NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—One of the New Brunswick Water Utility’s biggest customers has yet to publicly address the admitted cover-up of water quailty problems that took place between 2010 and 2013.
Rutgers President Bob Barchi twice declined to answer questions about the issue after last week’s Board of Governors meeting. Barchi answered several other questions asked by the media.
When New Brunswick Today first began to ask Barchi about the water quality problems, which occurred between January 2010 and May 2013, one of his handlers interrupted.
“Charlie, I’ve answered that question… I’ve answered your question.” said the handler, before Barchi fielded a question about Athletics Director Julie Hermann from another reporter.
Previously the handler told New Brunswick Today that the university had “no comment” on the problems with the water, echoing previous statements made by spokespersons.
After asking Barchi a second time, the President began to walk away, but not before accepting a free print edition of New Brunswick Today, featuring a front-page story on the water cover-up.
Martin Perez, a new Board of Governors member, said he felt that the board should be concerned with the water quality issues.
“It is our duty to protect the health of students, faculty and staff,” said Perez, who has lived in New Brunswick for decades.
But the university, and its President, have nothing to say about the issue.
University spokesman EJ Miranda said, “We have no comment on this matter,” on November 15, the day after the Department of Environmental Protection announced that New Brunswick had been covering up problems with their water for three years.
The city has admitted that, at least six times since 2010, they failed to make required notifications that residents should have been boiling their water before use.
Approximately 6,000 Rutgers students live in facilities that are served by New Brunswick’s water system.
The system also sells water to residents in Franklin and Milltown, who are currently discussing the potential for litigation against New Brunswick.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.