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Michigan: State employees quietly given bottled water months before Flint residents

Flint Michigan

(NaturalNews) In 2014, by the order of the state, the city of Flint, Michigan, switched its water source from Detroit's Lake Huron, to the notoriously murky Flint River. The excuse? The city was too poor to afford clean water.

The result? For almost two years, residents of Flint and their children were consistently poisoned with lead. Lower IQs, developmental delays and learning difficulties, are only some of the permanent effects of lead in these children, while the recent spike in the numbers of Legionnaire's disease in the affected area has also been linked to the poor treatment of the water. Once the situation was properly acknowledged and a state of emergency was declared in 2016, residents were given bottled water to drink.

But the story was not the same for state employees in Michigan, who knew beforehand that the water systems were in a state of collapse.

The people were told to drink the poisoned water

It seems like yesterday that Former Flint Mayor Dayne Walling went on local TV and drank the lead-poisoned water in order to make a point about its safety. At the time, people were already receiving notices stating that Flint was in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act. This is just how the residents of Flint, Michigan, were bullied into drinking unsafe tap water for almost two years.

Although they immediately reported the poor quality of the water as soon as the switch to the Flint River took place, no one paid attention until a group of researchers from Virginia Tech took matters into their own hands. When testing the tap water in Flint they discovered high levels of lead. Still, state officials ignored these results and fronted their own, more "accurate" research.

State employees in Michigan heard a different story

Finally, in October 2015, the issue was publicly acknowledged and the water source was switched back to Lake Huron. In January 2016, the National Guard was mobilized to distribute bottled water to all the residents in Flint, Michigan.

But here's the thing: If state officials were so convinced of the water's safety, then why did the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget decide to bring water coolers into the Flint state building in January 2015, a full year before the water crisis was publicly acknowledged? On each occupied floor, a cooler was placed next to the water fountain so as to give state employees a choice to drink clean, purified water.

According to the DTMB, the coolers were to remain in the building for as long as "the public water does not meet treatment requirements."

Will anyone be held responsible?

The big picture doesn't get any clearer than this. In 2015, everyone knew that the tap water in Flint was unsafe, but in the media, the story was a different one. State officials quietly received clean water through the course of the entire year, while other residents had to struggle to obtain the same treatment one year later – in 2016.

As outrageous as this may seem, it is perhaps even more disturbing that up to this day no one has been held responsible for this man-made water disaster. In 2012, the emergency manager for Flint, Michigan, rejected the idea of using the city's river for water. Only 16 months later, the Snyder administration decided otherwise, and claimed that the Flint River was a safe water source.

What's worse, it seems that even if Flint had maintained its original water source, it would have saved the same amount of money. Why, then, was the water source switched? And when will someone take official responsibility for the life-long consequences of this act for the residents of Flint?

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