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Tags environmental incidents , environmental issues , Michigan incidents , Michigan issues , water quality issues

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Old 3rd October 2015, 02:25 AM   #1
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Angry Water in Flint Michegan resembles urine.

Flint is a poor town, with about 42% of the populating living in defined poverty. Now the water is possibly poisoning people, with high levels of lead and an appearance that's been described as "like urine" and smelling "like a sewer". The water problem isn't new but a public health emergency has been declared after doctors spoke out about the elevated levels of lead. The water should be filtered before being ingested.
The problems aren't new; rashes, hair loss, and other health problems have been reported for over a year. Indeed the General Motors engine plant stopped using the city's water due to it's corrosive effect on vehicle parts (link).

Up to last year the town was paying Detroit for its water supply but this ended due to a dispute over costs. Currently the public water supply is sourced from the Flint river (one of the most polluted in the USA). One cause for the lead is pollutants from the river interacting with unreplaced lead pipes to release water soluble lead salts. The FWTP also has had to add extreme levels of chlorine to drinking water to kill bacteria in the river water, this has in the past led to very high levels of trihalomethanes in the treated water.

Detroit News
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Old 3rd October 2015, 03:05 AM   #2
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The suburbs are furious at the city of Detroit because they keep jacking up water rates yet leave tens of millions of dollars uncollected from their own citizens.

Flint is an hour north, I'm surprised they are (were) on city water.
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Old 17th February 2016, 03:32 AM   #3
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Bump. It seems that in addition to delivering leaded water the utility who did so grossly overcharged people for the privilege of ingesting a toxic heavy metal in their water. In a report by Food and Water Watch (link) Flint's water was the most expensive of the 500 largest US water systems, costing US$864 for a typical household. That's nearly twice the US national average (US$501 for private water systems and US$316 for public water systems) and more than three times the cost to families in nearby Detroit. In fact the lead contaminated water cost ten times as much as water in Phoenix.

Detroit Free Press.
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Old 17th February 2016, 05:10 AM   #4
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I've been following this story only passively. Is anyone offering a defense for what has been happening?
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Old 17th February 2016, 05:12 AM   #5
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Small government and invisible hand capitalism success story?
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Old 17th February 2016, 05:23 AM   #6
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Admittedly, not what I was expecting.
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Old 17th February 2016, 05:24 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
I've been following this story only passively. Is anyone offering a defense for what has been happening?
Money. There's a lot of blame passing.

Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Small government and invisible hand capitalism success story?
Yeah.
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As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
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Old 17th February 2016, 06:57 AM   #8
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Why is it that the failures of government are always taken as proof that government is incompetent and should be minimalised, but the failures of capitalism are always taken as just being a feature of the system?
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Old 17th February 2016, 07:45 AM   #9
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To add insult to injury: A Brief History of Nestle’s Water Battles in Michigan
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In North America, bottled water companies like Nestlé Waters have been able to secure control over underground aquifers and streams by taking advantage of an archaic patch work of regulatory regimes. One of these is called the “rule of capture.” According this law, “ground water is the private property of the owner of the overlying land” and they “have the right to capture the ground water beneath their land.” It is also known as the ‘law of the biggest pump’ because the landowner with the largest pumping capacity “can dry up the adjoining landowner’s well.”
Nestle finds well water locations for it's bottled water plants and pumps hundreds of gallons a minute from local aquifers for free. They have one not too far from Flint that was involved in a ten year court battle after they moved in against the wishes of the locals and started draining the aquifer.

It cost the locals a million dollars that they raised through bake sales and raffles. Nestle harassed some of them with SLAPP lawsuits (strategic lawsuit against public participation) claiming they were defamed.


Another aspect of this corruption caused disaster is one of the reasons Flint went into debt requiring the emergency manager was the state took a larger share of the tax revenue (by decreasing the revenue sharing with cities) conveniently giving the governor a budget surplus he then bragged about.

Flint Is the Predicted Outcome of Michigan’s Long, Dangerous History With ‘Emergency Managers’
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Then, in 2005, the right-wing think tank Mackinac Center for Public Policy advocated that law be broadened to grant EMs the power to take over all aspects of local government, including the power to unilaterally reject collective-bargaining agreements, and to insulate EMs from any resulting legal liability. By 2011, Snyder had been elected governor, and Republicans had taken control of both the State Senate and House. One of their first orders of business was to dramatically expand the law along the lines proposed by the Mackinac Center. The EM law soon came to be seen as a vehicle for corporate privatization, with a 2011 New York Times investigation revealing that EM training sessions were “run primarily by representatives from companies who stand to benefit financially.”

As EM appointments increased sharply due to state-imposed cutbacks in local revenue-sharing as well as the impact of the Great Recession, numerous red flags were raised.
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Old 17th February 2016, 08:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
I've been following this story only passively. Is anyone offering a defense for what has been happening?
The defense I've seen is that Flint saved millions of dollars by not buying water from Detroit while waiting for their new supply to be ready. By not putting in the anti-corrosion chemicals during treatment they saved an additional 10 thousand dollars. Now that they've dissolved all the protective coating on the lead water mains they're looking at 1 billion plus dollars to fix the system.

