The Hightower Report: The real stink in Flint, Michigan’s water scandal

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As it stands, the bill would cover about two-thirds of the water portion of people’s water/sewer bills, dating back almost two years.

One of the leaders of a protesting organization said, “Governor Snyder is a criminal disguised as a public servant”. The 41-year-old used it in the painting this month as a permanent reminder of children affected in Flint.

The heavy toll exacted on the residents of Flint, Michigan, goes beyond the potential health consequences of consuming lead-contaminated water.

In April 2014, a state-appointed emergency manager switched the city’s water supply from the Detroit Water Plant to the Flint River as a cost-saving measure.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell smiles at Medical Assistant Evady Demson on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, at the Hamilton Community Health Network in Flint.

“I didn’t need a study to tell me I was paying the highest bills”, said Flint resident Valdemar L. Washington.

That aid comes as a new congressional report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service said the Environmental Protection Agency waited too long to take enforcement action after learning of elevated lead levels in Flint’s tap water.

If funding to ramp up her Fast Start project is not secured quickly from the state or federal government, Weaver said she may have to take her case directly to the national and global audience. Mary Lawston, a retired widow, said that she still struggles to pay between $172 and $214 a month for water she and her grandchildren can’t use.

Snyder announced this week he will contract Rowe Professional Services, a local engineering company, to update that study focused on finding and replacing the lead pipes.

Governor Snyder is also pushing for $165 million in spending for lead pipe replacement, bottled water, filters, health care and other services.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says this is a “positive step”. This is the first time Snyder has addressed the issue of who is to blame for Flint’s water crisis. One Flint home on February 11 was identified as having higher than 10,000 parts per billion lead levels. “I don’t know why we didn’t have contractors last fall when the rest of us found out about the Flint water crisis, so I’m just trying to push this process along”. The deal will require approval from Flint officials.

The Flint River flows through downtown in Flint Michigan Dec. 16 2015

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