Water Emergency Continues in Flint as US Government Rations Water
The water contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan remains to be unresolved, prompting the federal government to extend the emergency declaration, as reported by Reuters.
The government sent bottled water and water testing kits for the residents last Friday, according to the state governor.
The ongoing water contamination crisis in Flint can be traced as far back as two years ago on April 25, 2014, when the city switched its water supply source from the Detroit system to Flint River. A few months later, the city officials issued advisories to boil water after coliform bacteria were detected in tap water.
In the following years, high levels of lead were detected. In their investigation, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and health officials found high levels of lead in the blood of the children who were tested.
Public health officials blamed old pipes and cold weather for the high concentration of lead in the water.
President Barack Obama declared Flint and the surrounding county under a state of emergency last January 16. A total of $5 million worth of aid was authorized to be released and managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The state of emergency was set to expire in mid-April this year, but the FEMA officials agreed to extend the assistance until August 14 in response to the request of the state officials.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was quoted saying, "With this federal assistance, much-needed resources will continue to be available to Flint residents while this crisis exists."
High-level lead toxicity in the Flint water could cause serious damage to the nervous system of those with lead accumulation.
According to a CNN article, a final report published last week confirmed serious negligence committed by every agency supposedly tasked to protect the residents.
The governor, the county health department and the EPA were blamed for inaction and environmental injustice against the majority of the county's African-American residents.