News from Flint

[Content Note: Environmental racism; classism; water contamination. Video may autoplay at second link.]

Background on the Flint water crisis.

Today, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette will reportedly announce criminal charges "in connection with his ongoing investigation of the Flint drinking water crisis."
Officials believe the city got artificially low lead readings because they didn't test the homes most at risk — those with lead service lines or other features putting them at high risk for lead. Among those to be charged is a City of Flint official who signed a document saying the homes Flint used to test tap water under the federal Lead and Copper Rule all had lead service lines — a statement investigators allege was false.

Schuette is to announce felony and misdemeanor charges against at least two, and possibly as many as four people, according to two other sources familiar with the investigation. The investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected, sources said.

The charges, which will be brought against individuals connected with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the City of Flint, relate to the lead contamination of Flint's drinking water and not to the possible link between Flint River water and an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease that is tied to the deaths of 12 people, one of the sources said.

Schuette, a Republican who is widely expected to run for governor in 2018, opened an investigation in January, tapping former Detroit FBI Director Andrew Arena and Royal Oak attorney Todd Flood to head the probe.

...A person familiar with the matter said that other parts of state and Flint city government remain under investigation.
There is much more at the link.

While I am genuinely glad that there is some attempt being made to hold accountable the people who orchestrated this vast harm against the people of Flint—especially children, the scope of the consequences for whom won't be fully known for years—real justice will only come with comprehensive lead remediation nationwide.

Lead in pipes and paint in old housing continue to be a present threat, especially to poor people. And truly meaningful accountability is making sure that what happened in Flint can never happen again, anywhere, through any means.

Lead remediation is costly and time-consuming. It will need federal management. For that reason, I desperately hope that whoever our next president is will make lead remediation a priority of her or his administration.

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