Flint Water Crisis (Michigan)
Flint, Michigan was once the home of General Motors’ largest auto plant. Its water quality has always been poor, but in 2015 it was revealed that the city’s aging pipe system was corroding and sloughing dangerous levels of lead into the water. As of May 2017, lawsuits against the government for hundreds of millions of dollars were pending, and four government officials have been charged with felonies related to the crisis.
NPR » The federal government would spend tens of billions of dollars repairing the nation’s water infrastructure over the next decade if a bill introduced in Congress today becomes law. The Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act would infuse State Revolving Funds with $35 billion a year.
The Guardian » Most attention directed at Flint goes into cleaning up the city’s water supply, an undeniably vital goal. But it also feels like a bizarre one in a city where many people are unlikely to ever drink another drop of tap water as long as they live. The city switched its water supply back to Detroit’s water, away from the Flint river. But for the roughly 100,000 people who live here, the damage is done.
Mother Jones » Earlier this month, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder announced that the bottled water program would be ending once the distribution centers ran out. “We have worked diligently to restore the water quality,” he said, “and the scientific data now proves the water system is stable and the need for bottled water has ended.” But for residents, that reassurance meant nothing.
Atlanta Black Star » The Michigan state government announced this week it would no longer supply free bottled water to Flint residents. Snyder claims that for nearly two years, Flint’s water is the same or better than other cities in Michigan. Experts and people on the ground in Flint, including those who are directly impacted by the water crisis, note some improvements but suggest the crisis has not yet subsided.
Reuters » The state of Michigan will no longer supply free bottled water to Flint, the city once plagued with lead-tainted drinking water in a crisis that drew national attention, officials said on Friday. When the current supply of state-funded bottled water is depleted, the distribution centers will close and deliveries will end.
MLive » The number of water samples with elevated levels of lead in Flint elementary schools increased in February with more tests registering above the federal action limit than did one month earlier. New data from the state Department of Environmental Quality shows the spike in samples that tested above 15 parts per billion of lead
MLive » A report on how Flint’s water was contaminated and how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency responded isn’t expected to be completed until summer, a spokesman for the EPA Office of Inspector General says. The OIG said in January 2016 that it would begin an investigation into the causes of the Flint water crisis and the agency’s role in allowing it to unfold.
MLive » The test results, posted online by the DEQ, showed seven of 80 samples taken from the school registered above the federal action limit with a high of 57 ppb at one water outlet in the West Carpenter Road school. Flint schools are providing bottled water to students at Northwestern and other buildings at least through the end of this school year as a result of the city’s water crisis.
MLive » A large-scale review of Flint water quality is expected to start this month, and a top aide to Gov. Rick Snyder says there should be enough data to make recommendations on future state assistance like free bottled water. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says there is no timeline for making recommendations about Flint once that review is complete or what the recommendations might entail.
Roll Call » From lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan, to toxic levels of arsenic found in Texas, over the past decade tens of millions of Americans have likely been exposed to dangerously unsafe water. The need to invest in our water and wastewater systems is as urgent and vital as building the “gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways and waterways” President Trump spoke about.
MLive » Michael Glasgow, who also previously served as the operator in charge of the Flint water plant, testified Thursday, Feb. 22, that he asked city officials for more time to prepare for full-time water treatment in early 2014, had his request denied, and finally turned to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for help.