Flint Michigan (1 Viewer)

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Michiganders Demand Governor

To poison all the children in an historic American city is no small feat. Even international terrorist organizations haven’t figured out yet how to do something on a magnitude like this.

But you did. Your staff and others knew that the water in the Flint River was poison — but you decided that taking over the city and “cutting costs” to “balance the budget” was more important than the people’s health (not to mention their democratic rights to elect their own leaders). So you cut off the clean, fresh glacial lake water of Lake Huron that the citizens of Flint (including myself) had been drinking for decades and, instead, made them drink water from the industrial cesspool we call the Flint River — a body of “water” where toxins from a dozen General Motors and DuPont factories have been dumped for over a hundred years. And then you decided to put a chemical in this water to “clean” it — which only ended up stripping the lead off of Flint’s aging water pipes, placing that lead in the water and sending it straight into people’s taps.
 
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This might be true.
But what I have read so far seems to implicate the Michigan Environmental Agency and the EPA for giving out false information. They were telling Flint and the State that everything was fine as far as lead was concerned - right?

Again - there seems to be conflicting info out there - but that at least seems to be at least backed to some degree by actual source documents.
You may be right and Snyder falsely implicated. If that's true tho, why release emails so redacted as to be useless and withhold emails from ranges in question by this allegation?
 

JackDiesel

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What people are upset with and the reason the governor is at issue is that it was ignored or covered up once the problems were noticed and reported. Now you have people poisoned and paying for useless water.
Shouldn't they be upset with the DEQ and EPA?

They spent months squabbling with each other instead of informing the public. They emailed the mayor who showed no sense of urgency to fix the problem. The EPA had proof as early as April, yet the public wasn't notified until November. No common sense was used.

Incompetent local government and incompetent government agencies more concerned with protocol than public safety.
 

Saint_Ward

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What people are upset with and the reason the governor is at issue is that it was ignored or covered up once the problems were noticed and reported. Now you have people poisoned and paying for useless water.
Yes, see, I still see the switch away from Detroit water as a smart and needed one.

Whatever source they used (pipeline to Lake Huron) or using the River should be ok, so long as it can be properly treated and proper pH to mitigate lead issues from internal piping.

However, their water treatment plant wasn't able to do an adequate job, despite having millions pumped into it.

I'd stop right there, what was the issue with the plant? Was it even known or considered that the water would be too corrosive? Was there within acceptable values?

At first people just complained that the water was too hard, so they softened it, then too much chemical was in the water, then the boil notices, then later lead issues. I'm still not clear on the lead, other than piping.

I've also lately been seeing some university tests and discussion that all of our water has more heavy metals that we think.

I'm not up on the testing procedures for our various water systems to know where, how, etc water is tested.

As usual, there are technical issues/problems, human error, and then the group think issues when a bunch of people are trying to sort out a problem, especially when non-technical people are trying to make decisions on a technical problem.

I echo what a friend of mine said on this a few weeks ago. We are hearing all this chatter/anger over what the city officials did or didn't do, what the Emergency Manager did or didn't do and what the Governor did or didn't do. What were the Engineers saying? Who's running that plan? What was the approval process for the water system to be activated? Who over sees that?
 

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Shouldn't they be upset with the DEQ and EPA?

They spent months squabbling with each other instead of informing the public. They emailed the mayor who showed no sense of urgency to fix the problem. The EPA had proof as early as April, yet the public wasn't notified until November. No common sense was used.

Incompetent local government and incompetent government agencies more concerned with protocol than public safety.
You have to read what they're saying though.

The EPA was aware that there were a lack of corrosion controls in Flint's water plan. They told DEQ to fix it. DEQ said no, they don't have to have one.

This still ignores that the City of Flint could easily make the system fully comply with both, I guess the chose to just follow the State?

Now, what can the Federal Government do on a State government issue? The head of the region was trying to get legal authority to act, because my guess is legally they couldn't (or were unsure). If they leaked information that the lack of a corrosion control plan, "might" increase the odds of getting lead contamination, what would that mean? It wasn't even known that lead WAS in the water, just that not controlling the corrosiveness of the water, MIGHT create a POTENTIAL issue.

