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MichiganA Governor Rick Snyder had asked the president to declare both an emergency and an expedited major disaster in the county where the city of Flint has been dealing with the fallout from lead-contaminated drinking water. Flint may have finally reconnected to Detroit’s water infrastructure, but the damage done to its population by the ill-advised connection to the Flint River is irreversible. In 2011, one of the first actions of the Snyder administration and the Republican-controlled Michigan legislature was to pass Public Act 4 (PA 4), which strengthened the state’s controversial emergency manager (EM) law. But PA 4 went a step further by allowing EMs to dissolve hard-won collective bargaining agreements between public sector unions and the state, cut pensions, and unilaterally decide to privatize public assets.
While Snyder maintains the EM laws are necessary to save financially-insolvent municipalities from themselves, it’s worth noting that Snyder only enforces the laws in Democratic-voting, predominantly-black communities, even though some white, Republican-leaning cities and towns are in equally dire financial straits. For example, in Handy and Livingston counties, Cindy Denby and Bill Rogers – two Republican state representatives hailing from those districts, respectively – took on millions in debt to build expensive housing developments.
In 2014, Flint’s EM, Darnell Earley, singlehandedly made the decision to switch Flint’s water source from treated Lake Huron water to the Flint River. Limbrinidou cited studies that showed lead can cause developmental problems in children and fetuses.
According to Limbrinidou, many people still erroneously believe that the only risk of lead exposure in the household is from lead paint and dust. Homes built before 1986 have lead-bearing components, but even homes built from 1987 to 2014 can have lead-bearing brass in their plumbing infrastructure (lead-bearing brass was finally banned last year).
Flint’s EM switched the city’s water source to the Flint River in order to save an estimated $5 million over two years.
Flint was under EM rule from 2011 to April 2015, so the switching over of water systems for financial reasons rests squarely on those two men's shoulders. Flint mayoral candidate Karen Weaver has asked state and federal officials to begin a formal investigation into why Flint’s EM and local government was allowed to greenlight pumping water into Flint homes without undergoing rigorous tests for dangerous toxins. More information about text formatsPlain textNo HTML tags allowed.Lines and paragraphs break automatically. A week ago, on April 17, 400 East Africans drowned in the Mediterranean Sea after their boat capsized on the way to Italy – and when the numbers get this big, we forget that they are individual lives being lost, like this, every day. In recent weeks, thousands of people marched and were arrested on the steps of the Capitol demanding that the people’s voice be heard: that we the people, not money, be the driving force of our government. What began in Zuccotti Park and then spread across North America was a major contributor to the Bernie Sanders phenomenon that has forced leftwing ideas into the U.S. Without adequate access to capital, neighborhoods, individuals, families, small businesses, organizations, and nonprofits cannot fully succeed. This past week, thousands of people marched and were arrested on the steps of the Capitol demanding that the people’s voice be heard: that we the people, not money, be the driving force of our government. As an Economic Hit Man, I helped forge this global economy that is based on legalized crimes – where 62 individuals have as much wealth as half the world’s population, and a handful of super-rich control governments around the globe. Wall Street Insiders who trade on confidential information unavailable to small investors don’t improve the productivity of financial markets. The ill-advised decision to connect the city's water infrastructure to the Flint River, a dumping ground for car parts and refrigerators, put thousands at risk.
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The federal emergency declaration will cover much of the cost for clean water to the largely poor and black city.
President Barack Obama’s response releases up to $5 million and authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate relief efforts. Many residents of Flint, a predominantly African-American city, complained about their water’s odor, taste and color shortly after the water-supply switch.
Weaver announced the declaration Monday night and said the move intends to help raise awareness of continuing problems. The Hurley Medical Center, in Flint, released a study in September that confirmed what many Flint parents had feared: The proportion of infants and children with above-average levels of lead in their blood has nearly doubled since the city switched from the Detroit water system to using the Flint River as its water source, in 2014.
President Obama has just given American another reason to say why he’s a president that takes care of business. Michigan resident and assistant store manager Patrick Peoples arranged a water fundraiser for Flint, MI.
The people of Flint began to complain about the taste, smell, and yellowish color of the water. On a personal note, I am married to my husband Ed, who owns a barbecue food truck called Pig Out BBQ. Flint's water has been contaminated since the city switched its water supply source in 2014, but Snyder didn't declare a state of emergency until last week, when blood tests found 43 children with elevated lead levels. Exposure to lead can cause behavioral problems and learning disabilities in young children.
Snyder has been fighting calls for his resignation after he said he didn't realize the severity of the water problem until last October.


