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Fixing Flint: EPA gives Flint $100 million

by Siomara Germain - Copy Editor
Mon, Mar 27th 2017 10:10 pm
Photo taken from Shiela Weeks on Twitter

After three years of suffering from lead poisoning through a water crisis, Flint, Michigan is finally getting the aid they deserve.  The Environmental Protection Agency is awarding Michigan $100 million to fund infrasturcture upgrades in Flint.
Photo taken from Shiela Weeks on Twitter After three years of suffering from lead poisoning through a water crisis, Flint, Michigan is finally getting the aid they deserve. The Environmental Protection Agency is awarding Michigan $100 million to fund infrasturcture upgrades in Flint.

 Water is life. Seriously, we would all die without water. It fixes a lot of problems. Our bodies contain water and need water to survive. If you want to clear your face, you drink lots of water. If you need your clothes clean, you use water. If you need your plants to flourish, you water them. Water is essential to life. So imagine not having clean water or even water at all? It ought to be a state emergency. That's exactly what Flint, Michigan is going through. 

Flint has been facing a water crisis since April 2014. It's 2017, people. It's about to be three years and not much has changed for the residents in Flint. The outcome of the water crisis has exposed thousands of children to lead, resulted to several lawsuits and investigations. A public health state of emergency was announced. 

For the past three years, residents have had to only shower with, and drink, bottled water. Their houses were not in condition in which parents could raise their children, especially newborns. 

According to the wsws.org article, "Flint, Michigan begins water shutoffs" by James Brewer, "Flint has been in the news worldwide since it was revealed in September of 2016 that its water was poisoned by high levels of lead. The catastrophe was the outcome of a series of decisions made by the state leading to the disconnection of the city from the Detroit water system and a switch to water drawn from the polluted Flint River, without proper treatment."

However, changes are coming for Flint residents who have suffered enough for the past three years due to the decisions made by the state. They have received a substantial amount of money. 

According to The Detroit News article, "EPA gives Flint $100M to help repair pipes" by Melissa Nann Burke, "the Environmental Protection Agency said Friday Mar. 17 it is awarding a $100 million emergency grant to Michigan to fund infrastructure upgrades in Flint, where lead-contaminated water damaged service lines. The state of Michigan is contributing matching funds of $20 million for a total award of $120 million."

With this amount of money, a lot can be done for the people in Flint. 

Earlier this month, a group of water quality experts and water system vendors met for a conference to discuss the water infrastructure and how to fund it being that finances was a huge issue. 

According to the Michigan Radio article, "Experts meet on water infrastructure issues in Flint" by Steve Carmody, "In his keynote address, Gov. Rick Snyder says Flint is not the only bellwether for infrastructure problems. 'We had a sinkhole in Fraser recently. We had a boil water advisory in Detroit.  These are all warning signals. Not only warning signals, they're hurting people today,' Snyder told the crowd."

Now that they have received the funding, Burke stated, "The funding was approved by Congress in December and signed into law by former President Barack Obama, but the EPA had to review and approve a formal request from state officials detailing how the city intends to use the grant money." 

It makes me question why the Obama administration did not do anything sooner for these people. If the problem was in the process of being fixed since it occurred, people in Flint would be fine today because by now the water crisis would have been fixed.

Burke also stated that with the new funding, the city "aims to replace 6,000 pipes this year, among other upgrades."

I hope all the money goes towards the crisis and not into the pockets of greedy politicians who takes advantage of residents' misforturnes. 


sgerm2@brockport.edu