Tag: flint

The Flint Fiasco

 
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National Guard distributes bottled water in downtown Flint, January 23. Linda Parton / Shutterstock.com

The details of the Flint, MI, water scandal are all too well known to require more than a brief summary. For many years, Flint obtained its water service from the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, which acquired its supply through both Lake Huron and the Detroit River. But with Flint in receivership since 2011, its city council decided to switch its water service to the Karegnondi Water Authority, which was in the process of constructing a pipeline to carry water to Flint from Lake Huron. Once Detroit realized that it could not keep the Flint account, it terminated its contract with Flint on 12 months notice in April 2014. Unfortunately, the KWA water pipeline was not scheduled for completion until sometime in 2016 and the Flint River was identified as an interim water source. The water from the Flint River contained many more impurities than the Detroit water. These chemicals leached the lead out of aging pipes, which worked itself into the water supply.

Deadly Waters

 

flint-water-crisis-lead-michiganI’ve spent the morning trying to understand the chronology of Flint water crisis. From what I can tell, this seems to be an accurate and up-to-date account. But I’m sure some of you are following this more closely than I’ve been, so please tell me if any part of it is incorrect.

It seems to me that unless the ACLU actually forged that March 7, 2014, e-mail from Darnell Earley to the Detroit Water and Sewer Company, which I highly doubt, they’re correct: The claim that Detroit cut off Flint’s water supply is a lie. And obviously so.

The impression suggested by this entire story is one of profound, systemic incompetence. The Snyder Administration appears to have been derelict; the Flint City Council and Mayor Walling appear to have been derelict; the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality was useless, and so was the EPA.