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Carol Schwartz 
Announces expanded committee investigation of WASA lead contamination matter
February 12, 2004




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February 12, 2004
(w) 202.724.8105

Schwartz Announces Expanded Committee Investigation of WASA Lead Contamination Matter

Focus Complements that of Task Force Named Yesterday

DC Councilmember Carol Schwartz yesterday announced with Mayor Anthony Williams the creation of the Interagency Task Force on Lead in Water. The Task Force is made up of the Mayor, three Councilmembers, the City Administrator, and Directors of relevant DC agencies. It will call on technical experts in the water and health fields. The role of the Task Force is to look at ways that WASA can reduce lead in water, ensure that high-risk populations receive priority lead pipe replacement, identify funding sources to help pay for replacements, and make certain WASA communicates vital information to its customers promptly and clearly. A report will be issued by April 9th. 

In addition, as Chair of the Council's Committee on Public Works and the Environment, Ms. Schwartz said today that her Committee's investigation would be expanded to explore new information it is receiving. 

"The Committee's focus will be different than that of the Task Force we announced yesterday, but its efforts will complement the Task Force's work," Ms. Schwartz said. "The Task Force's charge is to make sure that the job of lead pipe replacement and remediation of related health issues gets done. The Committee's focus will be on providing a public forum to receive and share, on a regular basis, accurate technical and public health information, investigate data submitted by potential whistleblowers, and examine past actions by WASA related to the lead matter, as well as review the structure of WASA." 

Ms. Schwartz added that she felt it was "in the best interest of the health and peace of mind of our citizens that the Committee continues its thorough oversight, as we should." 

The Committee will be briefed on the status of the Interagency Task Force on Wednesday, February 25 at 2:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber of the John A. Wilson Building. Immediately following that briefing, the Committee will continue its investigation by calling on invited witnesses to answer questions related to documents it has received.

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