Leaded water in Flint... here's a link to a local church collecting money for water

  Here the doctor responsible for blowing the whistle.  

 

How A Stubborn Pediatrician Forced The State To Take Flint's Water Crisis Seriously

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha side-stepped the bureaucracy when she discovered what was happening in Flint.

For almost two years, the residents -- and more alarmingly, children -- of Flint, Michigan, were exposed to dangerously high levels of lead via the city's tap water.

And were it not for the heroic actions of one passionate pediatrician -- who side-stepped the bureaucracy and made a startling discovery -- the poisoning, which is likely to have devastating long-term consequences, almost certainly would have continued.

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the 39-year-old whistleblower and director of the pediatric residency program at the Hurley Medical Center in Flint, says what she's gone through over the last several months has "shattered" her trust in government.

"This poisoning of an entire population was entirely preventable," she told The Huffington Post.

HURLEY MEDICAL CENTER
Dr. Hanna-Attisha ignored medical protocol when she discovered what was happening in Flint.

The people of Flint began complaining about their tap water's smell, appearance and taste after the city switched its water source from the Detroit system to the Flint River in 2014.

An investigation led by Marc Edwards, a civil engineering professor from Virginia Tech, showed water samples from Flint homes contained dangerous amounts of lead -- a deadly neurotoxin that can cause brain damage in children -- but still government leaders insisted the water was safe.

Edwards' findings inspired Hanna-Attisha to conduct her own analysis. Using her hospital's records, Hanna-Attisha found that the number of Flint children with elevated blood-lead levels had doubled and, in some areas, tripled since the city's switch to its new water supply, as the Detroit Free Press reported.

Given the magnitude of the situation, Hanna-Attisha and her team chose not to take the typical approach of waiting for their findings to be published in a medical journal. Instead, they immediately held a press conference

"[We] had an ethical, moral, professional responsibility to alert our community about this crisis, this emergency," she told Democracy Now!

 

Much like with Edwards, the state publicly denounced Hanna-Attisha's findings. In an interview with CNN, Hanna-Attisha said she was "attacked" and told she was an "unfortunate researcher" who was "causing near hysteria."

"We knew the numbers were right. We checked and we double checked," she said. "We knew that lead in that water was getting into the bodies of children. So we stood our ground."

Her stubbornness paid off. 

The state finally admitted that the new water wasn't being treated properly for its higher corrosiveness, allowing lead from the city's aging pipes to leach into the water. At least two officials resigned amid the crisis, and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and President Barack Obama have both declared states of emergency to help residents get access to clean water. 

For her role in exposing the truth, Hanna-Attisha, the daughter of Iraqi immigrants, has received plenty of praise, including fan mail from girls who look up to her. 

"If I can inspire or motivate a future generation of strong women who are ethical and who are stubborn and who are persistent and who care about their community, that would be worth it," she told MLive.

 

But Hanna-Attisha has also made clear she's far from finished with her work protecting the children of Flint.

The Michigan State University College of Human Medicine has launched an initiative to treat nearly 27,000 Flint children exposed to lead in the city’s water, the Detroit News reported. The effort will be led by -- you guessed it -- Hanna-Attisha.

Lead poisoning is a long-term public health crisis because of the effect it has on a child's brain development and behavior. Researchers have shown a correlationbetween environmental lead levels and crime rates over the years.

“We can sit back and in 10, 15 years ... we can see a community suffering from the cognitive, the behavioral ramifications of this population-wide exposure,” Hanna-Attisha said during a recent news conference announcing the collaboration. “Or we could do something."

Hanna-Attisha told HuffPost that she hasn't slept in three months because of the crisis. 

"When you know the consequences of this exposure," she said, "it haunts you. You have to take as many protections as you can, because the consequences are so damning."

Luckily for the children of Flint, there are heroes like Hanna-Attisha looking out for their health and safety.

How Big a Problem Is Lead Contamination in Your County?

What we know—and what we don’t.

| Fri Feb. 12, 2016 6:00 AM ESTil

The crisis in Flint, Michigan, has shed new light on an old problem: Despitedecades of studies showing the irreversible developmental and neurological effects of lead, no federal agency tracks where lead contamination is a problem, and what the source of it may be.

"No one's done the kind of mapping of lead that people are clamoring for," says Dr. Jeffrey Griffiths, a public health professor at Tufts University and the former chair of the EPA's Drinking Water Committee. When it comes to tracking lead, he says, "there's no way you can say we're doing an adequate job."

Which got us wondering: What do we know about lead contamination around the country—and what do we need to find out?

Where does lead contamination come from? Most of us associate lead poisoning with paint, which until the 1970s often contained lead as a colorant. While extreme cases of lead poisoning often come from kids eating paint chips in old houses, research today indicates that the majority of lead exposure comes from other, less tracked environmental factors. (For more, check out my colleague Kevin Drum's acclaimed deep dive on the matter.) Cars used lead-based gasoline for decades, depositing lead particles in soil near streets and highways. While lead was effectively removed from gas in the '80s, a number of studies have shown that lead still turns up at alarming levels in that soil, particularly in urban areas—and that the more lead there is in the soil, the more lead kids have in their bloodstreams.

"What's clear to us now is that the amount of lead testing that's being done isn't enough, and the method itself isn't very good."

Lead exposure from water is less researched, but Flint has scientists worried that lead water lines could be a major source of exposure, particularly in cities with aging infrastructure. The Environmental Protection Agency requires utilities to test water for high levels of lead, but "what's clear to us now is that the amount of lead testing that's being done isn't enough, and the method itself isn't very good," Griffiths says. "Things can fall through the cracks when it comes to what the state has the capacity to do." It's not uncommon for cities to test only a handful of homes for lead, to discount the highest readings as not representative, and to go for months without disclosing high lead levels to the public.

Do we know which areas are most contaminated? The short answer is no. No federal agency tracks lead in urban soil, though scientists have tracked the problem in individual cities. Ideally, when lead shows up at high levels in drinking water, utilities report to the state and their customers that they are out of compliance with the rules. But neither the utility nor the state is required to keep a public repository of the data collected, making it nearly impossible to track which communities are most at risk. Henry Henderson, the director of the Midwest division of the Natural Resources Defense Council, attributes this lack of comprehensive data largely to a lack of funding and political will. Lead-related projects, he says, are "often stigmatized as just a sinkhole of meaningless environmental spending."

So what data do we have? The closest we have to a national dataset showing where lead is a problem comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In exchange for funding to track lead poisoning, states voluntarily report the number of children with high blood lead levels in each county, based on information gathered during routine doctor's appointments. The result is county-level data showing the number of children under five years old who have blood lead levels higher than 5 micrograms per deciliter (5 µg/dL), which the CDC classifies as "dangerous."

This system, as the map below shows, is far from perfect. Only 26 states have supplied the CDC with recent data. In many states, that data is from 2009. And in 13 states—primarily in the West—the data isn't reported at all.

When asked why the reporting isn't mandatory, CDC spokeswoman Christina Cope wrote, "We do not have a contract or other mechanism to require reporting. In many of the states we don't fund, there are no staff to do this work."

