Flint Water Crisis Timeline

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Re: Flint Water Crisis Timeline

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:52 am

6 Flint Residents Arrested at Water Crisis Town Hall
"They were roughing people up about taking off their hats."
By Alexandra Rosenmann / AlterNet April 24, 2017


Six arrests for disorderly conduct at a Flint, Michigan town hall last week have been widely criticized as the city continues to battle its water crisis.

"This is a people's movement and I don't think people are realizing that," Flint resident Abel Delgado announced at a protest following his arrest. "I'm still [in] awe just at what happened yesterday... just how oppressive the system can be."

Over 100 Flint residents showed up to Mayor Karen Weaver’s town hall Thursday and were confronted by a large police presence from the moment they walked in the door.

"The first thing that we noticed [was] there [were] police everywhere, which is uncommon," Flint resident Melissa Mays told "Young Turks" reporter Jordan Chariton. "They had their bulletproof vests on the outside, which was extremely uncomfortable."

The meeting was focused on the issue of using a new pipeline versus the current Detroit-area system.

"We're supposed to be learning about our water source; why are there so many police and police officers I'd never even seen before?" Mays wondered.

"They were roughing people up about taking off their hats because it's a church, and I didn't think that the police force should be enforcing a church's guidelines," she said.

According to Mays, community organizers appeared to be targeted by police.

"There was a gentleman who works with us... at Flint Rising, who didn't even have a hat; he asked a question, and he got manhandled right out the door, and that was at five o'clock... a half hour before [the event] even started," Mays added.

All six residents were released from jail the following day.

Watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WzfNtJi5pc
http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politi ... -town-hall
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Re: Flint Water Crisis Timeline

Postby Karmamatterz » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:19 am

As of today, Flint has no waste pickup, suspended indefinitely. Water is still poisoned, no curbside pickup, rotting trash, impending wild animal uprisings.


As if they didn't have enough problems already......Impending animal uprisings? Animal Farm comes to life? :wink

Where I live we do not have local government managing the curbside trash pickup. Citizens use any of the several privately owned services available. This free market approach creates competition and drives down the cost of the service. I've lived in other areas where the local gov't handled trash pickup but prefer the lost costly approach. The service also picks up recycling every other week. I've seen some towns that actually have municipal workers also come by in the late Autumn and haul away the leaves at the curb. What a total waste of tax dollars.
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Re: Flint Water Crisis Timeline

Postby Iamwhomiam » Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:28 pm

Karmamatterz » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:19 am wrote:
As of today, Flint has no waste pickup, suspended indefinitely. Water is still poisoned, no curbside pickup, rotting trash, impending wild animal uprisings.


As if they didn't have enough problems already......Impending animal uprisings? Animal Farm comes to life? :wink

Where I live we do not have local government managing the curbside trash pickup. Citizens use any of the several privately owned services available. This free market approach creates competition and drives down the cost of the service. I've lived in other areas where the local gov't handled trash pickup but prefer the lost costly approach. The service also picks up recycling every other week. I've seen some towns that actually have municipal workers also come by in the late Autumn and haul away the leaves at the curb. What a total waste of tax dollars.


Wow! Not at all meaning to be offensive, but you pay far more to have your garbage removed from your eyesight than most urban dwellers pay in taxes for their trash removal.

I pay about $30 a month to a private hauler and I live in a rural area. $27.50, plus tax.

The City of Albany (with 2/3 of its properties being tax exempt) like many small cities, is financially distressed. Especially so, as it loses its cash cow; its municipal landfill.

And that's a victory won after a long, drawn out 45 year battle that I joined in 20 years after it started.

This came about after defeating a landfill Albany had proposed to build 12 miles south of the city in my town on a property they spent $5 million (really$10m) to buy.

