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Deception on tap?: Dirty water in Flint Michigan

buzzz worthy. . .

By Mona Austin

Residents of Flint, MI have been subject to drinking water of third world quality. Over 500 residents claim they are suffering health issues from consuming contaminated water. Pollution from the Flint River, the source of the city's water supply has corroded pipes and causing lead and poisonous metals to leak into the tap water throughout the predominantly Black, low income  city.  There have been protests, law suits and plenty of press attention about the unsafe water conditions, yet The pressure of national public outcry seems to be the only thing that caused action the various levels of the government to work towards a swift remedy to the problem.  Local and state government officials shifted responsibility over the water crisis  before national media attention forced the city to clean up its act.

How did Flint get here?

No one wants to accept the blame for this extreme example of "passing the buck," which could potentially  cost millions of people their lives. Ten deaths have been linked to poisoned water. The lead levels in the bloodstreams primarily of black children has increased to  4%.  The National Guard has set up stations to issue cases of bottled water and filters. In addition to contamination concerns, many residents are refusing to pay their water bill.

Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday in a State of the State address  apologized to residents and accepted some accountability for not responding more quickly.  Snyder said in the interest of being "transparent" he would release over 200 pages of back logged email complaints, some of which were apparently not taken seriously before this public health threat. The internal communications serve as proof that state and local officials were aware of the severity of the problem or several years. Protestors have called for Snyder's resignation.

The Flint water crisis is  an issue that should not go unpunished, but pinpointing who is to blame won't be clear cut.

So far, federal funds have been approved to help accelerate getting to the bottom of the cause of the contamination and correct it.