After having their water poisoned out of pure greed and disregard for human life, Flint, Michigan, residents have received another slap in the face. They will now be forced to pay full price for toxic water that they need a filter to use.
According to NBC News, the state has ended its provided water relief credits that helped residents afford water that they haven’t been able to drink on its own since 2014. As we previously reported, in order to save money, in April 2014, Gov. Rick Snyder switched the water supply from the Detroit water system to the Flint River, a body of water known to have copious amounts of trash, pollution and iron. And despite residents complaining for 18 months afterwards that something was “funny” about the water, officials assured them that everything was fine, offering them water filters to relieve their anxiety.
As we know the nation found out that the water had been poising the city’s mostly Black and poor residents, so much so that last year former President Obama declared the area a state of emergency. But now the state expects for everyone to think all is good with the water supply.
On Tuesday, Anna Keaton, Snyder’s press secretary tried to justify their decision by saying that the state only promised to provide credits for Flint’s residents until the water met quality standards under the Lead and Copper Rule and Safe Drinking Water Act.
“That six month period, which is again required for every city in America, was June to December 2016,” Keaton said. “They got those results back and they went over them with the EPA in Chicago and the city and a few independent scientists, such as Marc Edwards, and they all determined that the water met all the quality standards.”
But as NBC pointed out, federal officials declared that properly-filtered Flint water was safe to drink, only after testing a measly 50 locations in the city of about 100,000. Not to mention, not all homes can be fitted for filters.
One community advocate told NBC news that the state is lying about the safety of the water.
“They’re not telling the truth about the water testing,” said Melissa Mays, of Water You Fighting For. “They’re saying they’re in compliance, but everyone here has had to learn the Lead and Copper Rule, and they’re not.”
There’s also been a disagreement about when the state notified Flint officials about this termination. While the governor’s office said they relayed their decision in a formal letter dated Feb. 7., state and city officials say they were not given adequate notice. Flint’s mayor, Karen Weaver, said the city was caught off guard, NPR noted.
She said state officials promised the payments would continue through March 31.