Environmental Injustice: The Flint Water Case

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Flint Water: An Environmental Injustice Case
Christina Lay
DeVry University

There have been several cases of environmental injustice over the years. One case that was extraordinary was the Flint water case. The Flint water case received national attention in 2014 when a sample of the water was broadcast on national television that Flint’s drinking water was brown and contaminated. Many people were outraged that the city officials ignored the issue of the water for years and the deaths that occurred from drinking the water. The residents wanted someone to be held accountable for their actions. It wasn’t until June 2017, when the Attorney General officially charged eight state and city officials of involuntary manslaughter
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The next year, GM built a 235-acre factory that spewed clouds of smoke in the air every day and dumped 2.2 million gallons of industrial waste into the river daily. Collectively, the plants dumped 10475 million gallons of waste from 1965 to 1966. Even though the factories were dumping waste into the river, the residents were still using the water for its supply until 1967 when an EPA study showed that Flint’s water supply was poor.
The water’s quality didn’t approve over the years to follow. From studies dating back from 1969 to 2000, they stated that the water quality was poor due to the heavy pollution by the industries. The water had “the presence of fecal coliform bacteria, low dissolved oxygen, plant nutrients, oils, and toxic substances” (Flint Water Crisis, 2017).The water was never treated properly and until 2007, the residents were still using Detroit’s drinking water as their primary and emergency water
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Several lawsuits were filed against the state of Michigan for violating the Safe Water Drinking Act. Civil Lawsuits was filed against Veolia North America and Lockwood, Andrews and Newnan for failing to treat the water supply.
In 2017, after researching the issue, EPA awarded Michigan 100 Million dollars to upgrade their drinking water infrastructure. The Legionnaires outbreak now killed a total of twelve people. In June 2017, the Attorney General officially charged eight state and city officials of involuntary manslaughter for their death.
In conclusion, this was an excellent case of environmental injustice. The injustice spanned 50 years before it was actually addressed. Several industrial plants dumped millions of waste over the years and the water was never treated properly. The city officials were aware of the issue and still voted to switch the water supply to Flint River. What makes this a sad case is that people died from drinking the water and some still may have problems in the years to follow. One good outcome is that several people were finally held accountable for their

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