Kildee said he spoke with President Barack Obama as Congress gathered Tuesday night for Obama's State of the Union address. If Michiganders are looking for someone to blame for the travesty in Flint, they need look no further than Governor Rick Snyder and the emergency manager Snyder appointed who unilaterally made a decision that put thousands of children and adults at serious risk. To clarify, the EM law effectively erases the sovereignty of local governments by installing a state-appointed autocrat whose decisions can override city councils and mayors. PA 4 was so unpopular that the state’s unions successfully banded together, organized a ballot referendum to abolish the law, and got rid of it by a 52 to 48 margin. The 2010 Census data shows that just 14.2 percent of Michigan’s residents are black – yet 80 percent of Michigan’s black residents have lived under an EM while Snyder has been governor. After realizing these bad financial decisions put their lily-white districts at risk of being taken over by an EM, Denby and Rogers co-sponsored a bill that would allow a bailout of their towns with state tax dollars should insolvency be declared.
As the New York Times reported, residents had long been using the Flint River as a dumping ground for “car parts, grocery carts, and refrigerators.” And not surprisingly, lab results of Flint River water samples showed an elevated blood lead level in the city’s children.
Yanna Lambrinidou, an adjunct science professor at Virginia Tech, said that lead was one of the most heavily-studied chemicals in terms of its effect on the human body, and that Flint residents have a right to be concerned about the elevated levels of lead in their water. Lead has been known to cause miscarriages and stillbirths for pregnant women, and even adults who ingest lead may suffer from reproductive damage, hypertension, kidney problems and other health issues. Given the already-pronounced danger of lead exposure for Flint residents living in older homes, the damage caused by residents ingesting Flint River water over the last 18 months could be astronomical. But after the public health fiasco that unfolded in Flint, the state will end up paying at least $10.6 million when all is said and done. Current Mayor Dayne Walling, who initially supported the switch, has come under fire for handling the water crisis in a “casual, callous, and irresponsible” manner. 1 of next year, new commercial and residential buildings here up to 10 stories high must install rooftop solar systems for heat or electricity – making San Francisco the first major U.S.
If Michiganders are looking for someone to blame for the travesty in Flint, they need look no further than Governor Rick Snyder and the emergency manager Snyder appointed who unilaterally made a decision that put thousands of children and adults at serious risk.Emergency Management Enforces InequalityIn 2011, one of the first actions of the Snyder administration and the Republican-controlled Michigan legislature was to pass Public Act 4 (PA 4), which strengthened the state’s controversial emergency manager (EM) law. Robert Gibson is an independent journalist and a co-founder of the anti-austerity group US Uncut. This action will cover 75 percent of the costs of providing clean water, filters and other items to residents. Rick Snyder’s appeal for a disaster declaration, which would have allocated more federal funds and resources. In 2014, officials switched the city’s water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River to save money.
Critics say that state officials knew for months that the water supply was unsafe before Snyder declared a state of emergency and sought help from Washington. She said damage to children caused by lead exposure is irreversible and the city will need to spend more on special education and mental health services as a result.
In fact, according to the World Health Organization, “lead affects children’s brain development resulting in reduced intelligence quotient (IQ), behavioral changes such as shortening of attention span and increased antisocial behavior, and reduced educational attainment. Please be sure to open and click your first newsletter so we can confirm your subscription. Rick Snyder put in a request to the President on Friday due to his negligence in handling the water problem. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been the only presidential candidate so far to speak on his disappointment with Snyder’s actions.
Snyder’s administration and his refusal to take responsibility, families will suffer from lead poisoning for the rest of their lives.
Rick Snyder called out the National Guard on Tuesday night to distribute bottled water and filters in Flint, where the tap water is contaminated with lead. Just a month later, Snyder signed an entirely new EM bill into law, thumbing his nose at democracy.
Effectively, this means that the EM law creates two governments – sovereign ones for white, Republican-voting towns, and banana republics for majority-black communities, with a state-appointed dictator to make financial decisions on their behalf. The Lead and Copper Rule (LCR), a federal regulation issued in 1991, was put in place to reduce the harm of lead poisoning inside the home. ACLU of Michigan executive director Kary Moss claimed the crisis in Flint may have been averted were it not for the “short-sighted” decision of then-EM Darnell Earley to make the switch – and if that decision hadn’t been defended by his successor, Jerry Ambrose.
Snyder, and were given orders to prioritize cheapskate solutions that would cost the city less money no matter the health consequences, Snyder must also share some of the blame for what happened in Flint. Imagine if, instead of a state-appointed czar becoming the sole decider about a city's water supply, Flint's residents had been able to vote on whether or not to switch to a new water source.
To clarify, the EM law effectively erases the sovereignty of local governments by installing a state-appointed autocrat whose decisions can override city councils and mayors.But PA 4 went a step further by allowing EMs to dissolve hard-won collective bargaining agreements between public sector unions and the state, cut pensions, and unilaterally decide to privatize public assets.
Under federal law, only catastrophes caused by natural disasters are eligible for a disaster declaration, compared with the lower-level federal emergency declaration. The more-polluted river water, treated at the Flint water-treatment plant, turned out to be corrosive to the city’s pipes and caused toxic levels of lead to seep into drinking water.


