Tap water from a home in Flint, Michgan. (Photo by Inhabitat)

Flint: You can’t put a price on clean water

©Scott Sines

I hope Governor Rick Snyder enjoys his home in Flint. That is where he belongs.

With every new news report Flintonians keep getting sicker. When the state decided to save money by switching water sources from the Detroit water system to local water pumped from the Flint River their fate was sealed. Bottled water and promises are too late. They already drank the water, showered in it and prepared family meals with it.

Every new report reveals some new under-handed move by the state to ignore the problem until it no longer could.

Forget the fact that the state was supplying bottled water to state workers well before the lead poisoning was publicly known, so “… they could choose to continue to drink Flint water or a safe alternative.” That was 10 months before the water crisis was revealed publicly.

Forget the fact that Dennis Muchmore, Snyder’s chief of staff, sent the governor an email in July 2015 expressing his exasperation, “I’m frustrated by the water issue in Flint I really don’t think people are getting the benefit of the doubt. Now they are concerned and rightfully so about the lead level studies they are receiving. These folks are scared and worried about the health impacts and they are basically getting blown off by us (as a state we’re just not sympathizing with their plight).” That was six months before Michigan Governor Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency in Flint.

I’m from Michigan and this just makes me sick. Millions of dollars will be spent to try and mitigate a problem that will create damage over generations. No one knows how much money that will cost. Doesn’t matter. There is not enough money to make up for the damage done to those families.

As part of the settlement Governor Snyder and family should be required to move to Flint, live there, raise their kids or grandkids there, drive those streets and drink that water until this mess is cleaned up. He needs to learn what any Pure Michigander knows: You can’t put a price on clean water.