The EPA and Federal Government as a whole, is only afforded so much control/power, unless a state of Emergency is declared.

Honestly, I feel bad for the one EPA water expert who saw the issue and alerted Michigan. I wish that guy simply could have just called up a DEQ water/environmental engineer or someone from the Flint water treatment facility and say, I think you guys need to run a few water samples to check for lead, especially from houses.

Instead, they just tried to argue policy (which is their function, so hard to fault them).

I guess the question is legally, when there is a concern about a water supply, who has the authority to act and when there is a disagreement, can the federal government over rule?
 

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As usual, there are technical issues/problems, human error, and then the group think issues when a bunch of people are trying to sort out a problem, especially when non-technical people are trying to make decisions on a technical problem.

I echo what a friend of mine said on this a few weeks ago. We are hearing all this chatter/anger over what the city officials did or didn't do, what the Emergency Manager did or didn't do and what the Governor did or didn't do. What were the Engineers saying? Who's running that plan? What was the approval process for the water system to be activated? Who over sees that?
And here we have the root of the issue. I can't tell you how many times on a project there would be some wet behind the ears Project Manager straight out of a Construction technology course who would override what the Engineers, Craftsmen and Safety Professionals were telling him. And then it would all go to crap and they would start pointing the finger everywhere but at themselves. The preponderance of bureaucrats in positions of authority instead of experienced personnel creates issues like this every single day. Inexperienced or outclassed Supervisors feel they HAVE to be the final say in order to be respected and make knee-jerk reactions with no basis in available data, and then blame workers for failure to perform when it doesn't end up like they expected it to.
 

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There is probably a fundamental issue here about State rights vs Federal when it comes to public works. It shouldn't be an issue if the State agency was interested in ensuring the health of their citizens.

I got a "call" into a friend who's a Civil Engineer and has already spoken out a bit about this. I guess she has a Cliff's Notes for Engineers on what was going on here.

When I get some feedback, I'll copy what's appropriate here.
 

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And here we have the root of the issue. I can't tell you how many times on a project there would be some wet behind the ears Project Manager straight out of a Construction technology course who would override what the Engineers, Craftsmen and Safety Professionals were telling him. And then it would all go to crap and they would start pointing the finger everywhere but at themselves. The preponderance of bureaucrats in positions of authority instead of experienced personnel creates issues like this every single day. Inexperienced or outclassed Supervisors feel they HAVE to be the final say in order to be respected and make knee-jerk reactions with no basis in available data, and then blame workers for failure to perform when it doesn't end up like they expected it to.
Yep. I have seen it far too often in the tech world alone. Another "I have a piece of paper so listen to me" type comes into the picture in a position of management with zero practical experience. Next thing you know the well oiled process that was humming along starts encountering issues. Then there needs to be an entire overhaul in order to fit his "vision" and it goes down hill from there.

The paper waving student fails to realize that plenty of folks were doing this in a practical sense well before there was even a class created and that his knowledge is due in most part to the people actually doing the work. Don't even get me started on folks with little to no background in I.T. calling the shots.

In the old days if an issue was encountered I would grab a dba, or developer, or network engineer, etc. and handle the issue immediately. That no longer happens in today's environment.

Example: An agent goes down on a remote server and now production cycles fail. Firewall team had closed bidirectional on the port needed for said agent to communicate with the database. It takes 2 days to fix because of red tape and sort who owns what and who will do what. This happens quite frequently. You think they would learn.....

P.S. It was a simple fix that takes roughly 5-10 minutes to apply and reboot. Yet another example of microcosm reflecting the macrocosm. I now call it job security.
 