Which counties have the highest levels of lead poisoning? Before we get there, a few disclaimers: Some researchers also have concerns about blood lead levels as a metric, particularly since they spike for only a few weeks or months after exposure. Furthermore, many counties that recorded a high incidence of lead-poisoned kids also tested very few children. Houston County, Alabama, for example, has the highest rate of lead poisoning according to the CDC—more than 50 percent have levels about 10 µg/dL—but only a dozen children were tested in 2014. And finally, not all cases are reported: The CDC estimates that on average, about 2 percent of cases of children with high lead levels are missing from its data.

Here's a spreadsheet of the counties in the 26 states that did report to the CDC:

What's next in the world of lead policy? The latest news is that the US House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that, in addition to providing aid for Flint, would clarify that the EPA is required to notify the public in the case of high lead levels in water and would require the agency to come up with a better way to communicate between utilities, states, and consumers.

But the NRDC's Henderson, with many others, is calling for an overhaul of the way the federal government tracks and reports lead contamination, which would loop in agencies like the CDC, the EPA, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. "There is not an adequate, overarching national plan to deal with the multiple vectors of delivery of this neurotoxin, and we need to address that," Henderson says. So far, there are no signs of that changing anytime soon.

 
 

    Wow!  Now that's some deep shyte.  And Cali's reports are OUTDATED!!!!  What the fock?  As why I do not DRINK or COOK from faucet water even though I have a filter on it.  They do too much construction underground...and employees appear to be too careless sometimes and unprofessional.  Think I'ma gonna trust them?  And hey it's hard when you kinda have to trust the bottle companies....and even then you have to paused and do a cross sign on your chest close your eyes and just drink.  Cuz you NEED water to live.  

I'm still leaning largely into the purpose of genocide.  I think massa is modeling after other countries who have done the same to unwanted minorities governments there felt were totally insignificant to their nations.  And yeah you are absolutely right sista Sunnubian.  The darker the color the higher the risk of being targeted by those who oppose us.  It's clear.  They did it to the Armenians. the Jews, many African COUNTRIES.....Congo comes to mind when that white dude i.e.  Leopold of Belgum who self anointed himself owner of the Congo and went on to massacre almost every black person within his proximity while stealing huge amounts of ivory and rubber  But of course no one wants to talk about that....right?  That was straight out genocide and the thief of an entire country.  [This nation hasn't been RIGHT since.] So my point?  If it smells like a duck, crack like a duck and even LOOK like a duck?  It's a what?  But!

This "nation" hasn't been right since the first Caucasoid stepped upon these shores whoever the hell it was. White folks can't do anything without the steel penis that ejaculates fire in his weapon systems. He can't live peacefully unless he can incinerate, annihilate anyone that fucks with him or he thinks is going to harm him. 

The reason white men kill dark-skinned big black men so quickly is because when he encounters them, King Kong and Fay Wray come to his mind instantly. He equates large black men with gorillas and that's the root of all our fucking problems, living in the United States of the Ku Klux Klan.

Can This Entrepreneur Save Flint From a Plastic Bottle Crisis?
David Antelo says his reverse osmosis machines can provide clean water to the lead-plagued city without the landfill waste.

David Antelo of ANSA Technologies in Flint, Michigan. (Photo: Courtesy ANSA Technologies)
FEB 23, 2016Culture and education editor Liz Dwyer has written about race, parenting, and social justice for several national publications. She was previously education editor at Good.
Bio


Water is being donated by truckloads by charities, church groups, and celebrities hoping to help provide clean, safe H2O to the roughly 100,000 residents of lead-plagued Flint, Michigan. One bottle for tooth brushing, several for bathing, more bottles for cooking meals, and don’t forget the dishes need washing up. And are you thirsty? Here’s another bottle of water.

Residents tell Florida entrepreneur David Antelo that all those bottles are a lot to manage. “Every resident we’ve spoken to has said, ‘You know, it’s just too much to deal with bottled water. We’re really grateful, don’t get me wrong. But when you’re trying to shower and empty all these bottles and all the refuse. There’s so much waste,’” he said.
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RELATED: FBI Aids Criminal Investigation Into Flint's Water Crisis

Antelo is aiming to sell part of the solution to that problem as the head of ANSA Technologies, a company that manufacturers portable power and water systems—and he's helped overcome tougher water woes in far-flung places.

Antelo arrived in Flint late last Friday night, intent on showing residents and public officials his HydroVolt portable filtration machines. The equipment uses a seven-step process that involves carbon, ultraviolet light, and reverse osmosis. They can filter as much as 7,000 gallons of water a day for a fraction of the cost of a case of bottled water, he said.

David Antelo takes toxin reading of nearby river at Vietnam
Veterans Park in Flint. (Photo: Courtesy ANSA Technologies)
Antelo’s large purifier costs about $45,000. “But if you do the math, it pays for itself in bottled water in 6.2 days,” he said. “We sent this exact unit to Liberia during the Ebola crisis,” he adds. And the setup is easy. Antelo said they emailed villagers “a 10-minute video, and they were able to run it and maintain it. That’s how easy it was.”

“We work with humanitarian agencies to bring water to countries in Africa, South America, the Caribbean, and such, so when this Flint situation first happened here in the U.S. we didn’t have a big concern because hey, we are in the U.S., we can handle it pretty quickly, and we assumed that was the case,” Antelo said.

In January, he began reaching out from Florida to government officials and organizations about hooking up his machines to taps in public places, such as community centers or schools, which would allow residents to fill up reusable containers as frequently as they needed. But, said Antelo, he’s run into bureaucratic red tape and an unwillingness to consider other methods, so he decided to come demonstrate the effectiveness of the equipment.

Early Saturday morning, Antelo set up one of the machines at Veterans Park directly on the Flint River and invited the public to come fill up their reusable containers. Word about the purifier quickly spread on social media, and a news crew from the local NBC affiliate showed up to film Antelo using the system and drinking water that had been run through it. “So Saturday was a taste testing, people bringing containers. They said ‘You’re out of your mind, drinking from the Flint River. It’s impossible.’ People are very reluctant to trust anyone or the water,” said Antelo.

Although people told him he was brave to drink water filtered from the river, they told him "that’s not where the true source of the problem is. It’s in the pipes and the infrastructure,” he said. To save $5 million over two years in April 2014, Flint officials made the fateful decision to switch Flint’s water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River. The corrosive river water caused lead to leach out of the pipes in the city and flow through taps. So on Monday, Antelo decided to take his system into the homes of people he’d met.
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“I'm grateful for the water bottles but I think this could be a more profound solution," LaRee Tibbitts, who let Antelo hook up the system in her home, told NBC 25. "It sounds more appealing to me until we have our pipes fixed because I don't trust any of the other solutions they're talking about."

Although certified faucet filters are being handed out at fire stations and some government offices, concerns remain over whether they can handle the amount of lead coming from some pipes.

In an email to TakePart, Sid Roy, a graduate student and volunteer with Virginia Tech–based Flint Water Study, an independent group that helped expose the lead crisis in the city, wrote that the certified filters “work very well.” Other fixes could still help, however. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also found reverse osmosis systems such as Antelo’s “typically are effective in removing lead,” wrote Roy

If the machines are working at 100 percent, they “are a welcome addition,” Roy added. But he expressed concern over Antelo measuring lead removal with a hand-held TDS meter, as can be seen in the video below at a home in Flint on Monday.