Faced with the loss of $12 million in revenue from their landfill's closure, the city has not found another revenue stream to replace it and so, they are looking to cut costs wherever they can. Albany has provided 'free' municipal trash, recycling, lawn and leaf-litter pick-up and removal for single family and up to 4 unit dwellings for more than four decades now. Buildings with more than 4 units have always needed to pay a private hauler. Businesses too, pay for private waste removal.

Forty years ago in Albany refuse pick up services were minority owned and after demanding higher fees, which they didn't get, they instituted a strike. (Our mayor at the time was legendary Erastus Corning, who reigned over Albany's O'Connell Democratic political machine and held office for over 40 years, beginning in 1942.) Mysteriously, one night during the strike garbage was piled high at the mayor's front doorstep and needless to say, when he left to greet the day, he was outraged. His home is far removed from the city, in a rural setting on a great many acres of land lying at the city's extreme southern border.

Rather than concede to the garbage haulers demands, Corning instituted a municipal rubbish removal service and immediately put them all out of business. And so it went, until '92, when Jerry Jennings was elected mayor, an insurgent I and many of my friends supported. That's when some in power learned how much money could be made from waste disposal operations, if it was open to haulers transporting wastes from outside the city's limits and not limited to use by citizens only.

Within two years, Jennings had contracted to purchase nearly 400 acres of land in the town I had recently moved to and the fight to close the only state-owned incinerator in a low income minority neighborhood two blocks from City Hall was well under way. (It was shuttered by the guy now heading the Sierra Club, Aaron Mair.)

After Jennings' 19 year term in office, that landfill, (which is located atop an aquifer which was then Albany's emergency water supply and had been its primary water source until the early 1930s, in a globally unique inland pine barrens ecosystem that's home to many rare and endangered species), is now the tallest man-made structure between Chicago and Boston, though it might have recently been topped by the 550' high calcinator tower Lafarge has just built as part of the new state of the art single dry-process kiln cement plant they're building in my town to replace their two obsolete wet-process kilns. (250' higher than their old smokestack! During a scoping session their former environmental officer jumped right out of his chair in astonishment after I mentioned they would need to include FAA clearance in their EIS, (environmental impact statement) to build that high!)

Bringing us back to the present, last year Albany's current mayor, Kathy Sheehan, proposed instituting a fee for all those formerly receiving 'free' trash removal services, but foolishly, she exempted owner occupied single unit homes. This set up an argument for preferential treatment for some, while angering advocates for the poor, because of the fee's impact upon low income households was seen as a burden.

Much of the housing that is available for rent in Albany is owned by speculators and other investors, so of course they objected greatly, seeing and arguing the fee as cutting into their profits, rather admitting they'll just pass the fee on to tenants by raising rents. Even the County legislature opposed the fee, seeing it would incur more costs for those the county already assist, and be burdensome.

The fee that was objected to was an annual fee of $180 per unit, or $15 a month.

The $180 annual per-unit fee applies to the second, third and fourth units in buildings with up to four apartments. Because the first unit is free, single-family homeowners don't have to pay it.
http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Albany-Council-defeats-repeal-of-new-trash-fee-6937642.php


https://docs.google.com/document/d/18InVXNjEku-zsZ897EJV7tCtr_Wb5j9rF6cO8oOsf4s/edit

The point is, living rurally as I do, I pay twice the fee for trash removal that I would if I was living in similar circumstances in urban Albany.

For the record, I prefer municipal waste management services to be operated by the municipality in urban areas over private operations and prefer municipally owned and managed landfills over privately managed landfills because they are more accountable.

I prefer a small, private hauler, like the rare-today independent hauler I contract with for my waste disposal services. I have no choice, but to pay more to Waste Management or some other international hauler, so I'm sticking with the little guy while he's around.

Most independent operators have been killed muscled bought out by the one few now international giants.

We all might be trapped within a system, but until we learn a better way, we all must pay, we must pay for the disposal of the waste we create and eventually, our descendants will pay for cleaning up the places we've been putting it.

There is a better way.

