Environmental News

Michigan Officials Shipped Clean Water To Employees Before Helping Citizens Of Flint


The water crisis in Flint, Mich., has been erupting over the course of the past few weeks. The crisis has been ongoing for over a year now, but has recently gained media attention as more information about what public officials knew, or denied knowing, is being made available to the public.

Advocates are calling this a clear case of environmental racism because the city of Flint is mostly African American and about 40 percent of its citizens live below the poverty line. How the city’s water supply became contaminated with lead is under investigation, but lead levels began increasing in April 2014 when the city changed its water source to save money. As the investigation proceeds new information about what officials actually knew is unfolding.

Mother Jones reported January 28 that according to newly released emails, Michigan officials began shipping clean water to its employees before publicly acknowledging the city’s water contamination crisis. Despite complaints from citizens that something was wrong with the water, most notably the smell and color, officials told citizens that the water was safe to drink. Gov. Rick Snyder claimed that he was unaware of the high levels of lead in the water.

In an email a “Flint Water Advisory” was sent out by the facilities department stating that there had been violations in Flint’s drinking water standards. Even though officials claimed no corrective action was necessary, water coolers with clean drinking water were to be provided to employees until Flint city met the clean water standards. The email was sent January 7, 2015.

in 2014 car manufacturer General Motors (GM) stopped using water from Flint because it began to rust vehicle parts.

CNN reports that in 2014 car manufacturer General Motors (GM) stopped using water from Flint because it began to rust vehicle parts. CNN also reported that Gov. Rick Snyder denied that this problem was related to lead in the water, but as CNN explains, the lead problem in Flint’s water supply is directly related to the rusting of metal because the chemicals in the water caused the metal pipes to rust and leach lead into the water supply. Researchers from Virginia Tech found that the water in Flint Mich., was extremely corrosive according to CNN.

There is currently a class-action law suit against the Department of Environmental Quality for failing to meet federal mandates for clean water and for allowing lead pipes to be used to supply the city with water. CNN indicated in a separate report that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regional administrator for Flint, Mich., has resigned over the scandal effective February 1.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) lead is metal with no benefit to human health. It can cause serious damage to the central nervous system, kidneys, to reproductive organs, disrupt metabolic processes and lead to death. The National Guard is onsite handing out bottled water and filters to the citizens of Flint.

Click to comment
To Top

Hi - We Would Love To Keep In Touch

If you liked this article then please consider joing our mailing list to receive the latest news, updates and opportunities from our team.

We don't want an impostor using your email address so please look for an email from us and click the link to confirm your email address.