Summary — Greed poisoned an American city and it can happen in your city as well. From LA to Miami, your city could become the next Flint. How you might ask? Read this post to find out more…
Can you imagine being forced to pay for toxic water or risk losing your home? That’s what Melissa Mays and 8,000 of her neighbors in Flint, Michigan face.
How The Crisis Happened
Melissa’s story started in 2014 when, in order to save money, Flint’s unelected, governor-appointed manager changed Flint’s water supply to the Flint River. Almost immediately Melissa and others in her community complained that their tap water was undrinkable – brown and foul smelling. But, concerned with “cutting costs”, state and local officials insisted that the water was safe.
Melissa’s family and others in the community started to suffer painful rashes & hair loss. When tested, the tap water contained toxic levels of lead. It turned out that the river water was not treated properly and caused the pipes to corrode and leach lead into Flint’s drinking water. Experts latter said that adding the anti-corrosion agent would’ve cost Michigan approx. $100 a day and could’ve prevented Flint’s water crises.
Three years later, most of Flint’s 20,000 damaged water pipes continue to leach poison into people’s homes. On top of that, the city is now sending threatening letters to approx. 8,000 Flint residents warning that they could lose their homes if they don’t pay outstanding water bills. In March 2017, headlines read: “EPA gives Flint $100 Million.” But as you’ll see, if you watch the video below there is a catch.
Flint will not receive the money directly to replace the damaged water pipes. Instead the money will be routed through Governor Rick Snyder’s [R] administration to be distributed as he sees fit. The Governor who poisoned Flint is now in charge of “fixing” Flint.
A National Geographic’s story exposes the alarming fact that what happened in Flint could easily happen in your town.
“Lead pipes can be found in much of the U.S., but…nobody really knows how extensive they are today. If utilities don’t carefully balance water chemistry and treatment methods, and if regulators don’t enforce the rules, lead can leach from utility pipes and household plumbing systems and wind up in people’s water… Health experts warn that Flint’s crisis could happen again elsewhere, especially as local and state public health budgets shrink…”
What You Can Do
- First become aware of your rights as parents / citizens. Find out if your water system could be contaminated.
- Second, spread the word and join with others in your community to demand actions.
- Finally, the Story of Stuff is making a new movie that connects the dots between the bottled water Flint residents are forced to use for bathing, cooking and drinking and Nestle’s water grab less than a two hour drive away. If you can, please donate to this project and share this link with your friends.
In the 2017 People’s Climate March, you chanted “Water is life”. Unless you’re all involved, Flint’s story could be repeated in your town.