Sorry to ramble on so.
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Re: Flint Water Crisis Timeline

Postby minime » Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:58 pm

You could be an activist by not making any trash.
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Re: Flint Water Crisis Timeline

Postby Iamwhomiam » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:46 pm

Yes, you could adopt stringent zero waste principles. Minimize your purchases to products that use minimal packaging, compost organics, recycle until manufacturers adopt responsibility for the lifetime of their products and their packaging through adoption of extended producer responsibility (EPR) rules. Reuse of what can be reused. Buy less. Don't buy unrecyclable goods. Avoid plastics, especially microfibers, (which I believe are as dangerous as asbestos. Think about all those fluffy stuffed animals being snuggled lovingly by young children, the carpets infants crawl upon.)



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqkekY5t7KY

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Re: Flint Water Crisis Timeline

Postby minime » Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:08 pm

Yeah, no.

I was talking about you.
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Re: Flint Water Crisis Timeline

Postby Iamwhomiam » Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:23 pm

Yeah, I'm about as much as a zero waste guy as one can be. I could quit the internet and become greener, though, and get rid of my 1991 truck and buy more from second hand stores, but otherwise, I live minimally. Of course, I'm sure I would consume more if I had a greater income.
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Re: Flint Water Crisis Timeline

Postby minime » Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:35 pm

Iamwhomiam » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:23 pm wrote:Yeah, I'm about as much as a zero waste guy as one can be. I could quit the internet and become greener, though, and get rid of my 1991 truck and buy more from second hand stores, but otherwise, I live minimally. Of course, I'm sure I would consume more if I had a greater income.


Then you must not need garbage collection.

It's not about consumption; it's about waste. It's about having it hauled away.

If you had more income, you would have more resources, time and money, to waste less.

Anyways, you can do it. Keep us apprised.

So, how old are you?
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Re: Flint Water Crisis Timeline

Postby minime » Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:36 pm

As you were.
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Re: Flint Water Crisis Timeline

Postby Iamwhomiam » Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:52 pm

minime » Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:35 pm wrote:
Iamwhomiam » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:23 pm wrote:Yeah, I'm about as much as a zero waste guy as one can be. I could quit the internet and become greener, though, and get rid of my 1991 truck and buy more from second hand stores, but otherwise, I live minimally. Of course, I'm sure I would consume more if I had a greater income.


Then you must not need garbage collection.

It's not about consumption; it's about waste. It's about having it hauled away.

If you had more income, you would have more resources, time and money, to waste less.

Anyways, you can do it. Keep us apprised.

So, how old are you?


I need only one pick up a month, mostly cat food cans and litter.

Of course it's about consumption; it's how the products you consume get to you and what you do with their packaging after consumption.

Perhaps you'll explain for me how having my waste hauled away is some sort of solution to the ever-growing problem of waste plaguing our world?

You should try it; you might start a trend.

Fortunately or unfortunately old. I haven't quite yet decided which.
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Re: Flint Water Crisis Timeline

Postby minime » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:08 pm

Iamwhomiam » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:52 pm wrote:
minime » Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:35 pm wrote:
Iamwhomiam » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:23 pm wrote:Yeah, I'm about as much as a zero waste guy as one can be. I could quit the internet and become greener, though, and get rid of my 1991 truck and buy more from second hand stores, but otherwise, I live minimally. Of course, I'm sure I would consume more if I had a greater income.


Then you must not need garbage collection.

It's not about consumption; it's about waste. It's about having it hauled away.

If you had more income, you would have more resources, time and money, to waste less.

Anyways, you can do it. Keep us apprised.

So, how old are you?


I need only one pick up a month, mostly cat food cans and litter.

Of course it's about consumption; it's how the products you consume get to you and what you do with their packaging after consumption.

Perhaps you'll explain for me how having my waste hauled away is some sort of solution to the ever-growing problem of waste plaguing our world?

You should try it; you might start a trend.

Fortunately or unfortunately old. I haven't quite yet decided which.


