The Flint, Michigan Water Crisis may be the most alarming example we have of the U.S. government neglecting both its people and the responsibility of doing so so we’ve had in years.
As many now know, Flint used to get their water directly from Detroit. Due to a financial strain, emergency managers that were overseen by Gov. Rick Snyder decided to get the city’s water supply from the closer, but extremely contaminated, Flint River. This led to multiple instances of lead poisoning and people’s drinking water far exceeding the legal limit of contaminants.
For the past couple of weeks, an investigative panel put together by the governor’s office following public scrutiny has interviewed all of the parties responsible, ranging from the emergency managers directly responsible to the governor that mishandled the aftermath. That investigative panel has now found the state of Michigan wholly responsible for the Flint Water Crisis – but that’s not surprising to anyone at this point.
Read an excerpt from the report below, via NewsOne:
The Flint water crisis is a story of government failure, intransigence,unpreparedness, delay,inaction, and environmental injustice. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality(MDEQ) failed in its fundamental responsibility to effectively enforce drinking water regulations.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) failed to adequately and promptly act to protect public health. Both agencies, but principally the MDEQ, stubbornly worked to discredit and dismiss others’ attempts to bring the issues of unsafe water, lead contamination, and increased cases of Legionellosis (Legionnaires’ disease) to light. With the City of Flint under emergency management, the Flint Water Department rushed unprepared into fulltime operation of the Flint Water Treatment Plant, drawing water from a highly corrosive source without the use of corrosion control.
The Flint Water Crisis reveals a glance into the dark side of politics. The side where no one claims any ownership of their blatant mistakes until it’s too late. It’s not surprising that no one would want a catastrophe of this level to be considered wholly their responsibility. That would be career suicide.
But Flint and Michigan officials have gone on the record on multiple occasions delegating responsibility and playing hot potato with the blame as if we didn’t all know pretty much everyone involved either played an active role in the decision or didn’t do nearly enough to fix the problem once it was called out.
Hopefully this crisis will be viewed as as an example for all. An example of how, no matter the financial strain, certain resources can’t be compromised on, such as water purity. Also, an example of how taking too much time to see who becomes the scapegoat – if one even appears – can completely backfire and take everyone down in one fell swoop.
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