On April 6th, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality announced that it would be ending the free bottled water program after testing showed Flint’s water quality “was below federal action levels for lead for two years.” 1 According to the state, current testing puts the city’s water (at 4 ppb of lead) below the federal action level of 15 ppb.
And on April 20th, a Flint man arguing his home’s tap water was still contaminated and therefore needed to continue to receive free bottled water, had his request denied by U.S. District Judge Judith E. Levy. (The free bottled water program began in 2016.)
“Resident Allen Bryant Jr. filed the lawsuit seeking the continued distribution of free water. According to the complaint, Bryant’s home registered more than 1,300 parts per billion (ppb) of lead when tested earlier this year, MLive reported. The federal action limit is 15 ppb.” 2 Perhaps Bryant’s plea wasn’t taken seriously because he is no longer living in his home (maybe because his water was literal poison) or maybe because he turned down an opportunity to have a water filtration system added. However, what is known that is mistrust of government officials runs deep. And rightly so.
- Flint Official Dodges Jail Time for Concealing Water Contamination that Killed 12 People … only has to write apology letter
While the lower lead levels in the city are a good thing, the bigger issue is how the water crisis has impacted residents in Flint for nearly four years. Resident Arthur Woodson said promises haven’t been kept and people still need help, “It seems like we worse now than when the crisis first started.”3 And resident Juani Olivares said “The children don’t want to touch the faucets, they are traumatized. We are all traumatized.”4