thought it could save money by poisoning children.
If a fish stinks from the head, then Republican Governor Rick Snyder is a stink-bomb for the ages.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Mum on What He Knew About Flint Water
"...while declaring the state of emergency, Snyder wouldn’t say when he became aware of the lead problem in Flint. The governor—who likes to portray himself as a can-do manager—reportedly grew testy when asked repeatedly about his own awareness."
Flint’s drinking water became contaminated with lead in 2014 after switching its supply source from Lake Huron to the more polluted and corrosive Flint River. The move — a cost-cutting measure while the city was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager — resulted in a spike in lead levels in children, which causes permanent brain damage. A recent preliminary report from a task force appointed by Snyder placed most of the blame on the state Department of Environmental Quality and prompted the Dec. 29 resignation of DEQ Director Dan Wyant.
As is often the case in these sorts of situations, city officials denied that the water was unsafe, although they issued a notice that the levels of of trihaolomethanes (TTHM), a group of four chemicals formed as a byproduct of water disinfection, were too high. It got to the point where avoiding tap water became a way of life in Flint. Meanwhile, in September, Virginia Tech University researchers led by Marc Edwards tested water samples from 300 Flint homes and found high lead levels throughout the city. One sample was as high as 13,200 ppb.
By way of comparison, the EPA considers water with 5,000 ppb lead to be hazardous waste. Not long after that, Flint pediatricians found that the percentage of children with elevated lead in their blood had doubled, from 2.1% before the switch to 4%. By October, Genesee County declared a public health emergency, and the City of Flint developed plans to distribute thousands of water filters. Finally, in October, Flint reconnected to Detroit water.
Ultimately, several Flint residents filed a class action lawsuit, and in December the new mayor, Karen Weaver, declared a state of emergency, declaring that the elevated lead levels had caused irreversible damage to the health of the children of the city. And, finally, long after he should have done it, earlier this week Governor Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency as well. --SOURCE
"...an email from Snyder’s then-chief of staff to a health-department official was turned over as part of a freedom-of-information request. In July 2015, Dennis Muchmore wrote:
I'm frustrated by the water issue in Flint I really don't think people are getting the benefit of the doubt. Now they are concerned and rightfully so about the lead level studies they are receiving. These folks are scared and worried about the health impacts and they are basically getting blown off by us (as a state we're just not sympathizing with their plight)."
To save money, the city began drawing its water from the Flint River, rather than from Detroit’s system, which was deemed too costly. But the river’s water was high in salt, which helped corrode Flint’s aging pipes, leaching lead into the water supply.
The move saved millions, but the problems started becoming apparent almost immediately. The water starting smelling like rotten eggs. Engineers responded to that problem by jacking up the chlorine level, leading to dangerous toxicity. GM discovered that city water was corroding engines at a Flint factory and switched sources.
Then children and others started getting rashes and falling sick. Marc Edwards, a Virginia Tech environmental-engineering professor, found that the water had nearly 900 times the recommend EPA limit for lead particles. As...Alana Semuels noted in a deeply reported feature in July 2015, residents believe the city knew about problems as soon as May 2014.
Yet as late as February 2015, even after tests showed dangerous lead levels, officials were telling residents there was no threat.
How could this happen in America? Children poisoned by their government? You tell me, because I can't fathom how anyone involved in this disaster can live with themselves knowing what their actions have done to countless innocent children's lives.
Expert says Michigan officials changed a Flint lead report to avoid federal action