I had four cats (inherited) live until their late teens, may they all rest in peace. They never ate cat food. Why would I give them cat food?

Whoosh!!!

There goes your trash pickup.

I'm an activist.

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Re: Flint Water Crisis Timeline

Postby Iamwhomiam » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:18 pm

I have a vegan cat. I'm not vegan, but I eat very little meat, nor chicken or fish. I inherited my son's cat. She's 16 and now has gone deaf, but we enjoy our daily walks.
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Re: Flint Water Crisis Timeline

Postby minime » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:27 pm

Iamwhomiam » Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:18 pm wrote:I have a vegan cat. I'm not vegan, but I eat very little meat, nor chicken or fish. I inherited my son's cat. She's 16 and now has gone deaf, but we enjoy our daily walks.


Last intrusion into this thread...

Not questioning your commitment to activism. Yet with a vegan cat, there is no reason to have cans, not for an activist anyway. Or a cat lover.

I'm just razzing you, but with a point. It relates to the thread too, somehow. I think.

I haven't had garbage collection at my present domicile for 24 years and counting.

It's an art and a science.

Apologies to the OP.
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Re: Flint Water Crisis Timeline

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:57 pm

Energy and Environment
Top Michigan health official, four others charged with manslaughter in Flint water crisis
By Brady Dennis June 14 at 2:31 PM
Play Video 3:05

Take a look at the key moments that led up to Flint, a city of 90,000, getting stuck with contaminated water. (Claritza Jimenez/The Washington Post)
Nick Lyon, Michigan health and human services director, was charged Wednesday with involuntary manslaughter. (David Eggert/AP)
This post has been updated.

The Michigan attorney general’s office on Wednesday charged the director of the state’s health department and four other public officials with involuntary manslaughter for their roles in the Flint water crisis, which has stretched into its third year.

Nick Lyon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, also faces a felony count of misconduct in office.

While much of the attention in Flint has focused on the lead-tainted water that exposed thousands of young children to potential long-term health risks, the crisis also has been linked to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that contributed to at least a dozen deaths. Those cases ultimately led to the charges Wednesday for Lyon, as well as for the state’s chief medical executive, Eden Wells, who faces charges of obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer but is not accused of manslaughter.

Attorney General Bill Schuette also charged four other state and city officials, who already were facing various criminal accusations, with involuntary manslaughter: Stephen Busch, a water supervisor for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality; Darnell Earley, who had been a state-appointed emergency manager for Flint; Howard Croft, former director of the city’s public works department; and Liane Shekter-Smith, who served as chief of the state’s Office of Drinking Water.


Lyon was aware of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak by early 2015 but “did not notify the public until a year later,” according to charging documents filed in court and reviewed by the Detroit Free Press. According to the documents, he “willfully disregarded the deadly nature of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak,” later saying “[we] can’t save everyone,” and “everyone has to die of something.”

The attorney general’s office alleges that Lyon was personally briefed on the situation in Genesee County, where figures showed the number of Legionnaire’s cases was more than three times the annual average. Lyon allegedly also refused an early offer of help from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and hindered scientists from researching whether the spike in Legionnaires’ cases was linked to the city’s switch to water from the Flint River.

Those failures, investigators claim, led to the 2015 death of Robert Skidmore, an 85-year-old man who was treated at McLaren Flint hospital.


Investigators separately accused Wells of threatening to hold back funding for the Flint Area Community Health and Environment Partnership if the organization did not stop looking for the source of the outbreak. She also was charged with lying to an officer about when she became aware of the sharp increase in Legionnaires’ cases.

“We absolutely, vehemently dispute the charges. They are baseless,” Lyon’s attorney, Chip Chamberlain, said Wednesday. “We intend to provide a vigorous defense of Mr. Lyon. We expect the justice system to vindicate him entirely.”

