Problem Solution: The Flint Water Crisis

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The Flint Water Crisis is often described as one of the greatest environmental injustices of all time. The crisis began on March 2013 when the city city switched its water source to Flint River. However, due to inadequate water treatment, more than 100,000 residents were exposed to dangerously high levels of lead in the drinking water and a federal state of emergency was declared. The crisis has sparked debate on where to place the blame. A number of civilians, intellectuals, and politicians have agreed that the Flint Water Crisis is a result of the failure of the government on all levels. An article published by moderately liberal newspaper, The Washington Post, entitled “Flint’s water crisis reveals government failures at every level” offers…show more content…
Glenn Ellis acknowledges the ulterior motives of government officials addressed by J. Bernstein and Martelle but contributes those ulterior motives as factors of environmental racism. In an article by Glenn Ellis entitled “Environmental Racism Persists Beyond Flint Water Crisis” Ellis maintains that the Flint Water Crisis is a paradigm of environmental racism. He defines environmental racism as the disproportionate impact of environmental hazards on people of color, which is supported by the final report of the Flint Water Task Force, a task force appointed to investigate the Flint Water Crisis, who in its final report claimed that the majority-black city of Flint “did not enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards as that provided to other communities.” (U.S. Cong. Michigan Government). Furthermore, Ellis he states that “environmental racism is caused by several factors such as intentional neglect… and a lack of institutional power and low land values of people of color.” The individuals most affected by the Flint Water Crisis were poor African Americans who had “a lack of institutional power” due to the law that Martelle claims that “undermined democracy” or took away decision-making power from elected officials/representatives once an emergency manager was appointed. The opinion article by the New York Times…show more content…
Though many agree that the Flint Water Crisis is a result of government failure, some have delved deeper to find out the reasons as to why the government failed in its handling of the crisis. Some individuals have attributed the failure of the government to the ulterior motives of the government officials involved in the crisis. While others have contributed the government’s failure to environmental racism and long standing prejudice. The government’s failure in handling the Flint Water Crisis has ignited harsh critiques from civilians, intellectuals, and politicians. Despite several complaints about the color and odor of the water, state water quality officials assured civilians that the water was safe to drink but privately acknowledged to federal officials that the proper safety measures had not been taken. Some individuals have attributed the failure of the government to the ulterior motives of the government officials involved in the crisis. While others have contributed the government’s failure to environmental racism and long standing
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