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Group wants more done to address lead issue

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – A local group continues to call out Mayor Barrett and the city over lead concerns and water.

The Freshwater for Life Action Coalition says long-awaited documents they received from the city show officials are not doing enough.

FLAC says the Mayor and the Health Department do not have a clear plan for removing lead from the laterals in thousands of homes in Milwaukee.

The group also says not enough meetings were held about the lead issues and more families need water filters, mentioning that the city would go as long as eight months to meet about lead concerns.

The group says they had to threaten legal action to get the information.

The documents date back to 2015 and the group believes lead poisoning prevention is not a priority for the city.

“There are neighborhoods that are just infested with these lead laterals. There’s no indication in any of these reports that any effort working with the Health Department to put together a major plan to protect the health of the public from spiking and leaching lead,” said Robert Miranda with FLAC.

Chief of Staff Patrick Curley released the following statement in response to the Freshwater for Life Action Coalition’s statements:

FLAC and its spokesman appear to be more interested in getting themselves media attention than addressing lead paint, the primary cause of lead poisoning and the millions of dollars in costs Milwaukee taxpayers will bear for lead remediation.

“If FLAC is so concerned about lead laterals, why isn’t the group expending time and energy in Madison and Washington D.C. lobbying the legislature, Governor and members of Congress to fund the estimated $750 million Milwaukee needs to fully replace 70,000 lead laterals?

“Does FLAC have the stomach for such a campaign, would that be too tough a task? It could very well be FLAC‘s plan is to have Milwaukee homeowners and taxpayers foot the bill in its entirety.

“That’s the strategy being used by the paint industry and their lawyers and, from all appearances, that’s the strategy FLAC is employing.

“Maybe it’s time for FLAC to be fully transparent and let the public know - just who funds FLAC?”

Senator Lena Taylor joined the group Thursday and believes the city needs to do a full check of the water beyond giving out filters.

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