Elevated Blood Lead Levels in Children Associated With the Flint Drinking Water Crisis: A Spatial Analysis of Risk and Public Health Response
This article found that the percent of children with elevated blood lead levels increased after Flint’s water source was changed to the Flint River, and that the increase was more pronounced in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods. This finding confirmed that Flint’s elevated water lead levels had lead-related health consequences for the city’s children. The research was dismissed by state officials in the Flint Email Lab database.
Flint Fights Back
Five years on, the Flint water crisis is nowhere near over (4/19)
This article addresses the misconception that the “dirty” Flint River was the cause of the Flint water crisis by explaining the state-directed decision making that caused the crisis to occur and enabled it to persist unaddressed for months.
Michigan Agrees To Pay $600 Million To Flint Residents Over Water Debacle (8/20)
The state of Michigan reached a $600 million settlement with Flint residents to compensate for the state’s role in precipitating and enabling the Flint water crisis. The agreement follows 18 months of negotiations and would resolve all lawsuits against the state related to the Flint water crisis. Separate litigation continues against the US EPA, as well as private water corporations Veolia and Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam.
Michigan Supreme Court rules former Gov. Snyder, emergency managers must face Flint water crisis lawsuit (7/20)
The Michigan Supreme Court ruled in July 2020 that former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and emergency managers he appointed to run the city of Flint must face a lawsuit for their violations of Flint residents’ “bodily integrity” during the city’s water crisis.
Here’s to Flint
This documentary, produced by filmmaker Kate Levy with the ACLU of Michigan, depicts the timeline of Flint’s ongoing water crisis and the political decision-making that enabled it. Examples of negligence on behalf of the Department of Environmental Quality are discussed via excerpts from the same email database analyzed by the Flint Email Lab team, alongside an explanation of the FOIA requests that precipitated the database’s creation.
Dirty Water: Danger from the Tap
This documentary produced by CNN highlights the issue of unclean, unaffordable, and unaccessible water in lower-income and predominantly African American communities across the United States. It documents residents’ struggle to receive help from state and local officials in improving their water quality and protecting their health, alluding to the importance of representative and just water governance across the United States.
Resources and Organizations
Flint Pipe Map
This tool, created by researchers in collaboration with the University of Michigan, allows Flint residents to check the likelihood that their service lines contain lead. Residents can view a map of the city’s service lines or check the best available information for a city address. The tool is designed to help Flint residents understand and reduce one source of potential lead exposure.
We the People of Detroit
We the People of Detroit (WPD) is a community-based grassroots organization that aims to “inform, educate, and empower Detroit residents on imperative issues surrounding civil rights, land, water, education, and the democratic process.” WPD provides water to Detroit residents affected by the city’s Water and Sewage Department’s water shutoff campaign. WPD’s water-related research has produced maps, data visualizations, and a book (“Mapping the Water Crisis: The Dismantling of African-American Neighborhoods in Detroit”, 2016.)
People’s Water Board Coalition
The People’s Water Board is a coalition of organizations that advocate for clean, accessible, and affordable water as a human right. The organization formed in 2008 in response to Detroit’s water affordability crisis and the city’s enforcement of water shutoffs for those who could not pay their water bills. The coalition conducts advocacy on water-related issues including preventing shutoffs, opposing water privatization, and implementing affordability plans.