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Flint Water Crisis Case Study

Decent Essays
What the Flint?

THE START:
The crisis began approximately two years ago when the city switched their water from a treated supply sourced from Detroit to the local Flint River in order to save the city money. Approximately 40% of Flint’s residents are considered to be living in poverty according to the US Census. Flint’s financial crisis has been so extensive that the Flint was under a state of financial emergency from 2011-2015.

Early reports indicate that some local residents had yellow water; the lead-leased water had impacted some resident’s health as well. One report indicated that the tap water of one home was so toxic, that it would be considered hazardous waste.

The water from the Flint River was highly corrosive and traveled
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According to the director of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, 10 residents of Genesee County have died from the disease and 77 have been diagnosed.

According to the Mayo clinic, lead poisoning is most susceptible to children under the age of six. Early estimates indicate that as many as 8,000 children could have been given the drinking water. High levels of lead according to the Clinic’s report “can severely affect mental and physical development… [and] lead poisoning can be fatal.”

THE INVESTIGATION:
In the midst of the Flint water crisis, the FBI has been called to intervene with the health emergency. The federal agents plan to investigate whether or not any laws were broken.

The Department of Justice released this statement saying, “In an effort to address the concerns of Flint residents, the United States Attorney’s Office for the eastern district of Michigan is working closely with the EPA in the investigation of the contamination of the City of Flint’s water supply.”

The FBI’s announcement of their investigation indicates a turning point in the fight for public health in the city. The question is: who knew what and when did they know
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Now they are concerned and rightfully so about the lead level studies they are receiving. These folks are scared and worried about the health impacts and they are basically getting blown off by us (as a state we're just not sympathizing with their plight).

In the same month, a Michigan Department of Health and Human Services official, Mark Miller, indicated in an email that the true water problem stemmed form the aging lead plumbing.

All emails and information concerning the water crisis were obtained after the Freedom of Information Act was implemented. However, Michigan law does not require for the governor to disclose any information. Therefore, some of these communications were originally concealed.

HOW DOES THIS AFFECT US?
Let me go all APES here. Water contamination has been an issue across the country. Nutrients like phosphorous, which are found in many fertilizers, can runoff into streams and rivers causing eutrophication. Eutrophication is just a fancy word for these organic nutrients causing a reduction in dissolved oxygen in
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