“Scientifically, this is not the way towards showing lead removal,” wrote Roy. That’s because a TDS meter can only measure in parts per million, not parts per billion, as the Environmental Protection Agency requires. As a result, “smaller concentrations of lead, if present, will not be detected. So, independent testing of their unfiltered/filtered water where lead in ppb is measured will be a better way of showing how good their machines are,” explained Roy.

Antelo wrote that he'd invited the EPA to come and test his water with more high-tech equipment but said that the agency did not respond to his requests. Meanwhile, residents continue to rely on bottled water.


Bottled water is kept in the basement of Flint resident Shayne Stiers. (Photo: David Antelo)
“You would have to send 200 bottles a day, per person, to cover what the average American (we are Americans in Flint) needs each day,” Flint native and filmmaker Michael Moore wrote in a letter on his website in late January imploring people to stop sending the plastic containers to the city. “That’s 102,000 citizens times 200 bottles of water—which equals 20.4 million 16oz. bottles of water per day, every day, for the next year or two until this problem is fixed (oh, and we’ll need to find a landfill in Flint big enough for all those hundreds of millions of plastic water bottles, thus degrading the local environment even further). Anybody want to pony up for that? Because THAT is the reality,” Moore wrote.

Although Flint has a curbside recycling program included in its garbage pickup for two years, most residents haven’t requested a bin and don’t take advantage of it. Gary Hicks, a representative of Republic Services, the company contracted to do waste and recycling removal for the city, told Michigan Public Radio at the end of January that only “around 13 to 16 percent of the city is participating” in the program.
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RELATED: See the Whales Swimming in an Ocean of 70,000 Plastic Water Bottles

The EPA estimates one-single use plastic bottle takes 450 years to decompose. As a result, it’s projected that by 2050 there will be 40 billion tons of plastic on the planet. Meanwhile, the costs to marine life and beach damage of plastic waste is estimated at $13 billion per year, according to the United Nations Environmental Programme.

Antelo doesn't believe his machines are a permanent solution for Flint. He just wants to help, he said. As city residents await an end to the water crisis, Antelo has an idea where the cash the city would save from ditching bottled H2O could go: "An educational fund for Flint's children."

SIGN PETITION:

http://leftaction.com/ 

Demand Governor Snyder SHUT DOWN Nestle’s unrestricted access to Michigan's clean water

    Right now, residents of Flint, Michigan are living through an appalling water crisis after hazardous amounts of lead infiltrated their water supply.

    But as Flint parents struggle to obtain clean drinking water for their children, the largest water bottling company in the world, Nestle, is pumping water OUT of Michigan -- for free.

    Sign your name to demand Governor Snyder cut off Nestle’s free access to Michigan’s clean water supply >>

    The water crisis in Flint is an unspeakable tragedy -- with thousands of children exposed to contaminated drinking water that could lead to severe health problems.

    Didn’t think it could get worse? It does.

    Flint residents are paying $864 each year for the lead-riddled water that is making them sick -- DOUBLE what most Americans pay for clean water.

    Just miles away, the multi-billion dollar corporation Nestle has been pumping MILLIONS of gallons of clean water out of Lake Michigan -- for free. In fact, they actually receive 13 million dollars in tax breaks to do so (Source: Democracy Now).

    So as Flint families are overcharged for chemically tainted water, Nestle is getting clean water for FREE. It's outrageous, and it needs to stop.

    Tell Governor Snyder to put Michigan families first: STOP Nestle’s unrestricted access to Michigan’s clean water >>

    Attachments

    Photos (1)
    sunnubian posted:

    SIGN PETITION:

    http://leftaction.com/ 

    Demand Governor Snyder SHUT DOWN Nestle’s unrestricted access to Michigan's clean water

      Right now, residents of Flint, Michigan are living through an appalling water crisis after hazardous amounts of lead infiltrated their water supply.

      But as Flint parents struggle to obtain clean drinking water for their children, the largest water bottling company in the world, Nestle, is pumping water OUT of Michigan -- for free.

      Sign your name to demand Governor Snyder cut off Nestle’s free access to Michigan’s clean water supply >>

      The water crisis in Flint is an unspeakable tragedy -- with thousands of children exposed to contaminated drinking water that could lead to severe health problems.

      Didn’t think it could get worse? It does.

      Flint residents are paying $864 each year for the lead-riddled water that is making them sick -- DOUBLE what most Americans pay for clean water.

      Just miles away, the multi-billion dollar corporation Nestle has been pumping MILLIONS of gallons of clean water out of Lake Michigan -- for free. In fact, they actually receive 13 million dollars in tax breaks to do so (Source: Democracy Now).

      So as Flint families are overcharged for chemically tainted water, Nestle is getting clean water for FREE. It's outrageous, and it needs to stop.

      Tell Governor Snyder to put Michigan families first: STOP Nestle’s unrestricted access to Michigan’s clean water >>

      Petitions don't work, protests work a tiny bit, when will people figure out this is not a democracy, rank and file Americans do not have a voice, we are not FREE in view of what the US Constitution stands for, we have no representation. If people are not willing to fight, the establishment will continue to grow in power and influence, we are way past the time for a revolution. Psychopathic, sociopathic transnational corporations like Nestle already wield far too much power and influence over the politics of our World, let alone Michigan. 

      The world is watching the "end-game", Corporations attempting to make the final power-grab and become super-beings with god-like rights to bend sovereign nations to their will. 

      You know what the final end-game salvo is? President Obama's TPP, that will be his legacy and it's a damn shame, shame on him and us for not checking him. 

      Corporate bribe money is just too strong, do democracy really have a chance? 

        Not surprised.  This country is built on slavery,  Money.  Greed.  Nothing to do with public policy.  Corruption has been adopted in my view cuz the enormous influx imigrants who bring their corruption with them along with the pile of money to get it through.  That's why to me?  We haven't moved an inch away from segregation and.... out and out racism....cuz look at what's happening today?  The SAME shyte.  And one would think technology and social advancement will be the cataylst to propel us into fair public policy.  But to me?  We have regressed socially and mentality back in the days of Jim Crow.  Black money means nothing in terms of political power.  We shouldn't be protesting and demonstrating about a damn thang....and yet we still are.  About the SAME shyte.  Very interesting commentary.  And a good way to use the math grill.  Got me to thinking.    But!

      Here's What Congress Is Doing About Lead Pipes In Flint And Elsewhere

      Don't expect the ones in your community to come out of the ground anytime soon.

      02/27/2016 08:00 am ET
      ANDREW HARNIK/ASSOCIATED PRESS
      Rep. Brenda Lawrence is a fan of new legislation to help cities like Flint.

      WASHINGTON -- Congress might soon take action to help cities avoid another water lead poisoning crisis like the one in Flint, Michigan.

      "We make certain promises to people in this country: clean water, safe food and clean air," Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) told "So That Happened," the HuffPost Politics podcast. 

      "We are now in the Senate -- and we'll be doing it in the House -- passing funding and resources so that we can fix our water infrastructure in America," Lawrence said.

