The Flint Water Crisis swept our nation when we learned of the devastating effects of poor water quality in Flint, Michigan. In case you forgot what the Flint Water Crisis is, (which I hope you didn’t) here’s a timeline/summary of the catastrophe.
The people of this city trusted its government officials when they told them the water was safe to drink if you had normal immune systems despite the discoloration of the water. Finally, on January 16, 2016 President Obama signed an emergency declaration and ordered federal aid for Flint and its residents.
The damage that has been done on this city both physically and mentally for the residents is not something that should be shoved aside by new media stories taking its place. This is not a story that any of us should forget about. We are still feeling its effects and some of us are not even aware of the impact it is still having on our society. We did a little research and came up with the 5 most important things that are still happening today.
1. Politicians are Using it as a Bargaining Chip
Whether you’re a Hilary Clinton fan or not, it’s important to see how she’s incorporating the Flint water crisis into her campaign tactics. I am not sure about anyone else, but it makes me wonder how involved she would be in Flint had she not been running for President.
On the other hand, there are individuals running for president who have barely touched on the issue of the Flint water crisis. For instance, the only statement Donald Trump has made regarding the issue remained minimal and quick. For me, this serves as a big problem because our country is witnessing a major health crisis for a significant amount of peole and some candidates are failing to discuss it.
2. It is More Common Than You Think
Unfortunately, Flint is not the first and is not the last place that major water crises are happening. Did you know that nine counties nationwide report 10 percent of tests coming back positive for lead poisoning? Now, maybe this seems like a small amount of number in the large scheme of things, but that still does not make it right that any number of people are suffering from lead poisoning. Aren’t we supposed to be the most powerful country in the world? It seems juvenile to me that we have individuals suffering from something as simple as water pollution.
There are a number of cities who fail to follow the Lead and Copper Rule which was established in 1991. Recently, NBC News shed some light on one of the many cities who may be falsely reporting the quality of water in their city, Philadelphia. Philadelphia is highly regarded as a well kept and well run city which makes us wonder what other highly regarded cities are failing to follow the law.
Another city who suffers from severe water pollution in the United States is St. Joseph, Louisiana. Louisiana was ranked as the third worst polluted water ways in America in 2012. The EPA has since been trying to come up with solutions which include extending the Clean Water Act of 1972.
3. There are More Players Involved Than You Think
Flint did not occur from one malicious individual. Several people had a hand to play in the making and blinding of the water pollution. These people include, the Governor of Michigan, the state appointed official, the MDEQ, the EPA, and unfortunately others as well.
Had it not been for the tireless efforts of residents in the community and Virginia Tech professor, Marc Edwards, who knows how much longer the government officials in Flint would have been covering this up.
4. Water Pollution is a Major Issue Today
Flint just opened our eyes to the overall issue of water pollution that still exits in our world today. It is an over arching issue that needs to be tackled in order to eliminate more issues as an effect of water pollution. The main issue with water pollution is that we do not have a definite way of fixing the problem, which is an effect of global warming. Although, the NRDC has come up with a few proposals to help alleviate the issues.
5. There is Still Not Clean Water in Flint
The most unfortunate part about this whole crisis is the fact that Flint still does not have clean water. Residents are being forced to drink strictly bottled water in order to survive. This includes bathing, cooking, cleaning, and anything else you could possibly think of. Imagine waking up every day and having to deal with all these struggles.
On the plus side, there are incredible individuals who are working tirelessly to ensure the people of Flint are receiving sufficient supplies of bottled water. Even though this entire crisis was awful and it should have never occured, there is still a ton of information that we can learn from a terrible occurence.
When bad things happen it is important to recognize it and ensure something like it does not happen again. That is the biggest reason why you should never forget about the Flint water crisis. It matters.