Michigan Water Contamination Crisis Grows With Calls For Help To Government Officials Including The White House.
As the Michigan water contamination crisis continues to grow, The Governor has activated the National Guard and sought help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He has even gone as far to seek help from President Obama to help with the current crisis of lead contaminated drinking water that supplies some 100,000 residents 70 miles northwest of Detroit Michigan.
As the calls for help with Michigan’s contaminated drinking water increases, the governor has been accused of delaying his response to the seriousness of the water situation. Michigan’s Governor apparently did not taking the appropriate safety steps to prevent health risks when switching water sources. In 2014, Flint switched its main water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River to cut costs.
The New York Daily News reported that in the weeks following the switch of the water supply to the Flint river, the government dismissed complaints that the water tasted bad, was corrosive, and was causing health problems. A task force was later formed to help identify the problem and keep local residents safe, however, test in 2015 showed elevated levels of lead in the blood of children from Flint. Water quality reports since have identified the water as being contaminated with lead. The city immediately switched back to using water from Lake Huron, but the river water had caused serious damage to the city’s water pipes and caused corrosion damage that will take months and years to repair. The effects of lead are toxic and can be irreversible.
In recent days, the governor has issued apologies to residents and taken an active roll in bringing safe drinking water to Flint, Michigan. He has increased statewide efforts to distribute bottled water and better water filters to the residents of Flint. “As we work to ensure that all Flint residents have access to clean and safe drinking water, we are providing them with the direct assistance they need in order to stretch our resources further,” the governor said in a statement. “The Michigan National Guard is trained and ready to assist the citizens of Flint.” [http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/13/us/troops-to-help-flint-address-water-crisis.html, January 2016]
A spokesperson for the Federal Emergency Management Agency told the New York Daily News that the request for federal aid had been approved. The federal agency is planning to work with state officials to come up with a long-term recovery plan for Flint’s water crisis. The National Guard troops will arrive and help the American Red Cross and other volunteers distribute clean drinking water, water filters, and water testing kids. The National Guard will distribute these supplies both at distribution centers and door-to-door.
Symptoms of lead poisoning can include:
- High blood pressuer
- Mood swings
- Joint paints
- Stomach pain
- memory loss
- Reproductive problems
- Premature birth
- Mental retardation
- Learning disabilities
It could take years before the town fully recovers from the disaster and many individuals and families may suffer permanent damage from the switch. It is hard to understand why the city did not originally test the water for lead and other potential safety risks before switching the water supply to the new source.