      Democrats originally pushed for $600 million of direct federal assistance to Flint, mostly for grants to help the beleaguered city of nearly 100,000 replace its lead pipes. Republicans resisted the proposal, with some tarring it as an "earmark" since it directed funds only to one community. The resulting bipartisan compromise would help any state -- not just Michigan -- access loans to deal with water emergencies and infrastructure upgrades.

      Congress now has a big opportunity to do something about lead. People might be more aware of the problem of water lead than ever -- 58 percent of Americanssurveyed by HuffPost/YouGov in January said they had been following the Flint water crisis at least somewhat closely. A search of national polling archives suggests that, prior to Flint, little effort had been made to measure awareness of the problem.

      Roughly 10 million American homes and buildings get water from service lines that are at least partly made of lead, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Federal law requires public water systems to treat the water so it won't corrode pipes, but treatment mistakes in any locale with lead pipes could cause a Flint-style crisis.

      "The one good thing that can come out of this is that more people can become cognizant of water lead as a source of exposure," historian Werner Troesken said.

      Troesken's 2006 book The Great Lead Water Pipe Disaster details case studies of water lead poisoning dating to the 1800s, when many cities began using lead pipes for water distribution. A single glass of water in some towns at the turn of the century could contain as much lead as a black market abortion pill.

      But lead poisoning symptoms can be so varied and subtle -- causing not just miscarriages, but also such generic problems as high blood pressure and constipation -- that doctors often struggled to recognize the source of their patients' problems. Public health officials focused more on infectious diseases like cholera, and doctors who recognized the water lead problem had a hard time convincing the broader medical community.

      Today, thanks partly to epidemiologists studying lead's effects at the population level, lead is recognized as completely unsafe, especially for children, for whom it can cause permanent brain damage and behavioral problems. Epidemiologists regard lead paint and dust as the primary source of poisoning, but Troesken's current researchsuggests children who grow up in cities with corrosive water supplies and lead pipes are basically less likely to succeed in life.

      The approach nationally continues to be to leave the pipes in the ground, since digging them up would be expensive. And if water is treated with anti-corrosion chemicals, it can form a barrier that coats the interior of lead pipes and prevents lead particles from heading toward people's faucets. Federal law requires public water departments to keep an eye on lead levels in water sampled from people's homes to make sure the corrosion control is holding up. It's a wishful strategy -- the Flint water crisis showed a weakness in the regulation when Flint officials, apparently deliberately, sampled water from homes that didn't have lead service lines, thereby masking the problem as it emerged.

      The legislation crafted in the U.S. Senate doesn't address the regulation, though it does encourage the EPA to step in and notify the public if local water authorities are dropping the ball. Instead, it provides $100 million to help states apply for subsidized loans in the event of a Flint-like emergency, and $70 million in credit subsidies for states to get loans to help pay for water infrastructure upgrades, such as replacing lead pipes.

      "The media’s attention to Flint has put a spotlight on the crisis we face across the nation due to a failure to address aging water infrastructure," Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) said in a statement this week.

      Clean water advocacy groups think the bill is good, but not great. They preferlegislation introduced by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) that would toughen monitoring of water lead levels and the regulations triggering lead pipe removal. 

      “The Senate aid package for Flint is an important start but not nearly enough to help the city deal with the immediate and long term health impacts of this crisis," the League of Conservation Voters' Madeleine Foote said in a statement about the plan for loan assistance. "There are many more Flints across the country, and we must make the commitment to seriously invest in our critical water infrastructure and finally address systemic injustices; all Americans deserve access to clean air and water.”  

      The Senate bill has been held up by a handful of Republicans, though Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), one of its chief architects, has said she's optimistic the bill will get a vote next week.

      The EPA is in the process of revising the Safe Drinking Water Act regulation that deals with the way public water systems respond to high lead levels. An agency working group recently made recommendations that a coalition of activists -- including Dr. Marc Edwards, the Virginia Tech engineering professor who helped blow the whistle in Flint -- have said won't do enough to clamp down on shoddy water testing by utilities and to get rid of lead pipes across the country.

      Paul Schwartz, a water policy expert at Water Alliance, welcomed the Senate bill but said lawmakers should be looking at current water regulations.

      "They're still at the margins of fixing the problem, but not really at the heart of what the major problems are in Flint and across the water utility systems in the United States," Schwartz said.

      School Kids In Flint Can Now Safely Clean Their Hands Thanks To This Boy

      He may be little, but he’s got a big heart.

      02/25/2016 10:39 am ET | Updated 19 hours ago
       

       

      Isiah Britt Hand Sanitizer Flint

       

      One boy in Gainesville, Virginia, has improved the lives of hundreds of school kids in Flint, Michigan.

      Isiah Britt, 7, raised over $10,000 to buy hand sanitizer for elementary schools in Flint, where children were afraid to wash their hands with tap water, The Detroit Newsreports.

      GOFUNDME
      Isiah is beaming after helping kids in Flint.

      When Isiah’s mom, Danielle Britt, 29, and her fiancé, Kensley Dougan, 32, told him about the Flint water crisis over dinner early this month -- like most -- the situation blew little Isiah’s mind. Kids his age in Flint weren’t able to drink their city’s water when they were thirsty. He immediately felt compelled to help.

      Originally, the family wanted send bottled water over to Eisenhower Elementary in Flint, but decided to give the school a call first.

      “Eisenhower Elementary asked us, ‘Is it OK if you guys can get us hand sanitizer?’ And we said, ‘Sure!’” Isiah told ABC 12.

      The school’s secretary, Lisa Palermo, explained to Isiah that students were afraid to wash their hands due to the lead in the water.

      According to The Washington Post, Isiah then asked Palermo how many classrooms would need hand sanitizer and for how many kids. Isiah and his parents did the math -- they would need about $500 for dispensers and refills for offices, hallways, classrooms and bathrooms. Isiah promised Palermo he would get her what she needed.

      GOFUNDME
      Isiah gets to work raising money.

      Isiah’s parents helped him set up a GoFundMe page to raise $500 on Feb. 5, and two days later, he had reached his goal. He mailed his first shipment of sanitizer to Eisenhower Elementary soon after.

      GOFUNDME
      Isiah’s hand sanitizer shipment to Eisenhower Elementary.

      “His voice, his demeanor, everything about him touched my heart,” Palermo told The Washington Post. “I’ve worked with the district over 20 years and I’ve never, the words don’t explain it, he touched my heart to no end.”

      After reaching his initial goal, the boy, who loves doing karate kicks and spontaneously dancing according to The Detroit News, decided to set his goal a little higher.

      “Now I am going to try to send some boxes to another school too!” he wrote on his GoFundMe page. “There are a lot of kids who need clean hands!”

      He raised his fundraising goal again. Then again, eventually settling on $10,000 -- enough money to send hand sanitizer to every school in Flint.

      As of Feb. 16, Isiah met that goal -- and then some. The page is now knocking at almost $11,000.

      This is a good thing, because for Isiah’s family, the selflessness isn’t going to end there, either.

      "So right now we have enough for all 12 schools out in Flint. Once that's fulfilled, the next step is daycares or women's shelters,” Dougan told ABC.

      The best part for Isiah and his family, however, is hearing back from the kids he’s helped in Flint.

      "I think he's pretty nice and stuff. He's giving us hand sanitizer and we didn't do nothing for him,” Logan Anderson, a fifth- grader at Eisenhower, told ABC.

