The Washington Post reports that the National Guard has been commissioned to hand out water to residents of Flint, MI after the city has been in a state of emergency over its tainted water.
It is suspected that the city of almost 100,000 has been using water contaminated with lead as early as February 2015. There’s also evidence showing that the state was aware of the water crisis long before it declared a state of emergency and made its residents aware of the issue.
The town is known for its largely Black and disenfranchised population; many feel that the water crisis is only another example of the local government’s disregard for residents’ health and livelihood:
For Gladyes Williamson, 61, a former worker at the Buick engine plant in Flint, apologies, free water and promises are meaningless. She, like many people in this city with a well-documented history of chronic unemployment and blight, says she believes they are the collateral damage of a coverup. She stood outside city hall Monday lugging a jug half-filled with orange water she says has been flowing out of her tap all summer.
“We are expendable,” she says.
The US Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency is looking into the scandal, and a top official of Michigan’s Environmental Quality Department has stepped down from his role. The agency has also reverted the area’s water supply.
However, local children have already displayed signs of lead poisoning, a condition that can have irreparable damage on their physical and mental health. Residents are also frustrated by the hassle they’ve now been tasked with in using and gaining access to such a limited supply of safe water for daily life, as it has complicated simple activities like having meals, showering and commuting to work.
Marc Edwards, a national expert on water quality from Virginia Tech that has been testing the city’s water says that fixing the corrosion in the city’s water system could cost Flint as much as $20 to $200 million while building a new system all together could cost as much as $1.5 billion.
Read the full story at the Washington Post.
[SOURCE: Washington Post]