The City of Newark and community organizations are working together to ensure all voices are included in their CSO Long Term Control Plans. A total of 15 meetings were held in Newark in March and April on the options being considered to reduce sewage overflows. The Newark People’s Assembly hosted five public meeting, and community-based and environmental justice organizations including Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC), The New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance (NJEJA), Clean Water Action, Urban League of Essex County,  La Casa de Don Pedro and Unified Vailsburg Services Organization hosted 10 meetings. In addition, a website was launched to gather even more community feedback.

“In the East Ward, ICC hosted five meetings for the community. The consensus emerged that sewer separation and green infrastructure were the preferred solutions, as fixing CSO issues, like flooding, was a priority,” said Drew Curtis, senior equitable development manager for ICC.

“NJEJA hosted a local tenant association at a community charrette in the Central Ward of Newark. The public event was designed to gather and document the tenants’ priority sites for stormwater management and preferred solution methodologies. City representatives were on hand to observe, learn and participate in the meeting,” said Laureen Boles, state direct for NJEJA.

Newark City Council President Mildred Crump said of the East Ward meeting, “I’m glad I came. The sewage authority is now under my jurisdiction. This subject is rather intriguing.”

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