In a statement, Gov. Rick Snyder (R) also defended Lyon and Wells, saying they have his full confidence and would remain employed at the health department.

“Nick Lyon has been a strong leader at the Department of Health and Human Services for the past several years and remains completely committed to Flint’s recovery,” Snyder said. “Director Lyon and Dr. Eden Wells, like every other person who has been charged with a crime by Bill Schuette, are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Some state employees were charged over a year ago and have been suspended from work since that time. They still have not had their day in court. That is not justice for Flint nor for those who have been charged.”


Schuette on Wednesday addressed the pressure he has gotten to charge Snyder, who has heard repeated calls to resign for his appointment of emergency mangers in Flint and the state’s delayed and inadequate response there.

“We only file criminal charges when evidence of probable cause to commit a crime has been established,” Schuette said. He later revealed that investigators have been unable to speak with Snyder about his role in the catastrophe. “We attempted to interview the governor. We were not successful,” he said.

Mona Hanna-Attisha, the Flint doctor who went public with test results showing the spike in high blood-lead levels in the city’s children, said Wednesday that, regardless of the charges, Wells was instrumental in getting top state officials to acknowledge the growing disaster after they initially dismissed its seriousness.

“I do want to remind everyone that after my research went public, and the state went after me, Dr. Wells was critical in getting her colleagues in the Snyder administration to finally understand and respond to the gravity of the crisis,” Hanna-Attisha said. But, she added, “restorative justice and accountability are critical to the journey toward healing Flint.”

For decades, Flint paid Detroit to have its water piped in from Lake Huron, with anti-corrosion chemicals added along the way. But in early 2014, with the city under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager, officials switched to Flint River water in an ill-fated effort to save money.

State officials failed to ensure proper corrosion-control treatment of the new water source. That failure allowed rust, iron and lead to leach from aging pipes and wind up in residents’ homes. The ensuing catastrophe exposed thousands of children to high levels of lead, which can cause long-term physical damage and mental impairment.


Since a task force began probing the debacle in early 2016, Schuette has filed more than 50 criminal charges against 15 state and local officials — many of whom now face multiple felonies — as well as civil suits against outside companies that worked with the Flint water system. He and his team have insisted they will continue to follow where the evidence leads.

Former Wayne County prosecutor Todd Flood, who is helping lead the Flint investigation, said the latest charges reflect a “willful disregard of duty” on the part of numerous public servants. He said that while he hopes the charges bring accountability and a sense of justice to Flint residents, there was little cause for celebration.

“There are no winners here,” he said. “We cannot bring back Mr. Skidmore. We can’t bring back the lost loved ones that died from legionella. I wish we could turn back the hands of time, but we can’t.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/ene ... 9d2103643b
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Re: Flint Water Crisis Timeline

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:52 am

Miscarriages in Flint: ‘I Really Believe It’s the Water’
Nov 3, 2017, 9:36am Auditi Guha
“It's sad because we have no idea what the heavy metals, carcinogenic byproducts, bacteria, and whatever else we have been, and are still being, exposed to has done to our bodies."

Rachel Lauren, who has three healthy children, found out she was pregnant again in September.

“I was sleeping a lot, and thought, ‘Oh boy, here we go again,’” she said. “I was excited to have another baby.”

Lauren told Rewire she moved to Flint in November 2013, just before the man-made water crisis there came to light. She used the water for cooking, bathing, and drinking while she was pregnant with her fourth child, Brielle, now 11 months old.

So she was surprised when her latest pregnancy caused her to start bleeding on October 23.

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“I know people say it’s normal to bleed old blood sometimes but I never had this before,” she said.

Then she started cramping heavily, went to the bathroom and passed a lot of bright red blood and tissue. “I felt an overwhelming sense of loss and started to cry. I knew I had lost my baby,” she said.

Doctors confirmed she had miscarried and found the amniotic sac still inside, which she eventually passed, she said.