      But young Isiah was just happy to lend a helping hand, telling ABC:

      “It doesn't matter if you're small, it doesn't mean you can't do big things.”

      It seems the place is poisoned to the point of people relocating. This place is no different that the place that is beyond reproach by nuclear radiation so many years ago that still is uninhabitable, where nothing grows. White folks, trying to kill everyone else, are going to accidentally kill themselves during the process. If would be funny, if we all weren't going to go along with them.

      How many bottles of water need to be heated to fill a bath tub?? Do you have to bathe out of the sink where you brush your teeth?? Ugh!!!!! How do you wash your clothes? How do you wash your hair? How do you clean your babies, who need cleaning every hour?? If folks aren't careful, they could become the Flint, Michigan refugees like the Syrians. Poison water creates death.

      Black Movie Directors Are Hosting an Oscars-Night Fundraiser in Flint

      The timing was just a coincidence, says "Creed" luminary Ryan Coogler.

      | Wed Feb. 24, 2016 4:49 PM EST
      Ava DuVernay
       

      Not really feeling the Oscars this year? Well, there's another star-studded event you can tune into Sunday night—this one is in Flint, Michigan. Blackout for Human Rights, an activist coalition co-founded by directors Ryan Coogler (

      Blackout for Human Rights, an activist coalition co-founded by directors Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station) and Ava DuVernay (Selma) is hosting #JusticeforFlint, a live benefit to raise funds for residents of the lead-stricken city. The shindig, hosted by comedian Hannibal Burress, will feature the awesome singer Janelle Monae—who led several Black Lives Matter protests last summer during stops on her nationwide music tour—Empire's Jussie Smollett, Jesse Williams of Grey's Anatomy, and other prominent black actors and performers. It's free to the public, but attendees can donate to a Flint fund at the event. The event coincides with Oscars day, but that's just a coincidence, according to Coogler, who was snubbed for the Best Director category for Creed. (DuVernay was snubbed for Selma last year.) The date was chosen because it was the last weekend of Black History Month.

      "We will give a voice to the members of the community who were the victims of the choices of people in power who are paid to protect them, as well as provide them with a night of entertainment, unity, and emotional healing," Coogler said in a statement to BuzzFeed. "Through the live stream we will also give a chance for people around the world to participate, and to donate funds to programs for Flint's youth."

      #JusiceforFlint will be live-streamed exclusively on revolt.tv, the online counterpart to the RevoltTV network founded by hip-hop mogul Sean "Puffy" Combs. The event airs at 5:30 p.m. EST, 90 minutes before the Oscars' Red Carpet coverage commences. So if you're interested, you can probably catch most of both.

      Blackout for Human Rights also held an MLK Day event in New York City last month where black entertainers including Chris Rock, Michael B. Jordan, and Harry Belafonte read speeches by civil rights icons. Rock is hosting the Oscars on Sunday. He's expected to deliver a monologue on diversity in Hollywood.

      Flint has been in the national news since last October, when news broke that the city's water had been contaminated with lead for well over a year, despite pleas to local and state officials. Check out this article about the Flint mom who helped bring the scandal to the nation's attention. It'll make your blood boil.

       
       

      Tell the DNC: Focus on Racial & Environmental Justice in March 6 Flint Democratic Debate!

       

      83,503 signatures
       
      73% Complete
       
      113,950
       

      Sign the petition to Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and CNN:

      “Communities of color have been targeted for pollution for too long. Flint, Michigan, is the latest tragic example of a long trend of communities of color and low wealth being poisoned with crumbling infrastructure, polluted air, toxic dumps, and tainted water. If the Democratic National Committee and the candidates for the Democratic nomination want to represent voters of color, they must do more than visit – they must concentrate the March 6 debate in Flint exclusively on issues of racial, climate, and environmental justice.”
       

      As the Democratic Primary heads to Super Tuesday, it now includes states where people of color make up a significant percentage of the voting bloc. While the previous debates have included brief discussions on issues important to people of color, none have dedicated a significant amount of time to these issues – and none of them have spent any time of consequence discussing disproportionate climate change impacts, access to clean water and healthy food, and a just transition from fossil fuels.

      As in Flint, it is no coincidence that frontline communities targeted for pollution are also home to income inequality, elevated unemployment levels, reduced educational opportunities, mass incarceration, and police brutality.

      Low-wealth communities and communities of color have been subjected to these injustices for too long and have never been offered a comprehensive national solution. Flint is just an example of similar issues affecting communities of color, including numerous Native American communities nationwide.

      As candidates for the Democratic nomination increase their outreach to people of color and Native nations, all voters deserve to hear their plan to address racial, environmental, and climate justice. If the DNC claims to represent all voters, it cannot take black people, people of color, and Native peoples for granted. No more eco-tourists passing out bottled water for a day – we demand a real debate on the problems of racial justice, environmental racism, and the solutions of climate justice. It’s time for a national discussion on these issues, and there is no better place to have it right now than Flint, Michigan.

      18 Million Rising
      350.org
      Climate Hawks Vote
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      ClimateTruth.org
      Color of Change
      Courage Campaign
      Daily Kos
      Democracy for America
      Environmental Action
      Food & Water Action Fund
      Friends of the Earth
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      People For the American Way
      Presente.org
      The Other 98%

      Some of these old mofos on Capitol Hill need to retire. They can't put an understood sentence together. Takes them 10 minutes to stutter 3 words. That's not cool!!!!!!!!!! Employment gets OLD along with YOU after awhile.

      What was Snyder drinking and that white Nikki Giovanni-lookin' broad beside him? Bet he wasn't drinking poisoned water nor the people in the Environmental Not Protecting a Damn Thing Agency. Betcha they can take a bath/shower/brush their teeth/wash their hands/wash the fucking dogs and luxurious cars plus water the lawns and gardens of the mansions in clean water.

      Miss Giovanni don't get mad at me, but that woman reminded me of you when I used to watch you on TV back in the 60's. You're much prettier and smarter, but nevertheless, she was a REMINDER to me. I know you're now a professor, but white folks think they're so "white". 'Tis all!!!!!!

      How many "people" fight wars for a "people" that are waging a war against the "people" that are fighting their wars? Are the words for that "beyond stupidity"????

      I'm sure these "people" have many laughs over the "people" they kidnapped to pick their cotton/wipe their asses/wait on them hand and foot for no wages forever and a day.

      RadioRaheem posted:

      to those people that say that they don't see color...

       

      This is exactly what Black people are allowing racist psychopaths to do to their children every time they do not register to vote and show up at the polls to vote in ALL elections, and not just presidential elections, but in Congressional and State and Local elections.

       

      John Conyers Says Rick Snyder Should Be Arrested For The Flint Water Crisis

      “When you’ve poisoned the water, or allow the water to be poisoned, that’s against the law.”

      03/17/2016 05:51 pm ET
      ALEX WONG VIA GETTY IMAGES
      Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) speaks at a session. The veteran lawmaker said all those responsible for the water crisis, including Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, should be tried and arrested.

      WASHINGTON — Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) said Wednesday that Congress needs to ensure that everyone at fault in the Flint water crisis answers for their crimes.

