You can’t make this stuff up. You really can’t.
The families of Flint, Michigan have been dealing with poisoned water for nearly three years. The poor residents of the city were basically thrown under the bus by the state of Michigan when it needed to save a little money.
It saved that money by sending water from the dirty Flint River into the homes of the people. Flint is an economically struggling community with a predominantly black demographic.
Some might call them easy targets.
The city needed to make up for a huge deficit, and it did that by letting the children and families in Flint drink from the river while they worked on a better water source.
The water from the Flint River has been polluted for decades, and has long been known to be unsafe. It was also well known that there was lead in the pipes that brought the water from the river, but the city chose not to treat the water with an anti-corrosive agent. It would have cost too much money to treat it.
Lead flowed into the homes in Flint. The children drank it. The children got sick. They were poisoned. They suffered developmental delays and brain damage. It took a dedicated doctor to finally prove to the government that the families were being poisoned.
Finally, some relief came to the people of Flint. It took a lot of public embarrassment before the government of either the state of the nation stepped up, but the people were finally given a break. They were given free water filters, and a 65 percent break on the cost of the water. They were given bottled water.
Of course, one might say that it still kind of sucked to have to pay 35 percent of the cost for water that was making the families sick. Still, at least someone was finally paying attention.
Now, though, the government has decided to end that subsidy. Flint residents will now have to pay the full cost of the water that they still can’t safely drink.
A spokesperson for Gov. Rick Snyder says that the state will still give out those water filters. even though she’s now claiming that the water is safe. She said that they’ll give out the filters:
to assure residents that the water is safe for consumption even as lead service line replacement is underway.”
Not everyone is happy about the situation, naturally. Tim Monahan is a Flint resident who suffered a terrible bout of Legionnaire’s disease which was most likely linked to the water crisis. He said:
They want to make it look like they’ve resolved this thing, that it’s fixed.It’s been three years, and we still can’t drink the water.”
Still, Monahan and his neighbors will have to foot the bill for the poison that comes flowing through their taps.
You have to wonder where all those promise to “keep Americans safe” are right now.
This doesn’t seem like a great time to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency, does it?
Featured image via YouTube Screengrab.