Flint, Michigan Poisoning Residents with Toxic Lead Water
AwN | There is no real end in sight to the Flint Lead poisoning story. The EPA regional administrator, Susan Hedman, has resigned. Her administration will be forever remembered for its retaliation against employees investigating sexual harassment claims, and her June response to the Flint water contamination:
"The preliminary draft report should not have been released outside the agency. When the report has been revised and fully vetted by EPA management, the findings and recommendations will be shared with the City and MDEQ (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality) -- and MDEQ will be responsible for following up with the City,"
Essentially saying, hold on there lets keep the poison that people are drinking quiet, there are multiple layers of bureaucracy to unfold before people are allowed safe water.
Governor Rick Snyder has been patting himself on the back for releasing his blacked out e-mails, and of course it gets even more absurd in that residents are still being charged for their water bills! Anonymous has also declared war on Flint's administration and demands criminal charges to be sought.
EPA orders Michigan to take 'immediate action' on Flint water crisis
TV | The US Environmental Protection Agency ordered the state of Michigan today to take “immediate action to address serious and ongoing concerns” with the city of Flint’s drinking water system, which has been contaminated for more than 18 months with elevated levels of lead.
“EPA has determined that the City of Flint’s and the State of Michigan’s responses to the drinking water crisis in Flint have been inadequate to protect the public health and that these failures continue,” the order reads. The EPA will begin sampling Flint's tap water and publishing analysis results on its website and lead an independent investigation into what could have been done to prevent the crisis.
Flint water crisis: Rick Snyder's emails leave more questions than answers
“The Flint water crisis is an extraordinary circumstance and therefore I’m taking this unprecedented step of releasing my emails to ensure that the people of Michigan know the truth,” Snyder wrote.
But that pledge didn’t translate smoothly into the first document of the 274-page tranche released Wednesday: A three-page email that was entirely blacked out.
Why Are Flint Residents Being Forced to Pay for Their Toxic Water?
EW | National advocacy group Food & Water Watch today joined local Flint, Michigan residents calling for a moratorium on water service bills until the water flowing from taps is free of lead and other contaminants. The move is an effort to raise awareness about the alarming shutoff notices Flint residents are facing for non-payment, even as people are not able to drink their tap water or cook with it
“In 2016, it’s shocking that an entire U.S. city cannot drink its tap water. Now they are shutting off residents for overdue bills. But no one should have to pay for poisoned tap water,” Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, said. “Today we’re calling on Mayor Karen Weaver, City Administrator Natasha Henderson and Flint’s Chief Financial Officer Jody Lundquist to stop the water shut offs in Flint; restore service where it has been disconnected, which is necessary for basic sanitation and hygiene; and to cease billing Flint residents for water until this tragic situation has been corrected.”
“Skin rashes, hair loss and long-term health consequences that result from copper and lead poisoning are just some of the impacts that Flint residents like me and my family have been dealing with for over a year,” Melissa Mays, Flint resident and founder of Water You Fighting For?, said. “To be told our water was safe to drink when it wasn’t is criminal and to continue to have to pay for it is unconscionable.”
AwN | It seems that every day there is a new horrible toxic alert that anyone with a conscience would be appalled at. Recently there was the continuing, Porter Ranch Methane leak, and now this horror show in Flint, Michigan is unfolding. How many times will State sponsored ignorance and incompetance have to destroy people's lives before they demand a better system? Clearly the technology is there for people to have tighter control on government operations. It is clear that you cannot trust regulators to protect you, and while nearly all of you will read that, and agree, much less of you will accept the full ramifications of that statement. While Americans are being cornered into camps and set out on witch hunts for eachother, the regulatory environment of all political groupings is absolutely letting people down.
Another Day Another Toxin
The people of Flint, Michigan have been exposed to lead from corroded water pipes for many months. It is unclear right now (because he isn't saying) how long the Governor knew about this, but it is not looking pretty. Lead poisoning is a catastrophic form of poisoning even if not imediately deadly. The city took a short cut by not using anti-corrosives after switching to a different water source several years ago, to protect the piping. After the story broke and the Governor, Rick Snyder, declared a state of emergency it still took 4 days to start delivering clean water to residents. I am sure we have not heard the last of this... As always links, including petition, below.
Respond to Flint's Lead Emergency NOW!
Care2 Petition | Public health studies have shown that lead levels have doubled in Flint since the city switched its public water supply to the Flint River in April 2014, due in part to the negligence of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
While the city's water has been switched to a different source, it's not certain that the water is now safe. Even worse, the public health crisis the lead-laden water has created has not been addressed. The most vulnerable to lead poisoning are children and pregnant women.
As the mayor pointed out in her declaration, the effects of lead poisoning are significant, irreversible and create huge needs for increased social services, such as special education and mental health services, and the juvenile justice system.
‘Toxic stress’: Max blood lead levels in Flint children 7 times higher than CDC guidelines – doctor
As Michigan officials scramble to help the affected community, a lead researcher who helped expose the toxicity of the water, Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards, said city and state officials should have known that the Flint River was highly corrosive before they decided to switch from the Detroit water system in 2014. He called the lack of water treatment “unprecedented.”
Without phosphate treatment, the corrosive water flowed from the Flint River through the city’s lead pipes for 17 months and became contaminated. Failures at multiple levels of government exacerbated the problem and delayed the response to the developing crisis.
Flint Water Study
FWS | In response to several requests from litigators, media outlets and Flint citizens, we are releasing ALL documents and emails from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and City of Flint obtained under the Freedom of Information Act so far. These are raw documents — some searchable — and are made available to aid reporting, lawsuits and research.
After Declaring Emergency, Michigan Governor Gives Water to Flint
NBC | Four days after declaring a state of emergency over a water crisis in Flint, Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder is providing the city with bottled water and other supplies, Snyder's office announced Saturday.
The news came as churches, local organizations and out-of-state donors worked to provide drinking water — and as criticism mounted from residents who wondered how the governor could seemingly declare a state of emergency without backing it up.
What Did the Governor Know About Flint's Water, and When Did He Know It?
Atlantic | On Thursday, while declaring the state of emergency, Snyder wouldn’t say when he became aware of the lead problem in Flint. The governor—a trained engineer who likes to portray himself as a can-do manager—reportedly grew testy when asked repeatedly about his own awareness.
The problem dates back to April 2014, when Flint was under the direction of an emergency manager appointed by the state to try to fix the broken city. (Michigan law provides for the governor to select managers, and the provision has been used in several places in recent years, most prominently Detroit.) To save money, the city began drawing its water from the Flint River, rather than from Detroit’s system, which was deemed too costly. But the river’s water was high in salt, which helped corrode Flint’s aging pipes, leaching lead into the water supply.
What You Need To Know About Lead Poisoning - Flint Edition
Forbes | Worried about terrorism? Thousands of young children in Flint, Michigan have been poisoned by their state government’s austerity moves and may have life-long damage.
Background: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has been tough on “waste” and is a big fan of restructuring, having controversially set up a system of emergency managers to oversee troubled communities in lieu of locally elected officials. One of the latest victims of this process is Flint, Michigan, a rust-belt ruin, financially distressed since the decline of its auto industry.
In April, 2014, Flint’s state-appointed emergency manager changed the city’s water supply from Detroit’s Lake Huron treated water with anti-corrosives to water from Flint River, in a poorly thought out cost-saving maneuver. They did not add anti-corrosives to the Flint system, as that would have cost $100/day.
Photo credit: Food & Water Watch