Flint Violated Federal Laws in Water Crisis
The common narrative on the Flint water crisis is that Republicans first poisoned the water just to save a few dollars and then turned their backs on poor residents, especially poor black kids, ignoring their pleas for help. You can hear several variations on this theme on just about any news network. The networks themselves more guilty than not, of exploiting the situation in the hopes of nudging the ratings needle a couple points higher.
The activists and left leaning politicians are worse by ten. Those people are revolting and should be called out for their reprehensible behavior. They are so keen on destroying their political opponents on the right that they will say anything and stop at nothing to do as much damage as possible. They simply don’t care about the truth.
The truth you see, is irrelevant to the shrill progressives who are willing to sacrifice honesty, on the alter of the narrative; Republicans are evil. They are willing to peddle that garbage no matter what lies are told and who gets destroyed in the process. These are the same people by the way that have the audacity to accuse conservatives of being cold hearted.
Well the time has come for the cold hard truth on what happened in Flint, who is ultimately responsible for the problems, who will be cleaning up the mess and who is going to get the bill.
Lets start with this: Flint broke a long standing federal law when it switched off the water supply from Detroit in 2014 and began pumping water from the Flint River to homes and businesses in town. Flint continued breaking federal law every minute the water flowed through the pipes, untreated and without a plan under the federal guidelines put in place in 1991 to prevent the kind of lead contamination that followed. You see because water quality varies across the United States there are a series of federal laws addressing such concerns. The so called lead and copper rules makes perfectly clear that any municipality must address corrosion concerns by treating the water and having a corrosion control plan in place. The city of Flint, for whatever reason, did neither. No the city of Flint ignored federal laws and made the switch anyway.
Why is nobody else telling you this? The short answer is I don’t know but it would appear that there are those among us that are far more interested in political gain from sick kids in Flint than actually telling the truth. I mean the Democrats quickly announced a plan to have a Republican hate fest in Flint on March 2nd loosely disguised as a Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. To be honest it doesn’t sound too presidential to me but rather opportunistic like an ambulance chasing attorney.
It is time to get some things on the record that have been said before but seemed to have gotten lost in the fog of venom flowing from the mouths of midway hawkers like Michael Moore and Jesse Jackson, so let me run through some things again for clarity.
-Lead contamination in water supplies for homes and businesses in Flint only affect a small fraction of those in the city.
-The elevated lead levels have affected all kinds of people; white and black, rich and poor, short and tall.
-Many other cities around the nation have far more critical levels of lead in municipal water systems including: Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Seattle and L.A.
-Several cities in Michigan have far worse contamination issues when it comes to the number of children testing positive for elevated lead levels in their blood than Flint including: Detroit, Holland, Adrian, Muskegon, Jackson and Owosso. There are literally tens of thousands of people with bigger problems.
-The Flint River is not particularly polluted and it’s not contaminated with lead. Furthermore, it was not contaminated with lead in 2014 when the switch occurred from the Detroit water supply to Flint’s water supply.
-The water in some specific areas and instances became contaminated with lead only after passing into the distribution system and becoming toxic because of leaching from old pipes and solder.
-If Flint had not violated federal law it is entirely possible, if not likely that none of this would ever have happened.
-The cost of following the federal laws and treating the water to prevent corrosion of the distribution system and ultimately the leaching of lead would have amounted to about $30,000 annually.
-There is no direct connection to elevated numbers of Legionnaires Disease that broke out after the switch to the Flint River supply.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality was slow to react to residents in Flint when they raised concerns about the water after the switch was made. The Environmental Protection Agency was equally negligent in reacting to the growing chorus of people telling them something was wrong with the water in Flint.
When the DEQ did get involved it began testing water around the city. Between September 29, 2015 and January 15th of this year water was tested in more than 850 homes in the city. 92% tested below 15ppb and 79% below 5ppb. 15ppb is the actionable level set by the EPA. That means 8% of the homes in Flint were possibly above a level of concern. Further testing was and is needed in these areas.
Another important point I haven’t heard elsewhere is this: lead does not enter through skin, so therefore showering, washing hands, using the toilet and even brushing teeth does not cause lead to enter the body.
Legionnaires disease is also being linked by the media and political opportunists to the water issue. Those spreading this myth are of course blaming Governor Snyder and any Republican ever seen on the streets of Flint. I guess they failed to read about the illness and therefore failed to learn it is not spread by drinking water and it cannot be spread from person to person. The truth be damned here too it seems.
The bottom line is this: the problem with the water in Flint began with incompetence at the local level and the breaking of federal law. It was exacerbated by indifference at the state and federal level after the problem was becoming a concern to residents all over Flint.
What is happening now is a disgusting perversion of the truth by politicians and activists in pursuit of scoring political points. Governor Rick Snyder did not cause the problem with the water pipes in Flint. Many of the pipes in question were put in long before he was even born. Governor Snyder didn’t violate federal law by circumventing the rules put in place to prevent such a problem. That failure lies solely with the city of Flint and those in charge of the municipal water system.
Now there are those trying to score political points by offering huge sums of money to the city. First out with a huge payoff offer at taxpayer expense were both Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters. Their offer of $600 Million dollars was breathtaking and indefensible I thought. Not to be outdone however, Republican Candace Miller is proposing a $1 Billion dollar pay off which was flat out stunning. How does she propose we cover the cost of the hundreds or thousands of other cities around the state and around the nation facing aging water pipes and crumbling infrastructure? Maybe Miller and Bernie Sanders can plant more of those magic trees that free stuff grows on. I had been wondering who Bern might consider for a running mate. Well, now I know.
I am not sure where this crisis in Flint leads but I know the only way to come to a proper resolution is for everyone to start being honest and stop trying to score cheap political points.