Thursday, January 7, 2016

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE BUT NOT A DROP SAFE TO DRINK



WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE,
 BUT NOT A DROP SAFE TO DRINK



 FLINT, MI-- BREAKING NEWS: SNYDER MEETS WITH FLINT MAYOR and describes the discussion as informative, cooperative and promises to continue to take steps in resolving the problem. And not just this issue, but moving Flint forward overall.
Flint Mayor declares "A great day for Flint."

Just when I thought it was safe to enter the waters of Presidential politics and the subject of income inequality, Governor Snyder and Flint, Michigan "Toxic Water Crisis" now grabs national attention.


When Did I Know? I think I answered that.



The crisis began over a year ago when the Flint City Emergency Manager took a cost cutting measure by switching Flint's drinking water from Great Lake Huron to that of the Flint River. For decades the river has been subject to industrial pollution. This is a "no-brainer" to anyone with even a basic understanding of the environment.
The logical question to follow is why did this happen?

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder who is a self-described "nerd with the numbers" appointed an Emergency City Manager who then made the bonehead move to "switch" the basic water supply from the "fresh waters" of Lake Huron to that of the Flint River. The underlying reason is the typical Republican party line to reduce the cost of government.

Was this cost cutting move legal?

Absolutely Not. Federal Environmental Law requires that local community especially in cities with aging infrastructure to not only test the source of the new water supply but to add necessary chemical treatment to the water due to the effect on aging, corrosive lead water pipes. The estimated cost of prevention is $1.00 per 4,000 gallons of water. Experts now report that to properly correct the problem it will cost the City 1,000 times that amount. (Today it is estimated to cost $1.5 Billion).

The gross negligence and deliberate violation of Federal EPA Law is Absolutely Unforgivable. This toxic water crisis has been known since 2014. Yet both State and local officials outright deceived the public, laughed at those parents who stood before them pleading for their children now poisoned with a toxic water supply. The citizens of Flint armed with their own test results and expert opinion were labeled as "liars."

The Truth is that this Republican-based ideology forced upon the people of Flint and Genesee County a cost-cutting move. The negligent and illegal "switch" resulted in a spike in lead levels in children, which causes permanent brain damage. It is evident in the children now suffering learning disabilities where prior to the crime did not exist.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver had the audacity to publicize the safety of the water by drinking a sample on live television.

Of course one of the first actions taken by the State was to "form a task force" to study the problem and no doubt develop a plan to cover-up the crime and "limit the damage." This strategy is the prevalent action by both government and corporate conspirators where in the past may have worked. 

What Action did the State and Governor take? 

In order to acknowledge the severity of a potential problem, when the "preliminary report" from a "task force" appointed by the Governor was released, Snyder bravely came forward to take action. 

Governor Rick Snyder placed most of the blame on the State Department of Environmental Quality prompting the resignation of Director Dan Wyant.

When I heard the first radio report regarding DEQ director, the broadcaster followed by announcing "the resignation of a spokesperson." I had to chuckle as in every similar press release it is always an unnamed spokesperson. Will this be the end of identifying those culpable and corrective action producing a positive affect? I do not believe so. While composing this piece I took a moment to research the Erin Brockovich class action lawsuit.

What I learned is quite ominous. Pacific Gas & Light settled with the victims of Hinkley, California for a record $333 million fifteen years ago. Since that time Hinkley is now deemed a "ghost town."

How do we replace the corrosive water pipes and most important, how does one repair the lives of those adversely affected?

It will be a huge undertaking lasting several years. For the victims, recovery will be long and painful toward recovery. The medical cost will be in the millions.

Who pays?

I believe you can fill in the blank _________.



Weary tales can come true, it can happen to you

when you're a Republican at heart.


POSTSCRIPT: If the State cannot adequately investigate this case for any possible criminal action, the US Congress should step in.


Can YOU imagine if this were Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham, Traverse City, Charlevoix, Grosse Pointe or heaven forbid Grand Rapids?



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