According to a new report by The Detroit News, lame-duck Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is adding insult to injury concerning the Flint water crisis. Snyder’s actions caused outrage when his administration declared that the free bottled water provided to homes affected by the water crisis would cease once the current supply runs out.
“Preliminary data from early 2018 testing showed 90 percent of high-risk Flint water sites at or below 4 part per billion of lead, according to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. If results hold true through end of June, it would be the fourth consecutive six-month period levels have tested below the federal action level of 15 parts per billion.
As a result, the state plans to close four remaining water bottle distribution centers when supplies are exhausted, which could happen within the next week. Water filters and cartridges will remain available at Flint City Hall.”
The program was enormously popular, especially considering that in the aftermath of the crisis, clean water is something the people of Flint don’t exactly trust their government to provide. So it’s a hard pill to swallow to ask residents to immediately trust the government that their water lead levels are safe – just because they tell them they are.
According to Vox, the crisis began in a strange place:
“The Flint water crisis started with a bankrupt city trying to save money. It ended with the declaration of a federal state of emergency after as many as 8,000 children were exposed to a poisonous element that will have lifelong effects on their brain and nervous systems.”
In an effort to save $21 million by buying water from Detroit, city officials decided to use water from the Flint River, the only problems being:
- The water was corrosive.
- Flint didn’t properly treat the pipes, leading the corrosive water to leech poisons from the pipes into the water.
- City officials didn’t properly check or otherwise conduct testing on the water.
Governor Rick Snyder’s termination of the water bottle program seems to some like a slap in the face from a governor on his way out, to residents that have little reason to trust a government that so soundly failed them.
Image by Michigan Municipal League via Flickr/CC-By-ND-2.0.