After fighting for clean drinking water since 2018, a Michigan city will finally get lead-free lines

Asia's Tech News Daily

Residents of Benton Harbor, Michigan, a predominantly Black city that has dealt with elevated lead levels in its water for at least three years, have welcomed an announcement by the governor, that all lead lines in the city would now be replaced over the next 18 months.

The governor Gretchen Whitmer promised an “all-hands-on-deck” approach to addressing the water crisis that has been plaguing this impoverished city since at least 2018.

Related: A Black town’s water is more poisoned than Flint’s. In a white town nearby, it’s clean

Whitmer had previously proposed removing the service lines within five years – a timetable residents and environmental groups said was unacceptable. On Thursday, amid growing uproar from those who say Benton Harbor residents had lived with poor water quality from far too long, Whitmer issued a directive to speed up the removal process and to launch an “all-of-government” to ensure the south-west Michigan city has access to safe water.

“Every Michigander deserves safe drinking water, and every community deserves lead-free pipes,” Whitmer said in a statement on Thursday. “We will not rest until the job is done and every parent feels confident to give their kid a glass of water knowing that it is safe.”

Activists, who have consistently called for the immediate replacement of the city’s 6,000 lead pipes, took a moment to celebrate the development.

“I’m excited,” said the Rev Edward Pinkney, chair of the Benton Harbor Community Water Council, on Thursday. “I think that is huge.”

The announcement comes just a week after the state advised residents of Benton Harbor, where people have complained about declining water quality for years, not to drink or cook with tap water “out of an abundance of caution”.

As the Guardian reported last month, many have long suspected there was something wrong with the city’s water. In 2018, testing revealed a lead content of 22 parts per billion – higher than that of nearby Flint at the height of the crisis that made that city a symbol of US environmental injustice.

But, despite three years of testing well above the federal lead action level of 15 parts per billion, state and local authorities did not take sufficient action to address the crisis, according to a Natural Resources Defense Council petition filed last month to the Environmental Protection Agency on behalf of Pinkney’s group.

When officials were slow to act, locals stepped in; Pinkney and others have organized bottled water drives, and done outreach to community members about the risks of lead.

The acceleration of the timeline to replace the city’s lead service lines is a welcome development for those who say the state previously overlooked the needs and health of the community.

“I applaud the Benton Harbor Community Water Council,” Pinkney said of his team of volunteers. “Their consistent [activism] led to this.”

In September, the state announced it would distribute water filters to every home in the city and provide free bottled water. And earlier this month, the state promised to expand those efforts, when it advised not to drink the water.

Whitmer said her executive directive on Thursday “builds” on those efforts. In addition to expediting service line replacement, Whitmer said her administration would continue to provide free bottled water “until further notice”, offer “free or low-cost lead-related services” such as water testing, and “collaborate closely” with various agencies and community groups.

Federal, state, and local resources would be marshalled to address the crisis, Whitmer said in the statement, adding that she also expects to be able to fund the removal of Benton Harbor’s lead lines with money from Joe Biden’s infrastructure plans, which are currently stuck in legislative limbo on Capitol Hill.

Biden has vowed to replace every lead pipe in the United States, which experts say is necessary to protect not only those in Benton Harbor and other cities already in the throes of crisis, but in communities in all 50 states that are vulnerable to contamination.

“We shouldn’t wait until there’s a crisis to remove the lead pipes,” said Elin Warn Betanzo, a Michigan drinking water expert who was one of the first to identify the Flint crisis. “The best time to remove lead service lines is before things go wrong.”

In Michigan, activists and experts applauded the announcement Thursday as a long overdue step in the right direction.

“When it comes to protecting the health and safety of our children, the only way forward is an all-hands-on-deck approach,” said Dr Mona Hanna-Attisha, who is nationally-recognized as the pediatrician who exposed Flint’s water crisis, expressing hope that Benton Harbor would “be our nation’s last lead-in-water crisis”. “I am grateful to Governor Whitmer and her administration for respecting the science of lead’s neurotoxicity and ensuring the people of Benton Harbor have safe water to drink.”

“The governor has come a long way in terms of responding to the Benton Harbor water crisis,” added Cyndi Roper, the NRDC’s senior policy advocate for Michigan. “The response is absolutely heading in the direction the community has been asking for. We are optimistic.”

