Tag Archives: lead poisoning

Why Did Democratic AG Kill Flint Water RICO Case?

“Political corruption poisoned Flint and political corruption shielded the wrongdoers from accountability,” said one critic following new revelations.

By Kenny Stancil.  Pubished 1-17-2022 by Common Dreams

Dana Nessel. Photo: Michigan Attorney General’s Office

Prosecutors investigating Flint’s contaminated water crisis were pursuing a racketeering case against public officials whose austerity-driven policies caused the health catastrophe, but after newly elected Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel took over in 2019, those charges were dropped.

That’s according to investigative journalist Jordan Chariton and Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Charlie LeDuff’s explosive new story, which was published Monday in The Guardian and sparked fresh questions about holding perpetrators responsible for the ongoing calamity. Continue reading

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More Than Six Years After Flint Water Crisis Began, Michigan Officials Announce $600 Million Settlement for City Residents

“If this helps, good… But you can’t buy back trust in government—or the water coming out of your faucet.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-20-2020

The Flint water crisis began in 2014 after the city switched the Flint River as its drinking water source to save money. (Photo: George Thomas/Flickr/cc)

Six years after residents in Flint, Michigan began relying on their polluted local river as a drinking water source at the behest of Republican state officials looking to save money, the state on Thursday announced details of an historic $600 million settlement, reached after 18 months of negotiations.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel noted that the settlement still has to be approved by a federal judge, but revealed that once finalized, the state would set up a claims process through which tens of thousands of Flint residents could receive compensation. Continue reading

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‘Despicable’: Internal Emails Reveal Water Contractor Knew About Lead Risks in Flint Months Before City’s Public Confirmation

“I think anyone has to ask themselves how the story in Flint would be different five years later now if Veolia had made those private concerns public.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 12-10-2019

Photo: George Thomas/flickr/CC

Internal emails reported on Tuesday by The Guardian and MLive reveal that executives at a water company contracted to assess the water system in Flint, Michigan privately expressed concerns that residents “might be at risk of being poisoned by lead in their tap water months before the city publicly admitted the problem in 2015.”

The emails, obtained by the watchdog group Corporate Accountability, came to light through a lawsuit filed in the Genesee County Circuit Court by the Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat who took office in January. The state’s suit accused the company, Veolia, of “professional negligence, negligence, public nuisance, unjust enrichment, and fraud.” Last month a state judge threw out all but the unjust enrichment claim. Continue reading

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By Allowing 6 Million Lead Service Lines to Stay In Ground, EPA’s Lead Rule Update Will Do Little to Protect Drinking Water, Critics Say

The EPA must remove service lines “before another generation of children grows up drinking lead from their kitchen tap water,” said the NRDC

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-10-2019

Water rights and public health groups said Thursday that the EPA’s overhaul of the nation’s lead rules would not do enough to protect people from lead toxicity. (Photo: wonderisland/Shutterstock)

Public health groups that have waited decades for the federal government to overhaul its lead-in-water rules were outraged Thursday over EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s “wrongheaded” plan to update the regulations .

The overhaul, which Wheeler detailed at a press conference in Green Bay, Wisconsin, does not include the removal of at least six million lead service lines that have been underground for decades. Continue reading

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Flint Residents Now Have to Pay for Water They Still Can’t Drink

State government ends program that helped residents of Flint, Michigan with their water bills after widespread lead poisoning was revealed

By Nika Knight, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-1-2017

“It’s been three years, and we still can’t drink the water.” (Photo: Steve Johnson/flickr/cc)

The state of Michigan has declared that Flint’s drinking water “meets all federal water quality standards,” ending a program Wednesday that reimbursed residents for most of their water costs in the wake of the lead crisis.

Yet Flint residents still can’t drink the water, and the announcement was met with outrage.

“They want to make it look like they’ve resolved this thing, that it’s fixed,” Tim Monahan, a carpenter who survived Legionnaires’ disease caused by the poisoned water supply, told the Washington Post. “It’s been three years, and we still can’t drink the water.” Continue reading

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Flint Residents Barred From Closed-Door Water Quality Meeting

Advocates and residents are concerned that officials are rushing to declare the city’s water supply safe

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 1-10-2017

“My eyes are still burning. I can’t breathe when I get out of the shower…we’re still melting here,” Flint resident Tony Palladeno said. (Photo: Flint Rising/ Facebook

Residents of Flint, Michigan who traveled to Chicago were barred from attending a private meeting Tuesday between Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and other officials, who advocates say are rushing to declare the city’s water supply safe.

