Just when you think things are starting to look up for the city of Flint, another huge obstacle gets in the way of residents trying to rebuild their lives following the devastating and long-standing water crisis. It has just been announced that Michigan officials have decided to end the bottled water delivery that had been helping local residents.
In an exclusive with the Huffington Post, it’s being reported that the state of Michigan has officially decided to stop the bottled water delivery service that was helping Flint residents following the city-wide water crisis. The decision by the state is propelled by the belief that the water in Flint is now safe and thus, there is no further need for bottled water—residents are not so sure however.
Via Huffington Post:
[Last week], the state of Michigan announced that the quality of Flint’s water was “restored” and the water therefore as safe to drink as in other big cities. It also said the state government would no longer provide bottled water to city residents. Yet some locals aren’t convinced their taps are safe. After all, the government downplayed the contamination four years ago, even after the water had turned brown.
“For the past two years I have repeatedly been asked when I would declare the water safe in Flint and I have always said that no arbitrary decision would be made — that we would let the science take us to that conclusion,” Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) said in a statement. But the decision to discontinue bottled water delivery is contrary to available science, said Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, whose research exposed the spike in Flint kids’ blood lead levels and forced the state to admit its mistake.
Flint is currently replacing the thousands of lead pipes connecting water mains to people’s homes, making it only the third city to undertake wholesale lead pipe removal after Lansing, Michigan and Madison, Wisconsin. But Hanna-Atisha says research has shown that pipe replacement and even street work can temporarily increase the amount of lead coming out of household faucets because vibrations from the construction can dislodge lead particles in the pipes. The work in Flint won’t be finished until later next year at the earliest. “This is a period of increased risk,” said Hanna-Attisha, who is now the director of the Pediatric Public Health Initiative, a joint effort by Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital. A spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality pointed out that the state will continue to provide water filters that are effective for removing lead.
There are clues that this decision is more than a little shady, as Flint Mayor Karen Weaver (D) told the press that she only found out about the decision to cut the bottled water service mere moments before it was announced to the public. The same goes for State Rep. Sheldon Neely (D) who said he received a call about the bottled water cancellation just 30 minutes prior to the governor’s announcement.
It’s been more than 1,400 days since the start of Flint’s water crisis. Many Flint residents have said the city received substandard treatment from the state partly because a majority its residents are African-American.
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