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And here we have the root of the issue. I can't tell you how many times on a project there would be some wet behind the ears Project Manager straight out of a Construction technology course who would override what the Engineers, Craftsmen and Safety Professionals were telling him. And then it would all go to crap and they would start pointing the finger everywhere but at themselves. The preponderance of bureaucrats in positions of authority instead of experienced personnel creates issues like this every single day. Inexperienced or outclassed Supervisors feel they HAVE to be the final say in order to be respected and make knee-jerk reactions with no basis in available data, and then blame workers for failure to perform when it doesn't end up like they expected it to.
I have seen this many times. And when it all goes to ****, they never seem to get fired. Or even demoted.
 

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And from Detroit - MotorCityMuckraker.com/2016/01/23/gov-snyder-lied-flint-water-switch-was-not-about-money-records-show/

Must admit - great name for an independent investigative news site. :9:

A high-ranking DWSD official told us today that Detroit offered a 50% reduction over what Flint had been paying Detroit. In fact, documents show that DWSD made at least six proposals to Flint, saying “the KWA pipeline can only be attributed to a ‘political’ objective that has nothing to do with the delivery – or the price – of water.”

The offer by DWSD raises serious questions about whether Gov. Rick Snyder was lying when he insisted the water switch was motivated by saving money for Flint, which was under the control of a state emergency manager.


“When compared over the 30 year horizon the DWSD proposal saves $800 million dollars or said differently – saves 20% over the KWA proposal,” then-DWSD Director Sue McCormick said in the e-mail dated April 15, 2013.


The e-mail was first obtained by the Bill Johnson Group, a Detroit-based media consulting firm, and confirmed today by DWSD.



“If Snyder had accept this deal, the catastrophe would have been avoided,” Bill Johnson said.
I got these links off of Mercedes Schneider's blog. She also has a copy of Snyder's emails, if you feel so inclined.
 

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And from Detroit - MotorCityMuckraker.com/2016/01/23/gov-snyder-lied-flint-water-switch-was-not-about-money-records-show/

Must admit - great name for an independent investigative news site. :9:



I got these links off of Mercedes Schneider's blog. She also has a copy of Snyder's emails, if you feel so inclined.
I saw that.. the cliff's notes version of the proposal from the Detroit Water Board rep... the question is, was their e-mail summary legit or was it hiding some majors costs?

But also, why were they suddenly willing to play so nice after charging so much before?
 

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OK, so my friend knows someone who works for the EPA. That person started there after the Flint issue started, but is now part of the group investigating the story. I'm omitting a few details to keep the person's identity vague.

"Associate works at the EPA in Midwest and has been working on the case. From what They've told me, it sounds like the EPA tried to work with the MDEQ at first, kind of in shock that corrosion control wasn't being added, but after the MDEQ kept on insisting that the water was fine, the EPA has finally said no more being nice and that is when stuff started hitting the fan.

A few years ago, a consultant did a study to see if the Flint River would be feasible to use as a water source. The consultant's conclusion was that it would be fine, as long as corrosion control was added because the pH of the river would cause lead to leach out of the old lead water leads into houses. Corrosion control was a $100-$150 a day line item in the consultant's estimate.

Associate isn't sure if the line item was deleted out of ignorance, or out of extreme cost cutting; that is what their office is investigating right now."


This is my friend's opinion now...

"I'm guessing is that no one making the ultimate decision of the budget even knew what corrosion control was - seeing as the head of the DPW at the time of the water source switch was appointed by the emergency manager with no real credentials other than he owned some solar energy company. Or if they thought that since it was just a temporary situation they wouldn't need it? I don't know.....it's a sad situation and I'm appalled at how the various state agencies have dealt with it. Should have NEVER gotten to this point."

Earlier, my friend, the Civil engineer posted this (which is why I contacted her)

"When I first started seriously following this story last summer, my first reaction was "where is the engineer in all of this?!" and "what kind of engineer would allow this to happen?" As more and more information gets published and pieces of the puzzle are put together, guess what? The guy in charge of the City of Flint's Director of Public Works at the time of the switch was NOT an engineer! He was appointed by the state appointed Emergency Manager to 'cut costs.' You want to know what Howard Croft's claim to fame was? President and CEO of "Mid Michigan Solar." NOT a professional engineer!

