Flint, Michigan has followed in *Detroit’s footsteps, attacking residents’ access to one of the two most important elements required for living: clean water (the other is air). Two city managers appointed by Gov. Snyder colluded to deprive 100,000 people of access to Great Lakes water via the Detroit Water Authority by switching to the Flint River, a salty source which has caused pipe corrosion and has resulted in lead poisoning in young children and health issues across the general population. The Ford factory also soon learned that Flint River water was ruining its equipment:
One of the most telling moments in this saga was when General Motors disconnected from the Flint River because the water was ruining its machinery, leaving some to wonder — if it was doing that to machines, what was it doing to humans?
On the Dr Boyce Watkins show, Roosevelt Mitchell III and Vanessa Lynn discuss the horrific situation Flint is confronting and residents’ hopes that the federal government will step in with a solution to this crisis.
…the Genesee County health department declared a public health emergency, recommending that people not drink the water unless it has been filtered and tested to rule out elevated levels of lead. More steps will be announced Friday.
County Commissioner Brenda Clack told residents that infants and children should not use the water coming from the taps in the city of Flint.
“Individuals who have respiratory conditions should not use the water, pregnant women should not use the water – it’s imperative that they not use the water,” she urged.
However, it is unclear what people were expected to drink and cook with. Early on, FEMA stepped in to provide some bottled water – but only a few thousand liters … General Motors and local non-profits donated to buy filters – but only for 5,000 residents. It remains unclear today how close the city government has come to fulfilling the promise made in October to provide filters for all homes and businesses, and when a source of clean water will be available again.
The Flint Water Board allowed the switch to be made without requiring adequate testing to ensure that residents’ health would not be compromised.
Added later in the day: Detroit Free Press reports that Gov. Snyder, in a move calculated to shift the blame away from himself, called for the resignation of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Director Dan Wyant, which was tendered today.
*In April 2015, the City of Detroit began shutting off the water for 40% of the city’s residents after giving 10 days’ advance notice.