flint water crisis

Who were the ones most vulnerable to lead poisoning in the city of Flint?

The children.

With that, Bilal Tawwab, the superintendent of the Flint Community School District (FCSD), joined Stateside's live show in Flint to talk about the state of the school district.

It's been three years since Flint's ill-fated switch to the Flint River as its' drinking water source.

Then-Mayor Dayne Walling pushed the button that ended 50 years of getting Detroit water.

The Flint water crisis brought a steady stream of big names to Genesee County. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, officials from Lansing and the EPA, all visited the city.

But they flew in and out. They were not living day in and day out with water that wasn't safe to drink. 

Stateside’s Cynthia Canty spoke with two different Flint residents whose families lived through the crisis, with two different outcomes: one family stayed, and one family made the tough choice to leave Flint.

When it comes to the Flint water crisis, there has been plenty of blame to go around.

In addition to the human errors and incompetence from the likes of the Snyder administration, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the EPA, and a series of unelected emergency managers, many have pointed fingers at another culprit: the Flint River itself.

Three years ago today, the city of Flint switched to the Flint River for its drinking water. We all know how that story goes.

So now, three years later, how has what happened in Flint changed the way we look at our drinking water?

How much do you trust state government and its ability to do its job?

People in Flint who have been getting the state to help pay their water bills appear to be losing that help.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver met with Governor Snyder on Tuesday. She was unable to get him to budge from the decision to put an early end to the state-funded subsidy program that helped people pay for the water they can't safely drink without a filter.

Plenty of attention has been paid to the human toll of the Flint water crisis and the city's efforts to recover. But what about the business side of things and the city's effort to rebuild the economy?

Every year, the EPA awards over $4 billion in grants and other means of assistance.

Within hours of President Trump taking the oath of office, an email went out to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials ordering them to freeze all contract and grant awards, effective immediately.

That leaves many wondering how that could affect federal aid to Flint, especially as the U.S. Senate approved $170 million to address the lead in Flint’s drinking water last month.

Attorney General Bill Schuette today unveiled a new batch of criminal charges in the Flint water disaster.

Charged today are former Flint emergency managers Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose, along with Howard Croft, former director of Public Works in Flint, and Daugherty Johnson, former utilities director of Flint.

This brings the total number of people charged by Schuette to 13.

Wayne State University Law professor and former federal prosecutor Peter Henning joined Stateside today to break down the charges.

 

In April 2014, the fateful decision was made to change Flint's drinking water source to the Flint River.

That led to what is known world-wide as the Flint water disaster.

But it took activist citizens like Lee Anne Walters working with Virginia Tech engineer Marc Edwards to rip apart layers of denial and stonewalling from state and Environmental Protection Agency officials.
 
In 2001, Edwards proved that people in Washington D.C. were drinking lead-poisoned water after the city changed water treatment chemicals. So, when Walters and other worried Flint residents called, he answered.
 
They joined us today, a year after the city officially declared a state of emergency.

A year ago, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver declared a state of emergency in the city. Now, officials say the water is improving, but it’s still not safe to drink without a filter.

The water crisis has forced some people to make tough choices.

Dana Banks and her husband Charles were both born and raised in Flint, and they still have a lot of family here. Their church is here. Their house, right near downtown, is the first home they bought together.

New test results show lead levels in Kalamazoo’s water system have dropped.

The federal limit for lead in water is 15 parts per billion. Last time the city tested, in 2014, Kalamazoo’s lead level was 13 parts per billion. Now it's down to 4 ppb.

13 ppb was close enough to worry Shannan Deater, Kalamazoo’s Environmental Services Programs Manager. She says some of the higher lead results in 2014 weren’t really a good, representative sample. 

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