By: Tiffany Walker
The crisis all began in 2014 when the city of Flint switched the water system off of the Detroit system in order to save money. The city started to take the water from local sites instead. This switch was enacted under the emergency manager appointed by Rick Snyder. At first this switch did not seem problematic until children’s blood tests began to show high levels of lead. The extreme levels of lead are controversial because it can cause serious health and developmental issues in children.
Moreover, Governor Rick Snyder has come under fire because his administration has been very slow to react to the crisis. Not only is Rick Snyder being accused of neglect but the top Environmental Protection Agency administrator in the Midwest. More seriously, both parties are being accused of covering up the toxicity of the water in Flint.
State and federal investigations are being conducted, and some have even called for Governor Rick Snyder to resign. The investigations are focused on the failure of state and local officials in the crisis, begging the question: how did this happen? According to one report, State water quality officials insisted that they had taken the necessary safety steps, but then reportedly stated to officials privately that they had not taken all the steps. People began complaining about the smell and taste of the water a little after the switch, but the complaints did not change anything. So how could the state and local officials fail the people so terribly? Hopefully the investigations will provide the people of Flint with answers.