Whose Crisis Is It?: Framing the History—the Facts–of the Flint Water Crisis

In his state-of-the-state address, Gov. Rick Snyder referenced a timeline of the Flint water crisis prepared by his office. Here is that timeline:

Flint Water Timeline--Snyder_Page_1

Flint Water Timeline--Snyder_Page_2

The progressive blog The Daily Kos has provided the following list of significant dates missing from Gov. Snyder’s timeline:

April 2011: Reports of partially treated sewage leaking into the Flint River. This is one of many times sewage—sometimes treated and sometimes raw—entered the Flint River.

September 2011: A city-funded report seeking affordable drinking water options in Flint found that the Flint Water Treatment facility, which had served the city until 1960 before the automative industry ruined the river, would require at least $60 million in upgrades to be able to treat the water properly for use as a primary source.

December 2011: Gov. Snyder appoints Michael Brown as first emergency manager of Flint during city’s financial crisis. Emergency managers have the power to bypass local leadership and act unilaterally and are extensions of state executive power, as opposed to local elected authority.

August 2012: Michael Brown replaced as emergency manager by Ed Kurtz. Kurtz, the Flint City Council, and then-mayor Dayne Walling decide on a course of action for water.

March 2013: State treasury and Department of Environmental Quality officials shoot down external reports indicating that the switch from purchasing water from Detroit to the new Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA) would not actually save money.

June 2013: Despite the easiest and safest option being remaining with Detroit’s water system until the KWA is built, emergency manager Kurtz makes the decision to move to the Flint River and the Flint Water Treatment facility.

August 2014: Flint River water violates National Primary Drinking Water Regulations twice.

September 2014: Flint River water violates NPDWR again.

December 2014: Flint River water violates NPDWR again.

September 2015: Flint pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha, releases data from patients indicating a lead poisoning crisis. Gov. Snyder’s spokesperson calls the data “spliced and diced” and several state departments attempt to discredit the work, despite the fact that Michigan data corroborated Hanna-Attisha’s.

September 2015: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services claims that spike in illnesses from lead is “seasonal and not related to the water supply.”






2 thoughts on “Whose Crisis Is It?: Framing the History—the Facts–of the Flint Water Crisis

  1. As an ecologist once living in Michigan, I am outraged and beside myself.

    Slick Rick Snyder needs to go to prison, along with his best buddy the contractor, for life.

    Please email the Whit House and demand prosecution.

    Dear Vice President Biden:

    I have long been impressed with President Obama’s commitment to the environment. It reminds of the reforms of the 1970s concerning water, air & endangered species. In 2013 I attended the Colorado Capitol Conference in DC, and met with many of the President’s cabinet members. Interior Secretary Jewell, Navy Chief Roy Maybus and Energy Cheif Earnest Moniz were amazing on these fronts.

    As an ecologist and former resident of Michigan, I am deeply concerned and disturbed by the Flint crisis.

    I therefore formerly request your Justice Department investigate and and bring to prosecution Gov Rick Snyder and his collaborators in this obvious felonious incident.


    Dr. David Sabaj-Stahl, DEM

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