Hunter Shkolnik on Flint Michigan Water Crisis
January 29, 2016 | Environmental Litigation
What we’re dealing with here is a tragedy that’s affecting the whole community
– Hunter Shkolnik
The Children of Flint
Flint’s kids have been especially influenced by drinking filtered water. Lead poisoning is harmful for everybody, but children’s growing bodies are more prone to the harmful effects of lead poisoning. More than 30,000 children under 18 years old live in Flint, so the extent of affected lives is enormous and long-lasting. The EPA urges no lead whatsoever in drinking water. Only 1 microgram of lead per deciliter of blood may degrade testing and intelligence functionality in children. Flint’s kids had much more. 1 kid 33 times that toxic quantity of lead.
Together with the increased blood levels of direct found in Flint, tens of thousands of kids are now prone to permanent brain injury and also a considerably higher chance of contracting cancer, respiratory disorders, autoimmune ailments, physical impairments and other severe ailments.
How did this happen?
In 2014, together with the Town of Flint under crisis direction, the Flint Water Department rushed unprepared into fulltime performance of this Flint Water Treatment Plant. The Department started drawing water from an extremely corrosive supply, the Flint River, but failed to use corrosion management as required under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Lead and Copper Rule. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) erroneously determined that this crucial element of water therapy wasn’t immediately required.
As an immediate result, the corrosive water generated lead to leach in the previous pipes and pipes fittings. Poisoning the water and raising the chance of water contamination with Legionella. Despite mounting evidence, the State rebuffed attempts to report and promote this situation.
The EPA, that ought to have exercised its powers under the Safe Drinking Water Act, failed to act for more than months to shield Flint’s households from poisoning.
Burn levels in certain Flint houses were 10,000 ppb, double the definition of poisonous waste.
This collapse was preventable, and regrettably catastrophic, in its own effects on Flint’s families. Quite simply, this is an individual failure based on inferior decision-making, degraded capability, and inaction in any way levels of government. Widespread lead poisoning along with an increase in Legionnaire’s Disease will be the outcomes of the preventable failures. The financial viability, home values and livelihood of Flint’s inhabitants have been severely affected, and will be for many years to come.
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