“We thank Governor Snyder and Mayor Walling for finally addressing the public health crisis that has been plaguing Flint residents since an emergency manager switched their drinking water source from DWSD to the Flint River in April 2014.
“We applaud Flint residents like Melissa Mays of the community group Water You Fighting For, for tirelessly working to raise awareness about Flint’s water crisis. Without the work of Mays and the other dedicated residents over the past year and a half, the switch back to a safe drinking water supply would not be happening today.
“Unfortunately the switch may come too late for some Flint children who will suffer a lifetime of consequences from having been poisoned by the high levels of lead in Flint’s drinking water. We can only hope that Governor Snyder and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) learn from this tragedy and moving forward implement the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead and Copper Rule to it’s fullest extent.
“When Flint switched from DWSD to the Flint River for the city’s drinking water it increased the amount of chemicals used to treat the water and failed to put in place the proper corrosion controls, resulting in water that contains high levels of TTHMs, lead, copper and other heavy metals. Soon after the switch, Flint residents began reporting water that was brown or greenish-blue and symptoms including hair loss and rashes. What’s even worse, this water came at a high price as water rates were among the highest in the country before a judge ordered a rate reduction. Sadly, the DEQ, Governor Snyder and Mayor Walling turned a blind eye and let this problem persist for months.
“Michigan’s lawmakers were forced to address this public health crisis when recent water tests conducted by Virginia Tech revealed disturbingly high lead levels in Flint tap water, and Mona Hanna-Attisha, a researcher at Flint’s Hurley Medical Center, reported increased blood lead levels in Flint’s children.
“Water is a human right and all people deserve access to safe, affordable water and sanitation. Today we celebrate with the residents of Flint as they regain this basic human right.”
Lynna Kaucheck, Food & Water Watch, (586) 556-8805