According to the Guardian, at least 33 cities across the eastern United States have used water-testing “cheats” to conceal dangerous levels of lead. Twenty-one cities used the same techniques that resulted in felony charges against three government employees in Flint, Michigan, accused of misleading regulators.
At a preliminary budget hearing on Monday, New York City Housing Authority chair Shola Olatoye testified before the City Council that the city recently tested the water in random, vacant public housing units. The tests were conducted “out of an abundance of caution” to check for elevated lead levels.
In tonight’s Democratic debate, citizens of Flint, Michigan have been asking the candidates questions that hit close to home—questions like, what can you do to promise us we won’t be poisoned, for instance. Which, for Hillary, meant swearing to get rid of every last bit of lead in the country in five years time.
Yes, life is hard for the residents of Flint, MI, many of whom have no clean water and toxic levels of lead coursing through their veins. But life is also hard for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who can’t even enjoy a night out anymore without being reminded of the fact that thousands of his constituents were poisoned on his watch.
The water in Flint, Mich. is poisoned. On Tuesday, many months after its residents rightly suspected its water might be tainted and sickening, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency. On Thursday, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said the cash-poor city might need to come up with as much $1.5 billion to fix its water system, a sad coda to a crisis that stems from a broken down city looking to save money anywhere it could.