Eight years ago, the water crisis in Flint, Michigan began, the effects of which linger today. The nation was shocked to see a city fail so spectacularly to meet its most basic responsibility to provide safe water to its citizens. Unfortunately, Flint is not alone. According to a 2020 Natural Resources Defense Council analysis of Environmental Protection Agency data, nearly 30 million people in the U.S. drink from unsafe water systems. The rate is significantly elevated in communities of color. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania water system was one of them. As in Flint and other cities, structural racism, chronic disinvestment, and economic austerity meant that Pittsburgh’s communities of color were most impacted by the failing water systems. Entering the 2000s, Pittsburgh’s water infrastructure was in dire need of repair and modernization.
Flint Water Crisis
Former EPA chief Gina McCarthy has reportedly been picked as Biden’s domestic climate policy chief. That concerns activists in Flint, Michigan, who say that she failed to address the Flint water crisis. Karen Weaver, the former mayor of Flint, said that she was disappointed with the choice. “I hope she does better with climate control than she did with Flint,” she told MLive-The Flint Journal. On Thursday, nine people, including former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, were charged over the crisis. Nick Lyon, Snyder’s health director, and Dr. Eden Wells, Snyder’s chief medical executive, were charged with involuntary manslaughter. Snyder was charged with two misdemeanor counts of willful neglect of duty.
Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who ran the state at the time of the devastating 2014 Flint water scandal, has been charged in the crisis that led to the Legionnaires' disease outbreak that killed 12 people. Snyder pleaded not guilty Thursday morning to two counts of willful neglect of duty, before a judge set bond at $10,000. The former governor was ordered to not leave the state ahead of his next date on Tuesday. He faces up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. "We believe there is no evidence to support any criminal charges against Governor Snyder," defense attorney Brian Lennon told The Associated Press on Wednesday night, adding that state prosecutors hadn't provided him with any details.