Monday, February 22, 2016

Flint Water Crisis Parallels Unincorporated Downers Grove Water Contamination of 2001

I had the privilege of participating in the discussion about the Flint water crisis.  What's happening in Flint Michigan is a travesty and was completely avoidable. Running the state like a business lead to the poisoning of an estimated 9000 children.  In 1989 The EPA, DuPage County and The Village of Downers Grove knew the community well water was contaminated.  The Village of Downers Grove switched to Lake Michigan.  I discovered the contamination in  our water in 2001 after a private tests confirmed 3 times the legal limit of  trichloroethylene (TCE). It took two and a half years to secure a safe water supply. The people of Flint will spend the rest of their lives worrying about the health and well being of their families. I know this from my own experience of living with a contaminated water supply. 

Flint Water Crisis Indicative Of Larger Problem Facing Low-Income Communities

Michael Joyce

Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI,5) was in Chicago this weekend, where he held an open discussion about the Flint water crisis, leading to a very spirited debate on the accountability of government and the risks facing under-served communities in America.
The town of Flint, Michigan, made national headlines when high levels of lead were found in its water supply. It is estimated that up to 9,000 children could have been exposed to the contaminated water. Exposure to lead at a young age is known to result in developmental problems for children. The town is also dealing with an outbreak of Legionnaire's disease, which could possibly be linked to the lead-laden water pipes.
Rep. Kildee attributed the crisis in Flint to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's (R) businesslike approach to government, drawing parallels with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Kildee said blame also lays with officials at the Midwest region of the Environmental Protection Agency, many of whom knew about the crisis for six months prior to the information going public. EPA officials say they did not publicize the information because the state insisted that the law didn't require the agency to do so.
Kildee says the EPA should have exceeded its authority on this matter, and notified the public.
Illinois has wrangled with water contamination issues in the past. DuPage County Board member Elizabeth Chaplin attended Saturday's discussion and explained how suburban Lisle's water systems were found to be contaminated with trichloroethylene, or TCE, back in 2001.
"We were 800 homes, so it's not a lot compared to Flint," said Chaplin. "But there are a lot of parallels."
One such parallel was with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, which knew about the issue for some time but, as seen in the Flint incident, failed to notify the public due to the lack of a federal requirement.

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