Lead exposure also causes anemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs. The Flint River was supposed to be an interim source until the city could join a new system getting water from Lake Huron. Allegedly, government officials ignored the harmful water source that exposed nearly everyone in the city to lead poisoning and other contaminants. Before the emergency declaration, many businesses and residents of Michigan attempted to pitch in and donate water to Flint, MI. This problem started back in April 2014 when apparently Flint switched water sources to save money. The outcome may have been very different, and thousands of children and adults could have been saved from lead exposure. Flint's crisis should serve as a warning to other cities and states – if an entire population is impacted by a decision, then they should be the ones who decide. Just a month later, Snyder signed an entirely new EM bill into law, thumbing his nose at democracy.While Snyder maintains the EM laws are necessary to save financially-insolvent municipalities from themselves, it’s worth noting that Snyder only enforces the laws in Democratic-voting, predominantly-black communities, even though some white, Republican-leaning cities and towns are in equally dire financial straits. However, the water was saltier and flowed through pipes that were corroded thus pulling lead into the system. Now, so much information is available to concerned moms in blighted, low-income towns, allowing them to bypass obtuse local government, contact activists like Erin Brockovich, call the EPA, and even reach out to Virginia scientists for help.
Effectively, this means that the EM law creates two governments — sovereign ones for white, Republican-voting towns, and banana republics for majority-black communities, with a state-appointed dictator to make financial decisions on their behalf. And that’s ultimately what led to the water crisis that poisoned Flint’s population.“Irreversible” Damage from Lead in WaterIn 2014, Flint’s EM, Darnell Earley, singlehandedly made the decision to switch Flint’s water source from treated Lake Huron water to the Flint River. Yanna Lambrinidou, an adjunct professor of science and technology studies at Virginia Tech, said that lead was one of the most heavily-studied chemicals in terms of its effect on the human body, and that Flint residents have a right to be concerned about the elevated levels of lead in their water.“Most buildings today in the United States have lead-bearing plumbing components that can cause risk to human health,” Lambrinidou said. Either his legal counsel, top advisors, press secretary and chief of staff don’t talk to him, or he brushed it all off. The LCR states that no amount of lead in water is safe for human consumption.According to Lambrinidou, many people still erroneously believe that the only risk of lead exposure in the household is from lead paint and dust.
Wurfel told the paper he had since apologized.According to the emails Snyder initially released in January, his chief of staff, Dennis Muchmore, was aware of the Flint situation by July 2015. Given the already-pronounced danger of lead exposure for Flint residents living in older homes, the damage caused by residents ingesting Flint River water over the last 18 months could be astronomical.The Unnecessarily High Cost of Switching Water SourcesFlint’s EM switched the city’s water source to the Flint River in order to save an estimated $5 million over two years. ACLU of Michigan executive director Kary Moss claimed the crisis in Flint may have been averted were it not for the “short-sighted” decision of then-EM Darnell Earley to make the switch — and if that decision hadn’t been defended by his successor, Jerry Ambrose.Flint was under EM rule from 2011 to April 2015, so the switching over of water systems for financial reasons rests squarely on those two men's shoulders. While the company pumps 200 gallons a minute from Michigan water resources for a small fee and $13 million in tax breaks, Flint residents are paying some of the highest water rates in the nation for poisoned water.Now, Nestle is making even more money from the residents of Michigan so they can drink their own water. Snyder, and were given orders to prioritize cheapskate solutions that would cost the city less money no matter the health consequences, Snyder must also share some of the blame for what happened in Flint.Flint mayoral candidate Karen Weaver has asked state and federal officials to begin a formal investigation into why Flint’s EM and local government was allowed to greenlight pumping water into Flint homes without undergoing rigorous tests for dangerous toxins. When the Flint crisis finally came to national attention and Snyder came under fire, the governor hired two PR firms to polish his tarnished image.
Current Mayor Dayne Walling, who initially supported the switch, has come under fire for handling the water crisis in a “casual, callous, and irresponsible” manner.As Weaver points out, Flint's local elected officials are partially to blame. One PR consultant is Bill Nowling, now a senior partner at Finn Partners (a New York firm with offices in Detroit), who was a spokesman for Snyder’s 2010 campaign and handled PR for former Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. The other firm, Mercury, has no offices in Michigan, but Agen’s wife, Bettina Inclan Agen, is a senior vice president.
But public outrage only grew, fueled in part by new Flint Mayor Karen Weaver who has relentlessly kept the pressure on the Snyder administration to fix Flint’s problems. Many see this as a huge conflict of interest, but again, there is no law against that in Michigan. She was a consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and a contract consultant for companies like IBM, BP, Marathon Oil, Pfizer, and Steelcase, among others. She is a writer and former editor at TriplePundit and a social media blog fellow at The Story of Stuff Project.
She has contributed to In Good Company (Vault's CSR blog), Evolved Employer, The Glass Hammer, EcoLocalizer and CSRwire.
She is a volunteer at the West Michigan Environmental Action Council and lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Follow Me Send to Email Address Your Name Your Email Address Cancel Post was not sent - check your email addresses!



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