How long has the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the US Environmental Protection Agency known about the deteriorating water supply system and ultimately the leaching of lead into the fresh water for the city of Flint?

Did Governor Rick Snyder know the risks to the people of Flint? If the Governor did know about the growing crisis and the risk to those using water there, as some allege, his behavior would be criminal. The Governor did ask President Obama to declare a state of emergency and he asked for $31 million dollars to be released. The President responded by authorizing $5 million dollars in Federal money but declined to go beyond that.

Some say state and federal officials have been aware of the water problem and the contamination with lead since at least April of last year. If that’s true then those who were reckless with the public health must be held responsible.

Lead is a heavy metal that often builds up in people especially children when consumed from sources such as water. The lead concentrates in fatty tissue most notable the brain and can cause a variety of health issues including interfering with brain function. Lead poisoning can trigger permanent cognitive issues, mental retardation and other issues.

It is time for a complete, transparent and open investigation into how this occurred, what could have been done to prevent the issue and who ultimately may be responsible. It is not a time for media whores like Michael Moore to distract from the real problem and the investigation for his own self-promotion.

Right now we need to come together as a state to help our neighbors in Flint. Once that is addressed we can pursue who may be responsible for putting the community at risk and look into it aggressively.