      “We need to make sure that those responsible for this thing meet the accountability standard. They should be arrested. They should be tried,” Conyers said.

      Does that include Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder?

      “Sure does,” Conyers told The Huffington Post afterward. “He’s No. 1.”

      Conyers is the first member of Congress to publicly say that Snyder or anyone involved with the crisis should be arrested, though others have called for criminal investigations. Conyers, along with other House Democrats, signed a letter of support in February for Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s announced criminal investigation into the crisis. 

      But he has been on a tear the last 24 hours on Capitol Hill. Conyers introduced a bill toreform Michigan’s emergency manager laws on Thursday morning, met with families from Flint on the Hill later Thursday for Snyder’s testimony in front of Congress and held a press conference Friday with Rev. Al Sharpton to formally introduce the bill.

      Conyers said he’s just getting started.

      Congress needs to hold more hearings, he said, not only about Flint but also about lead poisoning throughout the United States.

      “We don’t want to act like we’ve done just this one where tragedy has struck already. There is lead and other contaminants in our water supplies that are being examined for the very first time,” Conyers said. “It’s in that spirit I come to this issue. We need more enforcement, more oversight and more concern.

      Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) wouldn’t completely back Conyers’ remarks, but he said that a criminal investigation should look at every individual involved in the water catastrophe, including the governor.

      “If they determine the facts support prosecution, they should go with the fullest extent of the law,” Kildee said. 

      Conyers, however, stuck to his guns about Snyder needing to be behind bars. 

      “When you’ve poisoned the water, or allow the water to be poisoned, that’s against the law,” Conyers told HuffPost. “People end up with fatal diseases. Children are stunted in their growth and development. Seniors are grievously ill because of that. We can’t allow that to be happening. And we have to stop it wherever we can.”

      I'm glad that someone said it.

      Between what is happening in Flint [and many other predominately Black communities, schools, and daycares], and all the Treyvon Martins, Michael Browns, Eric Garners, Sandra Blands, Renika Boyds, and Tamir Rices', Black people should unify politically around ousting members of Congress and State Legislatures that deliberately work against, and undermine, and create laws and the racist atmosphere that threatens the life of Black people in America. 

      EPA Officials Didn’t “Want to go Out on a Limb” for the People of Flint

      by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

      The federal and state actors that poisoned Flint, Michigan’s water tried to pin the crime on each other at a congressional hearing, last week. Governor Rick Synder, who set the crime in motion, failed in his attempt to concoct an ignorance-of-the-facts alibi. And the federal EPA chief could not escape the fact that she neglected to use her “authority to protect the citizens of Flint from situations of ‘imminent and substantial endangerment.’”

      EPA Officials Didn’t “Want to go Out on a Limb” for the People of Flint

      by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

      “No one has been charged with even a misdemeanor for poisoning these residents.”

      The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held two important Hearings, March 15thand 17th on the poisoning of Flint, Michigan residence.

      The stakes were high on the first of the two Hearings, March 15, when disgraced former Region 5 EPA Administrator, Susan Hedman, appeared before the Committee. Former Emergency Manager Darnell Walling – who served as the surrogate for the Republican Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder – and former Flint Mayor, Dwayne Walling, were called to testify. As if that was not pressure enough, seated to Hedman’s left was Dr. Marc Edwards, the Virginia Tech water expert who has been so instrumental in blowing up this scandal, with scathing reports of mismanagement, corruption, retaliation and incompetence at all three levels of government, especially the EPA.

      For Hedman, this represented her first prolonged sworn testimony since her February 1 forced resignation after it was revealed that she had been less than transparent concerning what she knew about the water quality that poisoned thousands of Flint residents with lead – and that after alarming results showed dangerous levels of lead and other toxins in Flint’s drinking water, she chose to ignore the findings of one of her water experts and look the other way, rather than enact any of several immediate remedies within her jurisdiction.

      Chair Jason Chaffetz focused on the central issue of the Hearing by exposing an internal EPA memo from Region 5: “I’m not so sure Flint is the community we want to go out on a limb for.”

      Flint River water was never tested prior to becoming the primary source for households.”

      While EPA officials may now be embarrassed to take ownership of this statement, the realty is that communities like Flint have been made into sacrifice zones, regions of human habitation that are considered disposable, representing one of the cruel realities of “disaster capitalism.”  To-date, no one has been charged with even a misdemeanor for poisoning these residents. The only penalty for managers of the state like McCarthy, Synder and Hedman for causing unspeakable suffering – including miscarriages, permanently disabling young children with learning disabilities – and causing chronic diseases from drinking poisoned water is publicly facing congressional questions during a Hearing.  That’s all.

      The sole unifying principle for the EPA and local governments was that the people of Flint were of no consequence. Flint River water was never tested prior to becoming the primary source for households.

      In the convoluted snarl of federal, state and, although symbolic, local governance that is the Flint water crisis there has been one clarifying constant – Virginia Tech’s Marc Edwards. In a clear and unrestrained tone he indicted EPA Hedman:

      "I personally witnessed and exposed misconduct by EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman. Ms. Hedman actively aided, abetted and emboldened the unethical behavior of civil servants at the State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. She allowed Flint children to be harmed. Consequently, why should Ms. Hedman not face the same or worse fate as a common landlord who engaged in similar behavior? Had Flint residents not fought for the truth with the assistance of compassionate outsiders, the harm to Flint’s children would never have been exposed."

      Why should Ms. Hedman not face the same or worse fate as a common landlord who engaged in similar behavior?”

      EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy preemptively attempted to control the message prior to her appearance before the Committee on Thursday by penning a Washington Post op-ed titled: “Michigan Evaded the EPA on Flint. We Can’t Let That Happen Elsewhere.” She casts aspersions on Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, claiming that “Michigan did not act as a partner. The state’s interactions with us were dismissive, misleading and unresponsive. The EPA’s regional office was also provided with confusing, incomplete and incorrect information.” The self-serving column foreshadowed what would become the agency’s line of defense: that  Michigan was exclusively to blame. The agency had reluctantly dismissed what McCarthy described as its “honorable” Region 5 Administrator, Susan Hedman, for her inelegant handling of the rogue state.

      Marc Edwards countered McCarthy’s op-ed by stating: "I was…disappointed, that EPA administrator Gina McCarty wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post yesterday that absolved the EPA of any wrong doing in Flint. Aside from EPA’s direct role in creating the aforementioned climate in which ‘a Flint’ was inevitable... Because our efforts failed to make these agencies take lead in water risks seriously, I was not surprised by ‘a Flint’ water crisis. I was expecting it."

      The question begging to be asked during the Hearing regards the relationship between Susan Hedman and EPA Administrator McCarthy is the same central question of the Watergate Hearings: What did McCarthy know about the poisoning and when did she know it?  Without having an answer to this question, we will never know the full extent of direct involvement by McCarthy in the poisoning of Flint’s water supply.

      “I was not surprised by ‘a Flint’ water crisis. I was expecting it."

      That question was left unasked and unanswered at the Tuesday and Thursday Hearings.

      For his part, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder wasn’t much better. Flint residents dismissed his lamentations that he “kicks himself every day,” over his role in the water crisis, pointing out that he had visited Flint several times since the beginning of the scandal but the residents only learned of his visits after he had left.

