As the Flint crisis continues, with no sight in end, there is also no sight of the politician(s) to blame for the ‘state of emergency’ that has affected the health of residents. Though some have called for Synder and his administration to be held accountable, no names have been named.
Details are slowly emerging, though, of the water supply that was used. Emails under the Freedom of Information Act show that Flint officials were fully aware of the dangers in consuming the local town’s water when they began to truck in their own purified water to state buildings in January 2015. The emails also raised questions and concerns about toxic levels, blatantly ignored by Synder who chose not to notify the citizens of the potential toxicity when he was informed.
In a memo dated prior to the email, officials were more concerned about the legalities than the health alarm.
“The City of Flint recently sent out the attached notice regarding violations to the drinking water standards. While the City of Flint states that corrective actions are not necessary, DTMB is in the process of providing a water cooler on each occupied floor, positioned near the water fountain, so you can choose which water to drink. The coolers will arrive today and will be provided as long as the public water does not meet treatment requirements.”
April 2014 – Due to financial constraints, Flint’s water supply switched from Detroit’s Lake Huron to Flint River. The city would treat the water themselves.
May 2014 – Complaints start to role in from the public.
August 2014 – Flint River failed safety tests: E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria found present at extremely high levels.
October 2014 – General Motors plant refuses to use the water from the river because it is rusting car parts.
January 2015 Memo and emails sent, acknowledging the water as undrinkable.
January 2015 Citizens protest outside of City Hall. Detroit offers Flint to swap back, but the city’s emergency manager is worried about costs.
February 2015 “The residents have attended meetings with jugs of brownish water,” said Synder in an email, concluded it was just rust.
July 22, 2015 Gov Synder’s chief of staff acknowledges the problem and that citizens are “concerned and rightfully so,” about the concentration of lead in the water.
September 2014 Dr Mona Hanna Attisha provides scientific evidence via blood work of children to show the leap in lead poisoning.
October 2 Gov Synder announces water filters will be bought and lead testing in schools will occur.
It appears from the emails that the officials were more concerned about litigation than the health of the children and citizens of Flint. While children were being exposed to lead and other toxic chemicals, the Synder administration was taking steps to limit their own exposure by trucking in water.
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