Quantcast

These 4 Videos Expose the Horrific Reality of the Flint Water Crisis

Health + Wellness

On Wednesday night, in a special edition of The Rachel Maddow Show, Maddow hosted a town hall meeting inside the Brownwell/Holmes STEM Academy, one of three Flint, Michigan, schools where the water inside was polluted well beyond the federal limit.

While Flint's water crisis has been well documented, Maddow said many may not know that the problem isn’t actually fixed yet. "Months after this problem was first acknowledged, and weeks after the state declared a disaster, the damaged pipes of Flint are still in the ground," Maddow said. "The water is still undrinkable, and there’s no timetable for when the pipes will be replaced and the issue rectified."

While the city has stopped getting its water from the corrosive Flint River and has restored its connection to Detroit’s water system, which comes from Lake Huron, "the damage is done to all of the pipes and that is why you still cannot drink the water here," Maddow says in the video below.

Over the course of the evening, Maddow hosted a number of experts, including Flint Mayor Karen Weaver; Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, who was the first to confirm the elevated lead levels in Flint’s children; Marc Edwards, a professor of engineering at Virginia Tech University who detailed the issue alongside University of Michigan professor Martin Kaufman; Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow; and Reverend Charles William III, a member of the civil rights organization National Action Network.

“Our trust has been broken in the city of Flint,” Weaver said, “and until we get safe pipes people are not going to trust the water.”

Lead is an “irreversible neurotoxin,” Hanna-Attisha explained. “Every kid in Flint is at risk,” she said, “but there are things that we can do” to mitigate the impact of lead, especially in children. She advocated for a "whole child approach" built on a healthy diet and top notch education to, as she put it, “take these lemons and make lemonade.”

As for fixing the pipes, that could be a slow process, Edwards explained. “What we’re struggling with here is that there is really no precedent for this kind of man-made disaster,” Edwards told the audience.

Read page 1

He's working with fellow professor Kaufman to identify where the lead pipes are. "The pipes will have to be addressed in stages," MSNBC explained. "In the short term, they’ll need to be re-coated with a film to hold in the lead. In the long term, the only fix is ripping them out—every mile of them. No American city has ever done it."

There is plenty of finger-pointing going around, but one thing many people agree on is that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder should resign. “All I got to say, is Governor Snyder got to go,” Williams said. “I would have been fired a long time ago.”

Actor and activist Matt Damon and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have also called for his resignation. Filmmaker and activist Michael Moore and singer Cher have even said Snyder should be imprisoned.

Watch Maddow and a panel of experts discuss the contributing factors that led to Flint's water crisis, and what state and federal authorities must do to help city residents:

Replacing the pipes could cost more than the homes are worth, Harold Harrington, a master plumber based in Flint, told Maddow. Watch Harrington explain to Maddow the financial challenges involved in fixing Flint's water problem:

Lastly, NBC News' Stephanie Gosk reports on how lead poisoning has taken a catastrophic toll on Flint's children, and Maddow discusses the dearth of resources in Flint for the city's children, and how to solve that problem:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Matt Damon Slams Michigan Governor Over Flint Water Crisis: ‘At the Very Least He Should Resign!’

Michael Moore: ‘Do Not Send Us Bottles of Water. Instead, Join Us in a Revolt’

Another Lead Water Poisoning Scandal Has Erupted, This Time in Ohio

Seattle Sues Monsanto Over PCB Contamination, Becomes 6th City to Do So

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

(L) 3D graphical representation of a spherical-shaped, measles virus particle that is studded with glycoprotein tubercles.
(R) The measles virus pictured under a microscope. PHIL / CDC

The Pacific Island nation of Samoa declared a state of emergency this week, closed all of its schools and limited the number of public gatherings allowed after a measles outbreak has swept across the country of just 200,000 people, according to Reuters.

Read More Show Less
Austin Nuñez is Chairman of the Tohono O'odham Nation, which joined with the Hopi and Pascua Yaqui Tribes to fight a proposed open-pit copper mine on sacred sites in Arizona. Mamta Popat

By Alison Cagle

Rising above the Arizona desert, the Santa Rita Mountains cradle 10,000 years of Indigenous history. The Tohono O'odham Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and Hopi Tribe, among numerous other tribes, have worshipped, foraged, hunted and laid their ancestors to rest in the mountains for generations.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
(L) Selma Three Stone Engagement Ring. (R) The Greener Diamond Farm Project. MiaDonna

By Bailey Hopp

If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.

Read More Show Less
The Navajo Nation has suffered from limited freshwater resources as a result of climate, insufficient infrastructure, and contamination. They collaborated with NASA to develop the Drought Severity Evaluation Tool. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Native Americans are disproportionately without access to clean water, according to a new report, "Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States: A National Action Plan," to be released this afternoon, which shows that more than two million Americans do not have access to access to running water, indoor plumbing or wastewater services.

Read More Show Less
Wild Exmoor ponies graze on a meadow in the Czech Republic. rapier / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Nanticha Ocharoenchai

In the Czech Republic, horses have become the knights in shining armor. A study published in the Journal for Nature Conservation suggests that returning feral horses to grasslands in Podyjí National Park could help boost the numbers of several threatened butterfly species.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Despite huge strides in improving the lives of children since 1989, many of the world's poorest are being left behind, the United Nations children's fund UNICEF warned Monday.

Read More Show Less
At least seven people have died in a Bangladesh pipeline explosion. Youtube screenshot

At least seven people were killed when a gas pipeline exploded in Bangladesh Sunday, and another 25 were injured, the Associated Press reported.

Read More Show Less
The Shell Puget Sound Refinery in Anacortes, Washington. John Westrock / Flickr

The Washington Department of Ecology responded to an oil spill that took place Friday night when a Crowley Maritime Barge was transferring five million gallons of oil to the Shell Puget Sound Refinery, CNN reported.

Read More Show Less