The factor that changed with this pregnancy, as opposed to her previous three, was where she lived. Although doctors can’t confirm her miscarriage was the result of tainted water, you cannot convince Lauren otherwise.

“I’m only 30, I’ve had normal healthy pregnancies, and four beautiful, healthy children. Now, all of a sudden, I can’t carry a baby?” she said.

Lauren is not the only one worried that the city’s poisoned water has caused more damage than lead poisoning and Legionnaire’s Disease that led to the deaths of at least 12 in the low-income, largely Black city struggling with the effects of the water crisis for three years.

Researchers studying the water crisis recently found a high number of fetal deaths and fewer pregnancies in Flint since April 2014, which is when the city switched its water supply to use water from the polluted Flint River without adding anti-corrosives to treat it.

Comparing health records with 15 other Michigan cities, David Slusky from the University of Kansas and Daniel Grossman from West Virginia University found that fetal death rates jumped by 58 percent and fertility rates dropped by 12 percent in Flint, according to the Detroit Free Press. Their working paper is yet to be peer reviewed.

Nakiya Wakes, 42, one of the women portrayed in a movie about Flint that debuted last month, has faced two miscarriages, including one last month, and is convinced they were caused by her exposure to the lead in the water.

A mother of two, she moved to Flint in June 2014, and was pregnant with twins a year later. Five months into it, she lost one; and in her second trimester, she lost the other, she told Rewire.

“I lost twins again last month,” she said. The first on October 4, and the second on October 27. “It’s devastating. I really believe it’s the water.”

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician who blew the whistle on high lead levels in children, has looked into the possibility of miscarriages being caused by the tainted water, according to the Free Press. State officials deny this is happening, but residents pointed out that the same people also denied the existence of the water crisis until it was made public.

The city has since switched back to Detroit’s safer water supply. Many Flint residents remain skeptical amid news reports claiming that pipes are being changed and lead levels are returning to normal.

Lauren told Rewire she has zero faith in city and state officials. Wakes echoed her, saying that public trust has been shattered. Both continue to use bottled water even after their pipes have been changed.

A single unemployed mother, Lauren said she constantly worries about the health of her 11-month-old child. Brielle likes to play in water, so even though Lauren is vigilant, she worries that she may ingest some water during bath time or suck on a wet washcloth. She uses bottled water but doesn’t trust it either. “It makes me feel really frustrated,” she said.

Lauren’s tests showed high lead levels when she was pregnant but she can’t bring herself to test Brielle, although her pediatrician has recommended it, because she fears her baby might record high levels too.

“I know it sounds irresponsible but I don’t know what I’d do. It would be devastating for me,” she said.

Lead is a potent neurotoxin with no known safe blood-lead concentration, and children are particularly susceptible, according to the World Health Organization. It can affect children’s brain development, IQ, attention span, and can result in anti-social behavior, anemia, hypertension, renal problems, and toxicity to the reproductive organs. Lead in a pregnant person’s blood can affect embryo development.

“There is not enough being said about it,” Wakes said. “I’m worried whether my 18-year-old daughter will be able to have children.”

That water is life is not a cliché in Flint. The water crisis is a reproductive health crisis that many fear is taking a deeper human toll.

“There have been far too many miscarriages to count,” local activist Melissa Mays told Rewire. “It’s sad because we have no idea what the heavy metals, carcinogenic byproducts, bacteria, and whatever else we have been, and are still being, exposed to has done to our bodies. Will our sons have low sperm counts? How many young girls will not be able to become mothers because their eggs are poisoned? We just don’t know, and the State of Michigan just wants to sweep it all under the rug like it’s all in the past.”

“I’m never going to trust Flint water again. The damage is already done,” Wakes said. “A lot of people are still upset. A lot of people have lost their trust. It’s ridiculous what they have done to us. I want people to be aware that we are still struggling and that reports of all the pipes being replaced and the water being safe are not true.”
https://rewire.news/article/2017/11/03/ ... eve-water/
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