But Pinkney said there was still more work to be done, including ensuring that all in Benton Harbor were fully aware of the scope of the crisis – something he says will require more forceful language from state officials.

“We’ve got 18 months before the pipes are gonna be completed,” Pinkney said, urging officials to formally declare the water dangerous instead of telling residents they are acting “out of an abundance of caution”. “It is crucial that [Whitmer] makes clear that the water is unsafe to use in that time.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Norway again tightens COVID-19 restrictions in bid to halt spread

COP26 in Glasgow OSLO (Reuters) – The Norwegian government introduced stricter rules on Tuesday to limit the spread of COVID-19, including a cap on the number of visitors in private ... Read more »

Fauci says early evidence points to Omicron being more transmissible but less severe

1 / 2Fauci says early evidence points to Omicron being more transmissible but less severeFILE PHOTO: A vial and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed United States’ ... Read more »

Nicola Sturgeon left red-faced as Scotland's advice dismissed within an hour by Boris

Nicola Sturgeon told employers that if they had staff working from home at the start of the pandemic they should enable them to do so again until the middle of ... Read more »

The Guardian view on Dominic Raab's Foreign Office: callous as well as complacent

A whistleblower has exposed the extent to which Afghans’ trust in British promises of protection was betrayed in the summer In August, with Kabul on the brink of falling to ... Read more »

Dow surges more than 500 points as rebound from Omicron sell-off continues

The Dow Jones Industrial average is up 1.5% following a massive sell-off due to the discovery of the Omicron Variant. REUTERS The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped more than 500 ... Read more »

People in Trump areas three times more likely to die of Covid, says new analysis

Americans living in areas that supported Donald Trump in the last presidential election, are three times as likely to die from Covid-19, according to a new analysis. In findings that ... Read more »

Man shot in late November and put on life support has died, Kansas City police say

A 32-year-old man who was seriously injured in a shooting in Kansas City and put on life support in late November has died, according to police. Officers responded to the ... Read more »

Fiat Argo, Cronos Earn Dismal Zero-Star Crash Rating From Latin NCAP

Poor side-impact performance and a lack of safety systems contributed to the low score. The Fiat Argo hatchback and its sedan sibling, the Fiat Cronos, are relatively new to the ... Read more »

'I was told' - Reporter drops worrying transfer claim over star 'on Newcastle's list'

© Provided by This is Futbol Conor Coady TalkSport reporter Alex Crook has given his views on England defender Conor Coady and a potential transfer to Newcastle United. Read about ... Read more »

"Clearly got a point to prove" - Journalist raves over £42k-p/w Everton star after last night

© GiveMeSport Everton manager Rafa Benitez Everton winger Demarai Gray has turned out to be a “brilliant signing” and is giving opponents plenty to fear, according to journalist Paul Brown. ... Read more »

'Stupid to turn down' - Manager gives Leeds fresh hope in bid to sign Golden Boot hopeful

© Provided by Transfer Tavern Ben Brereton Diaz Blackburn Leeds United have been boosted in their efforts to sign Ben Brereton Diaz, with Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray admitting that ... Read more »

Omicron, what Omicron? Most Americans are NOT willing to change their behavior to avoid new variant with only 13% saying they will stop going to work and 28% saying they will stop gathering outside the household

According to a new Axios-Ipsos, most Americans are unwilling to change their behavior to decrease their chances of catching the new COVID Omicron variantThe poll ran between December 3-6 and recorded the answers of 1,021 American adults over the age of 18Only a quarter (23 percent) in the poll's survey said that they intend to cancel their holiday travel plans due to OmicronWhile most US adults, three in five say they are more likely to go back to workTo limit the spread of the Omicron variant, most of Americans (62 percent) support local mask requirementsHowever, they aren't willing to stop dining indoors at restaurants (33 percent) or gather with people outside of their homes (28 percent)The poll also hides huge partisan differences when it comes to wearing masksMost Democrats (82 percent) are willing to wear face coverings, while just 38 percent of Republicans have the same stance as their counterpartsOne thing Americans don't want again are lockdowns: Only 35 percent of adults said they are in favor of isolation and local business closuresThe poll comes a day after New York City mayor Bill De Blasio's new vaccine mandate for local businesses and the rising cases of Omicron across the country Read more »