      He apologized several times, saying he said he understood their anger and frustration. “This was a failure of government at all levels. Local, state, and federal officials – we all failed the families of Flint.” The governor asserted, “I am not going to point fingers or shift blame; there is plenty of that to share, and neither will help the people of Flint.”

      Then he pointed his finger at the EPA.

      “A water expert at the federal EPA, tried to raise an alarm in February 2015, and he was silenced,” he testified. “The EPA allowed this disaster to continue unnecessarily.” The disaster happened because of Michigan’s economic hardship. He omitted his administration's denying state funds to cities despite Michigan's hundreds of millions in surplus.

      All three Congressional Hearings served as partisan inquisitions with Democrats and Republicans skewering the other's representatives – while the knife ultimately slid again into Flint’s guts – with the city, the state, and the EPA taking turns inflicting injury.

      What did McCarthy know about the poisoning and when did she know it?”

      In the end, EPA had the legal authority to protect the citizens of Flint from “imminent and substantial endangerment.” McCarthy had emergency powers under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) to seize control of Flint's environmentally dangerous designs created by the governor and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality:

      “…the EPA Administrator [has] broad authority to act to protect the health of persons in situations where there may be an imminent and substantial endangerment. Specifically, section 1431 provides that, upon receipt of information that a contaminant that is present in or likely to enter a public water system or an underground source of drinking water, or there is a threatened or potential terrorist attack or other intentional act, that may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of persons, the EPA Administrator may take any action she deems necessary to protect human health.”

      There was a young 8-year-old boy outside the hearing room, who when I asked why he had come replied, “I have lead poisoning. I could die.”  Later, his grandmother spoke at a press conference and told media that “her grandson used to be a straight A student who looked forward to going to college but now after drinking poisoned water” – she choked and fought back tears – “he is receiving straight F’s.”

      Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is the author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated: No FEAR: A Whistleblowers Triumph over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA. She worked at the EPA for 18 years and blew the whistle on a US multinational corporation that endangered South African vanadium mine workers. Marsha's successful lawsuit led to the introduction and passage of the first civil rights and whistleblower law of the 21st century: the Notification of Federal Employees Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR Act). She is Director of Transparency and Accountability for the Green Shadow Cabinet, serves on the Advisory Board of ExposeFacts.com and coordinates the Hands Up Coalition, DC.
      sunnubian posted:

      EPA Officials Didn’t “Want to go Out on a Limb” for the People of Flint

      by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

      The federal and state actors that poisoned Flint, Michigan’s water tried to pin the crime on each other at a congressional hearing, last week. Governor Rick Synder, who set the crime in motion, failed in his attempt to concoct an ignorance-of-the-facts alibi. And the federal EPA chief could not escape the fact that she neglected to use her “authority to protect the citizens of Flint from situations of ‘imminent and substantial endangerment.’”

      EPA Officials Didn’t “Want to go Out on a Limb” for the People of Flint

      by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

      “No one has been charged with even a misdemeanor for poisoning these residents.”

      The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held two important Hearings, March 15thand 17th on the poisoning of Flint, Michigan residence.

      The stakes were high on the first of the two Hearings, March 15, when disgraced former Region 5 EPA Administrator, Susan Hedman, appeared before the Committee. Former Emergency Manager Darnell Walling – who served as the surrogate for the Republican Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder – and former Flint Mayor, Dwayne Walling, were called to testify. As if that was not pressure enough, seated to Hedman’s left was Dr. Marc Edwards, the Virginia Tech water expert who has been so instrumental in blowing up this scandal, with scathing reports of mismanagement, corruption, retaliation and incompetence at all three levels of government, especially the EPA.

      For Hedman, this represented her first prolonged sworn testimony since her February 1 forced resignation after it was revealed that she had been less than transparent concerning what she knew about the water quality that poisoned thousands of Flint residents with lead – and that after alarming results showed dangerous levels of lead and other toxins in Flint’s drinking water, she chose to ignore the findings of one of her water experts and look the other way, rather than enact any of several immediate remedies within her jurisdiction.

      Chair Jason Chaffetz focused on the central issue of the Hearing by exposing an internal EPA memo from Region 5: “I’m not so sure Flint is the community we want to go out on a limb for.”

      Flint River water was never tested prior to becoming the primary source for households.”

      While EPA officials may now be embarrassed to take ownership of this statement, the realty is that communities like Flint have been made into sacrifice zones, regions of human habitation that are considered disposable, representing one of the cruel realities of “disaster capitalism.”  To-date, no one has been charged with even a misdemeanor for poisoning these residents. The only penalty for managers of the state like McCarthy, Synder and Hedman for causing unspeakable suffering – including miscarriages, permanently disabling young children with learning disabilities – and causing chronic diseases from drinking poisoned water is publicly facing congressional questions during a Hearing.  That’s all.

      The sole unifying principle for the EPA and local governments was that the people of Flint were of no consequence. Flint River water was never tested prior to becoming the primary source for households.

      In the convoluted snarl of federal, state and, although symbolic, local governance that is the Flint water crisis there has been one clarifying constant – Virginia Tech’s Marc Edwards. In a clear and unrestrained tone he indicted EPA Hedman:

      "I personally witnessed and exposed misconduct by EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman. Ms. Hedman actively aided, abetted and emboldened the unethical behavior of civil servants at the State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. She allowed Flint children to be harmed. Consequently, why should Ms. Hedman not face the same or worse fate as a common landlord who engaged in similar behavior? Had Flint residents not fought for the truth with the assistance of compassionate outsiders, the harm to Flint’s children would never have been exposed."

      Why should Ms. Hedman not face the same or worse fate as a common landlord who engaged in similar behavior?”

      EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy preemptively attempted to control the message prior to her appearance before the Committee on Thursday by penning a Washington Post op-ed titled: “Michigan Evaded the EPA on Flint. We Can’t Let That Happen Elsewhere.” She casts aspersions on Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, claiming that “Michigan did not act as a partner. The state’s interactions with us were dismissive, misleading and unresponsive. The EPA’s regional office was also provided with confusing, incomplete and incorrect information.” The self-serving column foreshadowed what would become the agency’s line of defense: that  Michigan was exclusively to blame. The agency had reluctantly dismissed what McCarthy described as its “honorable” Region 5 Administrator, Susan Hedman, for her inelegant handling of the rogue state.

      Marc Edwards countered McCarthy’s op-ed by stating: "I was…disappointed, that EPA administrator Gina McCarty wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post yesterday that absolved the EPA of any wrong doing in Flint. Aside from EPA’s direct role in creating the aforementioned climate in which ‘a Flint’ was inevitable... Because our efforts failed to make these agencies take lead in water risks seriously, I was not surprised by ‘a Flint’ water crisis. I was expecting it."

      The question begging to be asked during the Hearing regards the relationship between Susan Hedman and EPA Administrator McCarthy is the same central question of the Watergate Hearings: What did McCarthy know about the poisoning and when did she know it?  Without having an answer to this question, we will never know the full extent of direct involvement by McCarthy in the poisoning of Flint’s water supply.

      “I was not surprised by ‘a Flint’ water crisis. I was expecting it."

      That question was left unasked and unanswered at the Tuesday and Thursday Hearings.

