The Snyder administration was recently ordered to resume bottled water delivery in Flint by a federal judge. In his order, U.S. District Judge David Lawson said that Gov. Snyder’s contention that “the current method of ‘delivery,’ whereby Flint residents must find a way to retrieve their own drinking water, and can use water filters that may or may not be installed and maintained correctly, is good enough” is “incorrect.”
Not satisfied with taking “hell no” for an answer, Gov. Snyder is back in federal court, once again asking to be absolved from the responsibility for distributing clean water to the residents of Flint who so desperately need it:
The state of Michigan late on Tuesday asked a federal judge to dissolve an order requiring delivery of bottled water to certain Flint households, saying lead levels in the water are now lower than federal limits set out in the Safe Drinking Water Act.
U.S. District Judge David Lawson has twice ordered state officials to start delivering bottled water to Flint households, unless the state can show the household has a properly installed and maintained water filter, or the resident refuses to accept water deliveries.
The state has protested, saying the water deliveries are not needed, would cost the state millions of dollars and would hurt Flint’s recovery efforts, which are partly based on having Flint residents run their taps more frequently to help cleanse the water distribution system. The state has sought a stay of Lawson’s order and appealed to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.
On Tuesday, the state put forward a new argument, telling Lawson his order should be dissolved because there is no ongoing violation of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act — which was part of the basis for Lawson’s order.
To meet federal requirements, at least 90% of tap water samples from at-risk households must have lead readings at or below 15 parts per billion. In Flint, the readings were 9 parts per billion in October and 8 parts per billion in November, and “has been below the 15 ppb action level for each monthly round of sampling conducted since May 2016,” Assistant Attorney General Richard Kuhl said in a court filing.
Despite those findings, the state continues to tell Flint residents not to drink unfiltered tap water, partly because periodic spikes in lead levels are possible.
This is despite the fact that 43% of the homes tested in Flint in the latest round of testing still tested positive for lead.
It would appear that Gov. Snyder has completely given up on appearing as if he gives a damn about the people of Flint who are contending with poisoned water on a daily basis. Rather than doing what everyone, including a federal judge, sees as the right thing to do, he’s attempting once again to shirk his responsibility.
As a reminder, today is Day 440 since Gov. Snyder admitted there was a problem with the poisoning of Flint’s drinking water with the powerful neurotoxin lead through the actions of the Emergency Managers he appointed to run the city. And, as most know all too well, it’s been far longer than 440 since lead in Flint’s water has been a problem.
Graphic by Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog