputation that Flint got was that this could happen..."