A queer-friendly pastor who dressed in drag on HBO's 'We're Here' claims he was forced out of his church

© Jakes Giles Netter/ HBO Pastor Craig Duke on “We’re Here” Jakes Giles Netter/ HBO An Indiana pastor says he was pushed out of his church after appearing in drag ... Read more »

Queen and her corgis 'risk being attacked by wolves or bears' under Chris Packham's call to rewild royal estates, Tory peer warns

Queen and her corgis 'risk being attacked by wolves or bears', Tory peer warnedLeading environmentalist Chris Packham has led a call to rewild royal estatesBut former Tory minister Lord Marland said this could put Her Majesty at risk Read more »

Kapuso, Kapamilya: Big Winners in Asian Academy Creative Awards

On December 2 and 3, Kapuso’s 24 Oras and Kapamilya’s comedian-host Vice Ganda won the Asian Academy Creative Awards. © Provided by LionhearTV For Asian Academy Creative Awards Grand Awards ... Read more »

Who is in the running to be the next Home Affairs Committee chair - and when does the election take place?

Yvette Cooper resigned as chair of the Home Affairs Committee following her appointment to the opposition frontbench as shadow home secretary as part of Sir Keir Starmer's reshuffle last month. Read more »

Foreign Office whistleblowers' full evidence: Read the devastating pages of evidence laying bare how civil servants refused to help desperate Afghans

Foreign Office committee today heard evidence of 'chaotic' Afghanistan crisisJunior diplomat Raphael Marshall  laid bare shambolic withdrawal across 39 devastating pages of evidenceHe detailed chronic staffing shortages and understaffed night shiftsEx-Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was criticised for delays in decision making Read more »

EXCLUSIVE: Tyson Fury is ordered to defend his world heavyweight title against mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte with Cardiff's Principality Stadium set to host the all-British showdown in February or March

Tyson Fury has been told by the WBC to face mandatory challenger Dillian WhyteIt could be held in late February or early March at Cardiff's Principality StadiumFury's promoters tried to negotiate an undisputed clash with Oleksandr UsykBut the Ukrainian faces an eagerly-awaited rematch with Anthony Joshua Read more »

100-year-old grandmother breaks down in tears as she uses a VR headset to explore her childhood cathedral in her hometown in Armenia

The woman, who now lives in the US, got emotional while using VR to tour a church in her hometown of Vagharshapat She immediately started crying happy tears upon seeing the Etchmiadzin Cathedral, which she used to visit as a kidHer granddaughter, Michelle, captured the sweet moment and shared it to TikTok - where it went viralNow, the internet is obsessing over the sweet old lady, with some people saying they 'would take a bullet for her' and others claiming they have to 'protect her' Read more »

Video: Moment Lauryn Hill breaks down mid-set at Chicago memorial service to Off-White fashion designer Virgil Abloh: Kanye, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and Drake all pay their respects to 41-year-old 'visionary' who succumbed to rare cancer

Read more »

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LIVE: AC Milan vs Liverpool - Divock Origi set to start as Reds look to maintain 100% record... while Atletico try and avoid early exit and Real Madrid and Inter battle for top spot

Liverpool are already through to the Champions League last-16 as group winnersJurgen Klopp will look to rest as many key men as he can at the San Siro Six matches will kick off from 8pm GMT in group stage deciding fixturesLatest Champions League news, including live action and results READ: Champions League permutations - how the groups currently stand  Read more »

A French judicial official says a suspect in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has been arrested in France

PARIS — A French judicial official says a suspect in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has been arrested in France. Read more »

The Real Reason Dwayne Johnson Waited 10 Years To Play Black Adam

Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock After being in development for over a decade (via SlashFilm), 2022 will finally be the year that audiences get to see Dwayne Johnson suit up as the titular star ... Read more »

Adam McKay And Jennifer Lawrence Are Teaming Up For This Real-Life Drama

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty In November of 2021, Netflix released a new trailer for “Don’t Look Up,” a satirical disaster comedy with Adam McKay as its director. McKay’s prior filmography includes directing ... Read more »

Boy questioned over Robinson online abuse

A 14-year-old boy in London has been questioned by police investigating online racist abuse sent to West Brom forward Callum Robinson. Another child in Derbyshire is due to appear before ... Read more »

NUFC ready to splash £200k-p/w to sign £27.9m-rated dynamic duo, fans would be buzzing - opinion

