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Activists Leave Behind Serious Water Challenges in Edison, New Jersey

Truth from the Tap has released another new case study, this time highlighting Edison, NJ. The town was misled by activists into rejecting a contract operations agreement that would have helped address the township’s serious water system challenges.

In 2019, Food & Water Watch waged an aggressive public misinformation campaign to persuade the township to reject a proposed contract with a water company. The deal would have enabled Edison to retain public ownership of the infrastructure, provide abundant capital investments and ensure stable water rates. The proposal was endorsed by Edison’s mayor and a majority of the township council, yet Food & Water Watch still pushed voters to reject the deal and ban all assistance from water companies. In the end, the township had to build a new utility from scratch in just a few short months.

The Edison Township Council is now having to make hard decisions that will leave Edison residents worse off, including drastically increasing water and sewer rates and adding new fees to recover from building a new Water & Sewer Utility. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the director of the new utility admitted, “we just don’t have the manpower to physically do all the work necessary.” And local community groups and leaders are now questioning whether they were misinformed by activists.

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