On Jan. 16, 2016, the city of Flint made national news once again, as President Barack Obama signed an order declaring a state of emergency. As a citizen who lives and works in the city of flint this declaration came a year to late. The April 2014 decision to switch the city water supply from the Detroit line to the Flint river came with assurances that this cost cutting measure was not only safe but would result in a drastic decrease in the overall service rate.
Lead contamination is only the latest issue to spawn from an ill-advised decision two years ago. Beginning in the summer of 2014 city residents and local businesses suffered from e-coli contaminated water. What should have alerted city officials to the potentially dangerous situation they were pushing the public into brushed aside and water rates increased. The additional chlorine pumped into the water supply has resulted in the leaching of leads from an outdated and ill-equipped infrastructure.
I have heard that we are a poor city, this fact has only compounded the disastrous consequences felt by those most at risk. The city is still billing for the water that has been labeled hazardous waste, water that cannot be consumed, used to shower, wash clothes, etc. Those who are already struggling to survive financially can hardly pay for both unusable water coming from the city and bottled water, water filtration systems, etc. Although the efforts to pass out these now essential household goods is greatly appreciated for many citizens this it little too late.
For residents looking for legal guidance please do not hesitate.