Outrage over the closed-door meeting prompted protests in Flint and Chicago, where residents held signs outside the Water Quality Summit asking for their detailed water quality report. Continue reading

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As Flint Suffers, Nestlé Plans Dramatic Expansion of Water Privatization in Michigan

What’s more, the biggest food company in the world gets to pump that water at no cost

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 11/1/2016

"The issue is the privatization of a critical resource. How much is too much?" said Jeff Ostahowski, vice president of the Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation. (Photo: Steven Depolo/cc/flickr)

“The issue is the privatization of a critical resource. How much is too much?” said Jeff Ostahowski, vice president of the Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation. (Photo: Steven Depolo/cc/flickr)

The state of Michigan has reportedly issued preliminary approval for bottled water behemoth Nestlé to nearly triple the amount of groundwater it will pump, to be bottled and sold at its Ice Mountain plant, which lies roughly 120 miles northwest of the beleaguered community of Flint.

“Nestlé Waters North America is asking the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for permission to increase allowed pumping from 150 to 400 gallons-per-minute at one of its production wells north of Evart,” MLive reported on Monday. Continue reading

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As Flint Suffers, Big Pharma Slammed for Lead Poison Drug Price Hike of 2,700%

Drug company Valeant described as ‘poster child for pharmaceutical greed’

By Nadia Prupis, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-14-2016

"While kids in Flint are poisoned by lead, Valeant charges $27,000 for the leading treatment," Sanders wrote. (Photo: Partha S. Sahana/flickr/cc)

“While kids in Flint are poisoned by lead, Valeant charges $27,000 for the leading treatment,” Sanders wrote. (Photo: Partha S. Sahana/flickr/cc)

Outrage is growing this week amid revelations that the pharmaceutical company Valeant raised the price for its critical lead-poisoning treatment by more than 2,700 percent in a single year.

Before Valeant took control of the medication, known as Calcium EDTA, in 2013, the average price for a package of vials was stable at $950, the medical news outlet STAT reported. But once the notorious pharmaceutical company bought it out in a multi-billion dollar deal, it swiftly boosted the price to $7,116 in January 2014 and to $26,927 by December of that year. Continue reading

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Snyder’s “Unconscionable” Use of Millions in Taxpayer Money for Criminal Defense Fees Questioned

“I can’t think of a clearer conflict of interest than the governor signing a contract to provide his own personal legal defense … without anybody providing oversight,” attorney said.

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-12=2016

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has been named in numerous lawsuits by Flint residents seeking justice for the lead-tainted water crisis. Image via CommonDreams.org.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has been named in numerous lawsuits by Flint residents seeking justice for the lead-tainted water crisis. Image via CommonDreams.org.

One resident of Flint, Michigan—a city still grappling with a lead-contamination crisis—is asking a grand jury to look into whether Gov. Rick Snyder illegally used $2 million in taxpayer money for his legal fees related to the disaster.

“After what has happened in this city, it’s just a slap in the face,” said 46-year-old Keri Webber, adding that she finds it “unacceptable and unconscionable” for city residents to “pa[y] for the defense of the very man at the center of the whole issue.” Continue reading

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Critical Flint Aid Held Hostage as Congressional Showdown Looms

“Have Congressional Republicans forgotten about Flint? Or maybe it’s that they just don’t really care.”

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-26-2016

"The people of Flint deserved assistance more than a year ago, and they require assistance now, without further delay." (Photo: Jake May/MLive)

“The people of Flint deserved assistance more than a year ago, and they require assistance now, without further delay.” (Photo: Jake May/MLive)

Even as Flint residents continue to struggle to provide clean drinking water for their families, Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate appear to be thumbing their noses at the Michigan city, excluding Flint assistance from a must-pass spending bill ahead of (yet another) congressional recess.

“Have Congressional Republicans forgotten about Flint?” The Flint Journal wrote in an editorial on Monday. “Or maybe it’s that they just don’t really care.” Continue reading

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