For Hillary, it’s simple enough. Blame the whole Flint water fiasco on Republican Governor Rick Snyder and environmental racism.
Hillary’s not interested in dealing with facts or educating the public. Her goal is to harness public anger to her political advantage.
But in doing so, Hillary’s been fundamentally dishonest.
- In the spring of 2014, it wasn’t the governor, but Flint’s Emergency Manager, who decided to switch the city’s water supply from the Detroit water system’s Lake Huron water to the Flint River.
- Although the Detroit water supply contained a low-cost corrosion inhibitor preventing lead from household pipes from contaminating the water, no inhibitor was added to the Flint River water. This sin of omission was committed by some water management worker(s), not the Emergency Manager or Gov. Snyder.
- It was in response to a request from Lee Anne Walters, a Flint mother who had determined her child had lead poisoning, that the initial testing took place. Walters appealed to a Virginia Tech University team led by Prof. Marc Edwards to sample and test the water at her home.
- The team found lead levels that on average contained over 2,000 parts per billion (ppb) of lead—more than 130 times the EPA’s maximum allowable limit of 15 ppb.
- The Virginia Tech team gave the results, which showed high lead levels, to a Region 5 EPA employee, Miguel Del Toral.
- Del Toral identified potential problems with Flint’s drinking water. In June 2015, he sent upstairs an internal memo summarizing the looming lead contamination problem, noting that Flint residents were not being protected by federal law.
- Region 5 of the EPA, in the face of this potentially devastating water quality news, took no action and did not notify Flint residents. EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman told The Detroit News she sought a legal opinion on whether the EPA could force action, but it wasn’t completed until November.
- But meanwhile, at the request of some Flint residents, the Va. Tech team did a more comprehensive analysis of water samples in the city and found sky-high level of lead contamination.
- Still, as late as July 2015, after Miguel Del Toral’s memo was leaked by the American Civil Liberties Union, it was Brad Wurfel, a spokesman for Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality, not Gov. Snyder, who brushed off the memo and assured Flint residents all was safe. “…anyone who is concerned about lead in the drinking water in Flint can relax,” Wurfel said. “It does not look like there is any broad problem with the water supply freeing up lead as it goes to homes.”
- Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency for Flint and Genesee County in January 2016 as a result of the contaminated drinking water crisis.
“It just makes me so angry that we as a society have spent the money and passed laws that say we want clean water,” Virginia Tech’s Prof. Edwards said in a Feb. 29, 2016 CNN interview. “We have civil servants out there who are supposed to be protecting us and the laws are not being followed. None of us are safe in this country until we get an Environmental Protection Agency, state primacy agencies and water utilities committed to following existing laws.”
So how about telling the truth for a change, Hillary.