Rallies planned to mark 4th anniversary of Flint water switch

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FLINT (WJRT) (4/24/2018) - Wednesday marks the four-year anniversary of Flint switching its water source to the Flint River.

The decision ultimately led to the water emergency, after improperly treated water caused lead poisoning and other issues for residents. Some residents say not enough has changed to make Flint water safe.

Activist groups came together Tuesday morning to remind state officials that the water emergency is not over.

Gov. Rick Snyder's administration shut down the water distribution sites two weeks ago, saying Flint's drinking water has tested well below the federal action level for lead and copper for nearly two years.

Activists are calling for the bottled water supply to resume, saying 12,000 homes still have not had their lead or galvanized pipes replaced. They want to make sure filters and free water should be available until all of them are.

Snyder's administration has made it clear the state-funded bottled water supply will not be coming back, saying "thorough and extensive scientific data" influenced their decision to end it.

In addition, activists are angry with the Flint's water rates, which they call the highest in the country, and they're asking why the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is allowing Nestle to pump more water.

These same activists have rallied every year on the anniversary of the water switch. On Wednesday they're headed to the State Capitol in Lansing to continue pleading for justice.

"This is a humanitarian situation that we're in," said Flint resident Claudia Perkins-Milton. "This guy swore that he was the nerd and he was going to do everything for the state of Michigan. And he has devastated this state -- him alone with the DEQ and the EPA. And we're tired of it. And they're gonna hear us roar. We are Flintstones. We are warriors."

Five charter buses are leaving First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church at 1226 Beach St. in Flint around 8 a.m. bound for Lansing. They plan to return to Flint by 3 p.m. for another rally at City Hall.

Congressman Dan Kildee is hosting an event in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to call more attention to recovery efforts under way in Flint and what else is needed.

The Democrat from Flint also will highlight crucial investments for the federal government to prevent a similar crisis from occurring elsewhere in the United States.

The rally will take place at 2 p.m. in the Cannon House Office Building across from the U.S. Capitol.



 
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