© Provided by Football FanCast newcastle-mee-tarkowski-premier-league-burnley An update has emerged on Newcastle United’s pursuit of Burnley centre-backs Ben Mee and James Tarkowski… What’s the talk? According to The Mirror, the ... Read more »

Cookbook celebrates Latin America's vast and vital cuisine

Food – The Latin American Cookbook (ASSOCIATED PRESS) Putting together an entire nation's distinctive dishes is a daunting process for anyone. Then imagine doing it for 22 countries and you ... Read more »

Exclusive-Amazon offered France deal to have bill protecting bookshops pulled

Amazon logo at the company logistics center in Bretigny-sur-Orge By Elizabeth Pineau PARIS (Reuters) – Amazon proposed raising book delivery charges in France to around 2 euros from almost nothing ... Read more »

African Union calls for end to Omicron travel curbs on some African nations

© Reuters/TIKSA NEGERI The African Union logo is seen outside the AU headquarters building in Addis Ababa NAIROBI (Reuters) – The African Union on Tuesday called for an urgent end ... Read more »

DB Cooper hijacked a plane, stole a pile of cash, and vanished. Fifty years on, a ‘hero' flight attendant speaks out

Tina Mucklow (left) was one of three flight attendants on the flight hijacked by a man known as DB Cooper (pictured right in an FBI sketch) in 1971 (Yasmine Kateb) ... Read more »

Twitter tests overhaul of process to flag harmful tweets

FILE PHOTO: A Twitter logo is seen outside the company headquarters in San Francisco By Sheila Dang (Reuters) – Twitter Inc will begin overhauling how users report harmful tweets in ... Read more »

Omicron could be more transmissible than Delta, PM tells ministers

The Omicron variant of coronavirus appears to be “more transmissible” than the Delta strain, Boris Johnson told ministers, as the UK reported its highest weekly number of new Covid-19 cases ... Read more »

Putin and Biden hold two hours of talks amid Ukraine tensions

© Provided by Al Jazeera Russian President Vladimir Putin holds talks with US President Joe Biden via a video link in Sochi, Russia, on December 7, 2021 [Sputnik/Sergey Guneev/Pool via ... Read more »

More rapes reported in Denmark after the introduction of the consent law

The number of rape reports in Denmark has risen markedly since a new consent law came into force in January, according to figures from the police that the newspaper Politiken ... Read more »

Norway announces new corona measures: One meter of distance and alcohol-serving restrictions reintroduced

The requirement to keep a distance of one meter from others, which was phased out on Saturday, September 25, is being reintroduced. Seventy-four days after the then Minister of Health ... Read more »

Lausanne-Diaw verzeiht FCB-Fan die Rassismus-Attacke

Diashow ein Nach der rassistischen Beleidigung vom Sonntag: Lausanne-Sports Mory Diaw verzeiht dem FCB-Fan für seine Entgleisung und bedankt sich auf Instagram für den Support. Mit dieser Botschaft wendet er ... Read more »

«Nepo» mit fatalem Fehler beim 27. Zug – Carlsen profitiert und steht vor WM-Titel

© keystone Teaserbild © keystone Im Gegensatz zu seinem russischen Herausforderer begeht Magnus Carlsen kaum Fehler. Schach-Weltmeister Magnus Carlsen steht nach einem weiteren Sieg kurz vor der Verteidigung seines Titels. ... Read more »

Carlsen gewinnt wieder - Schach-WM fast entschieden

© KEYSTONE/EPA/ALI HAIDER Schach-Weltmeister Magnus Carlsen steht nach einem weiteren Sieg kurz vor der Verteidigung seines Titels. Der 31-jährige Norweger gewann in Dubai auch die neunte Partie gegen seinen russischen ... Read more »

Kaum Corona-Fälle, aber...: Kosovo führt Impfpflicht für Einreise ein

Der Kosovo führt ab der kommenden Woche neue Corona-Regeln für die Einreise ein. Ab dem neuen Jahr dürfen dann nur noch Geimpfte mit mindestens einem Piks in den Balkan-Staat einreisen. ... Read more »

Bed rails recalled after two deaths in US

The Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare Home Bed Assist Handle is among those products recalled. CPSC Nearly half a million adult portable bed rails sold nationwide have been recalled after being linked ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic