Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Flint Michigan Water Crisis Epitome of Government Incompetence

Update 1/27/16:

"Nobody Cares":Flint Family Says Lead Pipes Must Go

Flint Drinks Lead Laden Water: Republicans Attack Clean Water Act

"To poison all the children in an historic American city is no small feat. Even international terrorist organizations haven't figured out yet how to do something on a magnitude like this. But you did."


Update: 1-26-16:

Lead Poisoning Strikes Another US Town

A lead poisoning scandal has struck a second US town, with schools closed in Sebring, Ohio Monday and the water treatment plant operator accused of falsifying reports.

Initial tests found elevated lead levels in 28 homes and one school in the midwestern village of about 4,400 people, Ohio's environmental protection agency said. It is not clear how long lead has been leaking from the town's pipes.

The agency said in a statement it has "reason to suspect that the operator falsified reports" and has asked the federal Environmental Protection Agency's criminal division for help with the investigation.

The Ohio agency did not specify what kind of reports it was referring to. A spokesperson for it was not immediately available for comment.

The Ohio case comes as a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate how the city of Flint, Michigan exposed 100,000 residents to lead poisoning after cutting water treatment costs.

Officials are accused of ignoring months of health warnings about foul-smelling water, even as residents complained that it was making them sick.

End of excerpt

The answer to the question how many other towns is this happening in seems to be coming to light. This is beyond criminal!


Update: 1-21-16:

How You can Help Flint Michigan Residents

Governor Snyder Apologizes For Flint Water Crisis

Lansing, Mich. — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said he has failed Flint residents but pledged to take new steps to fix the city's drinking water crisis, starting with committing millions in state funding and deploying more National Guard members.

The second-term Republican, who devoted most of his annual State of the State speech Tuesday night to the emergency in Flint, also pledged greater transparency. He said he would release on Wednesday his own emails regarding Flint's water, which became contaminated with too much lead when the city switched its water source in 2014 as a cost-cutting measure.

"I'm sorry most of all that I let you down," Snyder, whose administration is engulfed in criticism, said in the 49-minute address, as hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside the Capitol. "You deserve better. You deserve accountability. You deserve to know that the buck stops here with me. Most of all, you deserve to know the truth, and I have a responsibility to tell the truth."

End of excerpt

So he apologizes and says he is sending more bottled water and National Guard? That is supposed to appease those who have lost loved ones and who have been dealing with this toxic disaster for two years? Politicians are the problem and the true toxin in our society. Particularly on the whole Republicans (of course Democrats have their fair share as well) who seem to think apologizing for a crime is enough after they have done all in their power to precipitate the situation! Snyder needs to resign today along with a few others. How many more disasters do we the people have to be subjected to because of incompetence and greed while those guilty get away with it with just an apology? I also have some advice for the people of Michigan... Pay more attention and stop voting these criminals into office!

As Water Problems Grew Officials Belittled Complaints From Flint

Flint Water Crisis Reveals Limits of Running a Government As a Business

This article explains in more detail how the politics of this led to this water tragedy.

Also for those who think this article wasn't politically polarizing enough who then belittle citizens like myself who do this from our hearts and because we care about the state of our global water resources a reminder: I don't get any money or remuneration doing this. I don't get paid to post on Twitter. I don't do this for notoriety. I do this because water is the most important resource in our lives that gives us life and people of all politics and backgrounds are taking that for granted.

Flint Michigan Water Crisis

By Brad Devereaux | bdeverea@mlive.com
FLINT, MI — The plight of Flint residents who depend on the city water system has been a scary and uncertain one: water with high lead levels, among other problems, that went unchecked while residents drank and bathed.

As news of the dangerous situation came to light, officials took corrective steps and Gov. Rick Snyder apologized for the state's role in allowing the crisis to happen.

However, critics complain the response that includes a plan to switch to a safe system and door-to-door bottled water deliveries by the Michigan National Guard and others, was too little and too late.

How Michigan failed its residents:

While under the authority of a state-appointed emergency manager, the decision is made in 2013 for the city of Flint to stop buying water from the city of Detroit in favor of a new pipeline project from Lake Huron. On the day Flint joined the new pipeline effort, Detroit notified the city it would stop selling it water as of April 2014, forcing Flint to find a new water source.

The choice was made in mid-March of 2014 to get water from the Flint River and the switch to the new source was made on April 25, 2014. Complaints about the water smelling and tasting bad poured into City Hall.

About four months later, bacteria was found in the water, prompting a boil notice. The city notified residents that trihalomethanes in the water led to a violation of the Safe Water Drinking Act.

City officials called for Flint to stop using the river as its water source and Emergency Manager Darnell Earley said in January 2015 he was hiring a consultant to try to improve water quality.

Flint in January 2015 turned down Detroit's offer to provide water again. City officials said they were working with the state to address the problem.

Environmentalist Erin Brockovich gave her opinion in January 2015, calling for accountability for local, state and federal officials.

A city-hired consultant reported in February 2015 that Flint's water was safe to drink despite sediment and discoloration. The city announced it was meeting guidelines for trihalomethanes.

Despite proposed investments meant to help Flint's water system, the council voted in March to reconnect to Detroit water. However, the city remains under the authority of a state-appointed emergency manager and the switch back to Detroit water does not happen.

A Virginia Tech professor announced claims on Sept. 2, 2015, that the corrosive water was causing lead to leach into the water.

Testing data obtained Sept. 19 shows 10 percent of homes tested in the city saw an increase in lead after the switch to the Flint River. Infants and children in Flint are testing with higher levels of lead in their blood since the switch, a Hurley Medical Center doctor's study shows.

Genesee County officials declared a public health emergency Oct. 1, 2015, urging residents not to drink water straight from the tap.

End of excerpt. See more at link.

The timeline here spans over two years that the citizens of Flint have been drinking and bathing in toxic water while government agencies and politicians continue to play with their lives. This is the epitome of ignorance and criminality. Water is still looked upon as expendable as a topic of political importance and I dare say, human importance.

How many children have already been poisoned by lead intake? How many already made ill by it? How much did these officials know, when did they know it and why didn't they move faster considering the plethora of complaints from people who were already experiencing illness from the tainted water? I also cannot help but wonder were this happening in a more upscale city if this would have been handled differently. It is no secret that water justice and justice in general is exclusive to certain people in this country.

What many fail to understand is that this is a crime. Yet, I can believe not one official will have to deal with any consequences from deliberately poisoning people. We see too many examples of poor and people of color who have to continually be subject to this type of response. It needs to stop and people in positions of power need to go to jail for betraying the trust they swore to uphold and for willingly allowing constituents to suffer all for the almighty dollar. Bottled water alone is not going to solve this problem. The SOURCE of the pollution both in this water and in our politics on the whole must be investigated as well and remedied. We need accountability now.

How many more cities is this happening in unbeknownst to us?

No comments:

Humanitarian Disaster in the Sahara

Algeria has stranded 13,000 migrants in the Sahara forcing them to walk across it in response to EU directive to North Africa to lessen mi...