There are so many opinions of what went wrong in Flint Michigan’s water- it’s enough to make your head spin. This is a great quote from a recent article written by an actual resident of Flint (sourced below)
Many national media reports would have you believe that the crisis began in April 2014, when the city started drawing its water from the Flint River. They’d also have you believe that the crisis was the fault of the locally elected officials who made a catastrophic decision, not to mention city residents who did not hold their leaders accountable.
The stage was set on March 16, 2011, when Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed Public Act 4. This measure broadened an earlier law that provided an “emergency financial manager” for financially distressed cities and school districts. Under the new law, “emergency financial managers” became “emergency managers” with the power to cancel or renegotiate city contracts, liquidate assets, suspend local government, unilaterally draft policy, and even disincorporate. (It is worth noting that Michigan emergency managers have done all of these things except disincorporate, which was entertained by a manager in the city of Pontiac.)
One thing is for certain: cleaning up in Flint, MI is not going to be easy or quick. It will likely take multiple organizations working together to try and undo what’s been done and even once the water is safe, the city and its residents will still be left with the consequences of letting the issue get so out of control.
Back in April 2014, the state decided to switch Flint’s water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River. It was supposed to be a temporary fix and one that would save money until a new line to Lake Huron was ready. However, if you live in Michigan, a place where lakes and rivers are plentiful, you also know which ones are notoriously nasty; there are some places you just don’t swim, let alone drink from. The Flint River is one of those bodies of water.
Almost immediately, residents complained that their water looked, smelled and tasted off. City officials told residents that their water was fine. Yet when tested, it was found to be highly corrosive so the city switched back, in October. Of 2015. But that was only after a group of Virginia Tech researchers, on their own- testing in homes, produced and published a damaging report about the water, and only after first dismissing the report, and only after first dismissing a local Dr’s findings about lead levels in children’s blood. Then the backtracking started:
“Lead levels remain well above the federal action level of 15 parts per billion in many homes,” the city said. “Residents are advised to continue using water filters while long-term solutions are being developed.”
“This is why, three months after the switch, authorities continue to advise people not to drink or bathe in Flint’s tap water. Already, more than 27,000 cases of bottled water have been handed out, while over 210,000 new and replacement water filters have been distributed.”
Sadly, there’s no end in sight. The pipes are now contaminated and to remove the water that’s been in supply for monhts, to flush it out of the system, is going to take considerable time; the toxins coming from the water are 19 times higher than they are in Lake Huron. In fact, the water has eroded the iron water mains, which is what turned the water brown. The lead from those pipes though is much worse and the culprit. With all those pipes contaminated and ruined, the city of Flint is looking at a massive clean up…to the tune of $1.5 billion.
The city has a long road ahead: there are multiple investigations going on trying to find out what happened (did officials forget to or not want to, treat the water with an anti-corrosive agent), there’s a class-action lawsuit (alleging the state Department of Environmental Quality is to blame), many are blaming Rep. Governor Rick Snyder for not doing something sooner (and calling for his resignation), the number of legionnaires’ disease cases has spiked in the two years since the water switch (the state’s director of health and human services said this increase can’t all be attributed to this switch, since not all those with Legionnaires’ drank Flint’s water), and the amount of damage that’s been done to the children of Flint is still unknown.
Another quote from that Flint Michigan resident (who calls himself a Flintstone and is a published author) says:
Even today, with opprobrium rightly raining down on Gov. Snyder for his reluctance to act on the crisis, or to release emails that might implicate him and his staff, newspapers have been hesitant to emphatically and unambiguously declare who has been making the decisions in Flint. It wasn’t “city officials,” it wasn’t the city council, and it wasn’t even a mayor who often found himself supporting the state’s priorities. Because the emergency managers had unchallenged authority in their oversight of Flint, it is they, along with the governor who appointed them, who bear ultimate responsibility for creating the crisis.
One thing is for sure, much patience and help is needed- especially for the kids and the Flint Child Health & Development Fund was set up to help with the short and long term impacts of the children in their community. Whether you’re left right, don’t believe in the 2 party system at all. This has to be fixed. For the people, planet, animals and for the children. You can visit the fund here.
Erin Elizabeth is a long time activist with a passion for the healing arts, working in that arena for a quarter century. Her site healthnutnews.megasitescript.com is less than 2 years old but has already cracked the top 20 Natural Health sites worldwide. She is an author, public speaker, and has recently done some TV and film programs for some of her original work which have attracted international media coverage. You can get Erin’s free e-book here and also watch a short documentary on how she overcame vaccine injuries, Lyme disease, significant weight gain, and more. Follow Erin on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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