The people of Flint, Mich., still do not have clean water in their taps, but what they do have is a three-and-a-half-year legacy of bureaucratic bullshit and red tape, lead poisoning, outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease, sick babies and children, and a whole lot of back-and-forth between the city and the state over who is going to fix the various problems related to the crisis and how.
The Flint City Council refused to approve a 30-year contract with Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) out of Detroit Monday, despite a mandatory deadline imposed by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and on Wednesday the state responding by filing a lawsuit against the city, alleging the city is endangering public health as the ongoing saga of the lead-contaminated water continues.
Monday, June 26, was the deadline set by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for the Flint, Mich., City Council to either approve a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority, provide an alternative long-term water solution or face legal action, and after a night of screaming matches between the public, council members and even Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, the council voted to extend the city’s contract with GLWA until September.
The Flint City Council is considering a new short-term contract to purchase water from the Great Lakes Water Authority out of Detroit, in an agreement that will come at a 4.7 percent price increase for the water used. The agreement is imperative in order for the city to continue to receive pre-treated water for its residents and businesses.
Late Monday, a federal judge in Ann Arbor, Mich., ruled that residents may continue with their lawsuit against the City of Flint and top state water officials in Michigan over allegations they violated the residents’ “bodily integrity” by exposing them to lead-contaminated water and failing to to disclose the contamination right away.
The Public Broadcasting Service program NOVA, the most-watched science series on American television, will air an episode looking at the chemistry and engineering behind the three-year-old lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan.