Publisher's note: This informational nugget was sent to me by Ben Shapiro, who represents the Daily Wire, and since this is one of the most topical news events, it should be published on BCN.
The author of this post is Ashe Schow.
Five years after the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, began, the city is not doing enough to protect the health of residents, in violation of federal law.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) sent a letter
dated August 16 to Michigan's director of public works, Robert Bincsik, informing him that Flint is not properly monitoring lead and copper levels in its tap water. This violates the Safe Drinking Water Act, a federal law that protects public drinking water supplies. Specifically, Flint has violated two sections of the law - monitoring requirements for lead and copper in tap water and reporting requirements for lead, copper, and corrosion control.
EGLE wrote that Flint is required to test 60 high-priority drinking water sites, known as Tier 1 sites, to check lead and copper levels.
"EGLE's review of compliance monitoring reports indicates the City sampled from a total of 129 sites during the monitoring period. Of those, only 35 were confirmed to be from Tier 1 sampling locations,"
the letter said. "Additionally, 14 sites were addresses with a confirmed service line replacement but of unconfirmed service line material, 30 sites were invalid, and 50 sites have yet to be verified by the City."
The review showed that Flint was "out of compliance."
To return to compliance, Flint "must collect samples from 60 confirmed Tier 1 sites in the distribution system during the monitoring period of July 1, 2019, to December 31, 2019; have them analyzed for lead and copper; and submit the analysis reports to [EGLE's Drinking Water and Environmental Health Division]."
In addition, Flint must "confirm the service line material of the 50 sites lacking verification and the 14 sites from locations where the service line has been replaced but no service line material composition was provided"
by September 16.
EGLE also wrote that it extended a deadline for Flint to validate the 50 unverified sites by 14 days, yet no additional information was provided.
"Due to this violation, public notification will be required. We will determine the content and timing required for that public notification after we have received confirmation of the 64 sites no later than September 16, 2019,"
the letter stated.
Flint will escape a fine for its violation this time, but EGLE warned the city government that if it fails to properly monitor its water for the next six months, they face "a fine of $1,000 per day with a $10,000 maximum."
If the city does not post a public notice of the violation, it could be fined $1,000. They may also face additional fines if further violations occur.
In April, Michigan Radio NPR published an article
stating Flint has safe drinking water but that service lines that still leach lead into the drinking water need to be replaced.
"Since 2016, crews have inspected more than 20,000 service lines, replacing roughly 8,000 lead and galvanized pipes. By the time the work is done, nearly every line in the city will have been inspected or replaced,"
the outlet wrote.
Residents are still advised to use filters from the government to ensure they aren't drinking contaminated water.