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'Our Water Campaign' Taking On Lead Contamination Problems In City

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- More than 100 people turned out for a town hall meeting Tuesday to discuss the lead contamination in portions of the city's water supply.

The group "Our Water Campaign" hosted the event at the Kingsley Association in East Liberty.

Water activist and Director of "Flint Rising," Nayyirah Shariff, was the keynote speaker for the town hall and panel discussion.

She told KDKA's Kym Gable she believes there are similarities between Pittsburgh's current situation and the large-scale public health crisis that made international news in Flint.

"The next step, hopefully, would be an emergency declaration to actually get more resources into the city to pay for a service line replacement program that doesn't put people out of their homes," said Shariff.

Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner has been an outspoken advocate for action.

She told the crowd, "We are the largest system in the country right now over the EPA lead limit, and that's one thing that's not out there."

Many property owners in the affected areas have already received their results from lead testing kits. Tom Hoffman is one of them.

"I must say, I was pretty shocked. I was over the EPA limit," he said.

Twenty to 30 percent of lead services lines in the city are suspected of leaching high levels of lead. That's about 6,000 homes.

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