To be a registered professional engineer in the state of MI, you need at minimum a bachelors of science in engineering, pass an eight hour exam, work as an engineer-in-training for 4 years, take another eight hour exam, and then take 30 hours of continuing ed every 2 years to retain the license. To have someone overseeing such an important aspect of society (and obviously botching it big time) without being licensed is a slap in the face to all of us who have put in the time, effort and taken an oath of ethics to do everything in our power to protect the public on a daily basis"
 
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Report: Prior Flint Emergency Manager Rejected Using Poisoned Water Source "On a Long-Term Basis"

Kurtz, acting in his role as emergency manager, and the city of Flint collectively decided to move Flint away from Detroit’s water and towards a planned pipeline that would pull water from nearby Lake Huron. At the time, simply moving Flint away from Detroit’s water was accepted as a necessary cost-saving measure, though newly released emails seem to indicate that perhaps it wasn’t about saving money after all.

What’s in dispute is exactly who chose to use the corrosive Flint River water in the period between Flint disconnecting from Detroit and hooking up to Lake Huron, a decision that happened when Kurtz had already been succeeded by a man named Darnell Earley.
 

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>>>was appointed by the emergency manager with no real credentials other than he owned some solar energy company

He could run his own charter school chain! No experience necessary! Create a fake title, hire temps, rake in the cash, and when it looks like people are about to figure out you're a phony, leave town (to start another charter school) Wow, they've got the MO down pat. Have they created fake engineer schools yet? (online, of course, because it's, like, technology, more STEMly.) To spit out wannabe engineers that will work for min wage (except those loyal enough to be advanced up the ranks of the charade - only the best liars need apply.)

Go back and look at who/when changed the licensing requirements at the state level. Watch how they talk about 'raising the bar' and wanting stronger standards. Yeah right.
 

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OK, so my friend knows someone who works for the EPA. That person started there after the Flint issue started, but is now part of the group investigating the story. I'm omitting a few details to keep the person's identity vague.

"Associate works at the EPA in Midwest and has been working on the case. From what They've told me, it sounds like the EPA tried to work with the MDEQ at first, kind of in shock that corrosion control wasn't being added, but after the MDEQ kept on insisting that the water was fine, the EPA has finally said no more being nice and that is when stuff started hitting the fan.

A few years ago, a consultant did a study to see if the Flint River would be feasible to use as a water source. The consultant's conclusion was that it would be fine, as long as corrosion control was added because the pH of the river would cause lead to leach out of the old lead water leads into houses. Corrosion control was a $100-$150 a day line item in the consultant's estimate.

Associate isn't sure if the line item was deleted out of ignorance, or out of extreme cost cutting; that is what their office is investigating right now."


This is my friend's opinion now...

"I'm guessing is that no one making the ultimate decision of the budget even knew what corrosion control was - seeing as the head of the DPW at the time of the water source switch was appointed by the emergency manager with no real credentials other than he owned some solar energy company. Or if they thought that since it was just a temporary situation they wouldn't need it? I don't know.....it's a sad situation and I'm appalled at how the various state agencies have dealt with it. Should have NEVER gotten to this point."

Earlier, my friend, the Civil engineer posted this (which is why I contacted her)

"When I first started seriously following this story last summer, my first reaction was "where is the engineer in all of this?!" and "what kind of engineer would allow this to happen?" As more and more information gets published and pieces of the puzzle are put together, guess what? The guy in charge of the City of Flint's Director of Public Works at the time of the switch was NOT an engineer! He was appointed by the state appointed Emergency Manager to 'cut costs.' You want to know what Howard Croft's claim to fame was? President and CEO of "Mid Michigan Solar." NOT a professional engineer!"[...]
And once again, putting an inexperienced bureaucrat in a technical position has jumped up and bit them. And as usual, the people who ultimately pay for this crap are not the bozos up top.
 

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