Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Water Main Leak

Looks like Michigan GOP Gov. Rick Snyder has found his scapegoats for the Flint water disaster.

A city worker and two state officials were charged Wednesday in connection with the Flint water crisis — the first criminal charges filed over the water contamination emergency in the Michigan city. 
Felony and misdemeanor charges were filed against Flint worker Michael Glasgow and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) employees Steven Busch and Michael Prysby, according to local media.

The charges were approved during a hearing by Judge Tracy L. Collier-Nix in the 5th division of Genesee County Court on Wednesday morning. 
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, whose office has led the investigation, is expected to officially announce the charges later today. 
Glasgow, the city’s water supervisor, is charged with willful neglect of evidence and tampering with evidence for allegedly changing test results to show less lead had leaked into the city’s water supply from its aging pipes.

The two MDEQ workers are also facing evidence tampering charges and misconduct in office.

Well then, after 200 plus days, problem solved and everything's okay, right?

Earlier this month, I suggested that the Snyder administration has no intention of replacing a single water line in Flint where the drinking water was contaminated with the powerful neurotoxin lead through the actions of Snyder’s appointed Emergency Managers and the ineptitude of his appointee at the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Dan Wyant, a man with zero experience in managing water systems:

Amid all this non-action, the Snyder administration has started to warn municipalities that they should avoid “partial lead service line replacements”. […] 
Add to this the fact that Flint water lead levels are beginning to drop as the phosphate added to the water for corrosion protection is building up a protective layer on the inside of water lines and it is starting to look as if the Snyder administration is simply waiting until lead levels have dropped enough for Flint residents to begin using their water again. Once that has happened, they could simply point to the data and say, “See? Everything is fine. Nothing to worry about.” 
There’s now more evidence that this is exactly what their plan is:

“If we make a policy decision that we should replace the lead lines, then we have to be thinking about that across the state,” said John Walsh, strategy director for Gov. Rick Snyder, at a Grand Rapids chamber meeting in March. “If you do it for one community, another is going to wonder why you didn’t do it for them.” 
Mark my words, the Snyder administration is not going to be involved in replacing ANY lead water service lines in Flint. They are going to wait until lead levels drop and then suggest it’s unfair to give them any sort of “special treatment”. The fact is, after the catastrophe that they themselves caused, the Snyder administration owes it to Flint residents and the 9,000 children that have potentially been poisoned with lead to make it right. But that’s not going to happen.

As always, Chris Savage at Eclectablog has everything you need to know about Flint and Rick Snyder.  Yet another state where Republican austerity is costing lives and hurting kids....

There's quite a few of those these days.

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