Officials are trying to reassure Flint residents that they will still have access to free bottled water, filters and cartridges, as Michigan Radio reported.
“We have heard from many residents … that’s there’s a deep concern that the federal government and state are going to pack up and pull out of Flint after August 14,” State Police Captain Chris Kelenske said Wednesday, according to Michigan Radio. “I’m here to tell you that that assumption is completely false. I want to be extremely clear: August 14 is just a date on the calendar.”
Since President Obama issued an emergency declaration in January, the federal government has paid for 75% of the costs of the bottled water, filters and cartridges. Now, the state will pick up the entire bill. That’s estimated to cost about $3.5 million every month, as Michigan Radio reported.
We’ve gone into depth about the roots of this crisis in a timeline that you can find here. As we have reported, the problem began when Flint switched to a new water source in 2014 in order to save money but failed to implement corrosion controls. Here’s more:
Lead is especially dangerous for children, and can cause “learning disabilities, behavioral problems and mental retardation,” the World Health Organization said.
An independent task force determined that primary responsibility for the crisis lies with a state environmental agency called the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality — though others are also to blame.
And while Flint is still in the slow process of treating its water system, the city received good news yesterday from Virginia Tech researchers who were among the first to expose the lead problem. They found “no detectable levels of the toxin in nearly half of 162 homes tested in July,” as The Associated Press reported.
“This is nearing the end of the …