Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Water Crisis in Flint

By Aiden Harris

On March 22, 2012, the Genesee county announces that the Karegnondi Water Authority will build a pipeline from Lake Huron for the county to use, saving money, and swapping off of the Detroit water system, a month later the city council of Flint Michigan, decides to use Flint’s river water until the new pipeline is built. In these following years Flint City Council tells the general motors plant to stop using highly chlorinated water, because of concerns it could corrode engine parts, but this costs them 400,000 so the company could switch to a neighboring township.

On January 2, 2015, the city warns locals that the water could contain harmful chemicals, like disinfectant byproducts. These chemicals could cause a higher risk of cancer, but the water is still deemed safe to drink by the general public.

On February 26, 2015, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notifies the MDEQ (The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality) that the water has Lead levels of 104 parts per billion of lead. That's seven times higher than the federal action level of 15 parts per billion.

Next month, the council decides to try to switch to Detroit water, but the state appointed emergency manager vetoes this. People file lawsuits against the city, with claims stating that the river water is a health risk.

So then finally, flint switches to Detroit's system, but the residents of flint file a federal action lawsuit against 14 state and city officials, because they knowingly exposed their citizens to harmful water. Fast forward from November 2015, to April 2018, After the MDEQ declares that lead levels in the Flint water supply are no longer a problem, Governor Snyder announces that the free bottled water program, part of a $450 million state and federal aid program, will end.

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