Just found what appears to be a well sourced new article on Wikipedia about the whole situation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flint_water_crisis
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Old 17th February 2016, 11:04 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by paulhutch View Post
The defense I've seen is that Flint saved millions of dollars by not buying water from Detroit while waiting for their new supply to be ready. By not putting in the anti-corrosion chemicals during treatment they saved an additional 10 thousand dollars. Now that they've dissolved all the protective coating on the lead water mains they're looking at 1 billion plus dollars to fix the system.

Just found what appears to be a well sourced new article on Wikipedia about the whole situation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flint_water_crisis
After they told Detroit they were going to switch to the river DWSD offered a new plan that would, according to them, save them 20% over the KWA river proposal over 30 years.
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Old 17th February 2016, 11:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Seismosaurus View Post
Why is it that the failures of government are always taken as proof that government is incompetent and should be minimalised, but the failures of capitalism are always taken as just being a feature of the system?
Because that's the REALITY. Deal with it. A is A.
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Old 17th February 2016, 01:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by elbe View Post
Wow
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Old 21st March 2016, 03:42 AM   #14
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On 28 December there was a "mysterious" break-in at the Flint City Hall; the only room entered was the (currently vacant" office where the city's water files were kept. Flint's chief of police has said of the burglary, it was "definitely an inside job". Documents were left strewn around the office.
More.
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As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
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Old 21st March 2016, 04:57 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
On 28 December there was a "mysterious" break-in at the Flint City Hall; the only room entered was the (currently vacant" office where the city's water files were kept. Flint's chief of police has said of the burglary, it was "definitely an inside job". Documents were left strewn around the office.
More.
They seem to awfully focus on the TV power cord that was left there as an indication it's not an ordinary burglary. Maybe I know too little about how burglars operate, but it seems like weak sauce. Who doesn't have some spare power cords at home from appliances they've thrown away? I have a box full of them...
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Old 21st March 2016, 07:58 AM   #16
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Maybe somebody passing by saw the TV through the window, broke in and stole it? Xmas present for the family. Smash and grab, no time to sort out the cords.

Or, instead of stealing files to hide evidence, maybe a whistle blower stole files to have evidential proof later?
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Old 2nd August 2016, 02:35 AM   #17
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Bump.
Now rubbish is piling up on the streets after collections ended yesterday after a dispute over the award of a collection contract between the major and the city council ended in legal action.
More.
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As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
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Old 27th September 2016, 05:30 PM   #18
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A Timeline of the Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan
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Old 27th September 2016, 08:29 PM   #19
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGFbS_jdSl0

Tom Lehrer was 50 years ahead of his time. (Or maybe, this stuff never really changes?)
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Old 20th December 2016, 10:19 AM   #20
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4 officials have been charged over this. Seems the Michigan attorney generals office and congress disagree about who is at fault.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/20/health...ged/index.html
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Old 12th January 2021, 12:57 PM   #21
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Arise thread!

Quote:
BREAKING DETROIT (AP) -- The AP has learned ex-Michigan Gov. Snyder and others have been told they’re being charged in Flint water scandal.
https://twitter.com/DavidEggert00/st...76574897844226
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Old 12th January 2021, 10:47 PM   #22
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Well, now. The wheels of Justice certainly took their time on this one.
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Old 13th January 2021, 04:06 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Well, now. The wheels of Justice certainly took their time on this one.
Four years of obstruction are coming to an end.
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As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
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Old 14th January 2021, 06:07 PM   #24
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Nine US officials including Michigan ex-governor charged over Flint water crisis deaths

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Nine US officials — including former Michigan governor Rick Snyder and key members of his administration — have been charged following a new investigation into the Flint water disaster that contaminated the US city with lead and left 12 people dead.

The 12 residents of the predominately African-American community died after city officials implemented a cost-cutting plan in 2014 to switch the water supply to the contaminated Flint River.

Authorities say at least 90 cases of Legionnaires' disease are also linked to the plan.

Nine former state and local officials pleaded not guilty in Genesee County courts on Thursday to a total of 42 criminal counts.

The charges are the culmination of a years-long criminal investigation that ran parallel to civil litigation.

The civil proceedings last year yielded a settlement worth more than US$600 million ($771 million) for victims of the water crisis.
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Old 14th January 2021, 06:27 PM   #25
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Just to be clear: "US official" in this context doesn't mean "official in the US government". It means "a government official from the US." For example, Rick Snyder was a Michigan state official.
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Old Yesterday, 12:28 AM   #26
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Wasn't Flint Michigan established as a symbol of how capitalist private enterprise based policies could be the path to economic and social progress way back in the Reaganite era?
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Old Yesterday, 01:25 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Susheel View Post
Wasn't Flint Michigan established as a symbol of how capitalist private enterprise based policies could be the path to economic and social progress way back in the Reaganite era?
In my opinion, it still is. Just the tone has changed from "This is as good as it gets! " to "This is as good as it gets? ".
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Old Today, 04:01 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by GodMark2 View Post
In my opinion, it still is. Just the tone has changed from "This is as good as it gets! " to "This is as good as it gets? ".
Truly an absurd situation. A city located in close proximity to the largest sources of fresh water on the planet and can't get a clean drop to drink.

Sometimes the invisible hand of the free market makes a fist. This must be deeply radicalizing for the people of the city, I don't know how you can trust any authority figures after something like this.
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