The guardians of the Clean Air and Clean Water were prepared to let the people of Flint continue drinking foul water for another year. They didn’t have any sense of urgency. They never once considered the children or they would have acted.
A newly released set of emails reveal the EPA was prepared to let the city of Flint continue supplying lead-contaminated water to customers at least through 2016.
The emails were exchanged four months after being first notified of the high lead content in a Flint home.
Jennifer Crooks, the Michigan program manager for the EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, sent out an email on June 8, 2015, saying it was known that Flint had not been adding any corrosion-control chemicals to its water to prevent lead from leaching from the pipes into drinking water since April 2014.
In that email, Crooks said it was known that Flint had not been adding any corrosion-control chemicals to its water to prevent lead from leaching from the pipes into drinking water since April 2014. She said the city was in its second six-month testing period.
It didn’t make sense for the city to start a corrosion control program in June 2015, Crooks wrote.
“Since Flint has lead service lines, we understand some citizen-requested lead sampling is exceeding the Action Level, and the source of drinking water will be changing again in 2016, so to start a Corrosion Control Study now doesn’t make sense,” Crooks wrote.
“The idea to ask Flint to simply add phosphate may be premature; there are many other issues and factors that must be taken into account which would require a comprehensive look at the water quality and the system before any treatment recommendations can/should be made.”
Four months before Crooks email, EPA researcher Miguel Del Toral was made aware of high lead in Flint’s water. He told state environment officials about the lead on a call.
“The water director appears to be telling residents that the high lead from Ms. (LeAnne) Walters residence is from the internal plumbing and that a reporter she was talking to, as well as others, has confirmed that this is what residents are being told,” Del Toral wrote.
“Ms. Walters indicated that the line coming into the home appears to be galvanized pipe. If this is true, it is possible that her portion of the service line, from the home to the property line, is not lead and that the city-owned portion of the service line is the only source of lead here. The sample results should help to clarify where the lead is coming from.”
Shortly after Crooks’ email was released, Del Toral wrote a scathing memo detailing the high amounts of lead in Flint’s water that was later leaked.
It took until September 2015 for a lead advisory to be sent out by the city, and the state did not step in until October 2015.
The water in the city is still not safe to drink although an anti-corrosive has been added.
A top investigator announced Tuesday that if officials are found to have been grossly negligent, they could face charges as serious as manslaughter.
“We’re here to investigate what possible crimes there are, anything [from] involuntary manslaughter or death that may have happened to some young person or old person because of this poisoning, to misconduct in office,” said Todd Flood, special counsel for the state attorney general’s office who is in charge of the investigation. “We take this very seriously.”
It would be very unusual if someone in an Obama agency was actually held accountable.
The government that is supposed to protect the people was poisoning the people.