      For his part, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder wasn’t much better. Flint residents dismissed his lamentations that he “kicks himself every day,” over his role in the water crisis, pointing out that he had visited Flint several times since the beginning of the scandal but the residents only learned of his visits after he had left.

      He apologized several times, saying he said he understood their anger and frustration. “This was a failure of government at all levels. Local, state, and federal officials – we all failed the families of Flint.” The governor asserted, “I am not going to point fingers or shift blame; there is plenty of that to share, and neither will help the people of Flint.”

      Then he pointed his finger at the EPA.

      “A water expert at the federal EPA, tried to raise an alarm in February 2015, and he was silenced,” he testified. “The EPA allowed this disaster to continue unnecessarily.” The disaster happened because of Michigan’s economic hardship. He omitted his administration's denying state funds to cities despite Michigan's hundreds of millions in surplus.

      All three Congressional Hearings served as partisan inquisitions with Democrats and Republicans skewering the other's representatives – while the knife ultimately slid again into Flint’s guts – with the city, the state, and the EPA taking turns inflicting injury.

      What did McCarthy know about the poisoning and when did she know it?”

      In the end, EPA had the legal authority to protect the citizens of Flint from “imminent and substantial endangerment.” McCarthy had emergency powers under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) to seize control of Flint's environmentally dangerous designs created by the governor and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality:

      “…the EPA Administrator [has] broad authority to act to protect the health of persons in situations where there may be an imminent and substantial endangerment. Specifically, section 1431 provides that, upon receipt of information that a contaminant that is present in or likely to enter a public water system or an underground source of drinking water, or there is a threatened or potential terrorist attack or other intentional act, that may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of persons, the EPA Administrator may take any action she deems necessary to protect human health.”

      There was a young 8-year-old boy outside the hearing room, who when I asked why he had come replied, “I have lead poisoning. I could die.”  Later, his grandmother spoke at a press conference and told media that “her grandson used to be a straight A student who looked forward to going to college but now after drinking poisoned water” – she choked and fought back tears – “he is receiving straight F’s.”

      Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is the author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated: No FEAR: A Whistleblowers Triumph over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA. She worked at the EPA for 18 years and blew the whistle on a US multinational corporation that endangered South African vanadium mine workers. Marsha's successful lawsuit led to the introduction and passage of the first civil rights and whistleblower law of the 21st century: the Notification of Federal Employees Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR Act). She is Director of Transparency and Accountability for the Green Shadow Cabinet, serves on the Advisory Board of ExposeFacts.com and coordinates the Hands Up Coalition, DC.

      Kindly help us kick some ass, Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo!  

       

      The people of Flint should demand that Region 5 EPA Administrator, Susan Hedman's "resignation" be revoked and replaced with her being FIRED!  

      This grimy bitch shouldn't walk away with one goddamn dime in benefits, money, NOTHING, paid for with tax payers dollars, especially paid for with Flint, Michigan's taxpayers dollars, the EPA should not be allowed to give her any freaking 'glowing' references where potential employers are concerned!

      AND AGAIN, WHY IN THE HELL IS THIS GOVERNOR, SUSAN HEDMAN AND EVERYONE IN THIS CHAIN OF DOMESTIC TERRORISM NOT CHARGED CRIMINALLY AND ON THEIR WAY TO PRISON?!!!!

      Published on
      by

      Amid Water Crisis, Suspicious Flint City Hall Break-in Declared 'Inside Job'

      In December, an empty office where Flint water crisis files were being kept was burglarized

       

      A City Hall break-in targeted the empty office where files on the Flint water crisis are being kept. (Photo: Michigan Radio)

      An unsolved December break-in to the Flint City Hall office where files on the water crisis were being stored was "definitely an inside job," the city's police chief has told local media.

      That statement raised more than a few eyebrows as Flint officials are currently being investigated for their role in the ongoing lead poisoning crisis. Three months after the burglary, there are still no suspects, and officials have only confirmed that a television has gone missing, though documents were reportedly strewn throughout the office.

      The city's new police chief Tim Johnson told the Flint Journal on Friday that the circumstances are too suspicious for the break-in to have been random.

      "It was definitely an inside job. The power cord [to the TV] wasn't even taken. The average drug user knows that you'd need the power cord to be able to pawn it," he said. "It was somebody that had knowledge of those documents that really wanted to keep them out of the right hands, out of the hands of someone who was going to tell the real story of what's going on with Flint water."

      The burglary was discovered after a City Hall employee returning to work after a break on December 28 noticed a broken window. Surveillance footage showed a person leaving with a TV that investigators believe came from the office. No other rooms in the building were targeted.

      Days after the break-in, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who is the target of a congressional probe into his role in the crisis, declared a state of emergency in Genesee County.

      Flint Mayor Karen Weaver on Friday said documents were strewn throughout the office, so it was impossible to know if any were taken, or which ones.

      "Well sure [it's suspicious] when they go into a room where all the water files were and they take a TV, but not the cord to make it work, yes," she told the Journal.

      While she declined to call it an inside job, Weaver added, "They had to know what room to go into, I could just say that."

      2 Prisons Hold Water Drive For Flint And Collect 29,000 Bottles

      “They’re willing to give back to the community instead of themselves.”

      03/28/2016 08:51 am ET
      •  
        Kimberly YamAssociate Editor, Good News, The Huffington PostAdChoices

      Two prisons found a creative way of getting clean water to students in Flint, Michigan, who need it. 

      For 30 days, inmates and staff at Pugsley Correctional Facility squared off with those at the Oaks Correctional Facility in Michigan in a contest to collect the most water for the students at Genesee County’s Intermediate School District in Flint. 

      MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
      Prisoners at Pugsley Correctional Facility load water donated through the contest. 

      The contest recently ended and altogether, the facilities collected a whopping 29,000 bottles for the students. And though Pugsley Correctional Facility collected more water, they weren’t the true winners. 

      “It wasn’t us that won. It wasn’t Oaks that won. This is going to those kids at ISD in Genesee County. They won,” Robert Gauthier, general office assistant at Pugsley who came up with the idea, told UpNorthLive.com. 

      MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

      James Dawson, an administrative assistant at Pugsley, told The Huffington Post that staff members contributed by reaching out to people in the community for water donations. They also got a local grocery store involved to add to the drive. Inmates at the facility donated money, contributing a total of around $600 toward the initiative — a huge amount, especially considering their income. 

      “It’s a lot of money when you’re making $1.17 a day or making $.26 an hour,” Gauthier told UpNorthLive.com of the inmates’ contribution. “So from that end of it they dug deeper than [we did].”

      In addition to assisting with the project financially, prisoners also helped load water onto trucks to be stored in a warehouse until the bottles are sent to the schools. 

      The prisons had collected so much water by the end of the contest that the school district didn’t have enough room to take on the enormous donation, so the facilities are sending their water to the schools in shifts. 

      The success of the contest, Dawson said, shows that the inmates truly wanted to look out for those going through this rough time. 

      “I think the numbers speak for themselves. To have $600 dollars collected from them when they had very limited money and resources — that speaks volumes,” Dawson said. “[It shows] that they’re willing to give back to the community instead of themselves.” 

      Oaks Correctional Facility sent the water it collected to the school district last Thursday, while Pugsley will be sending its haul on April 12. 

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