LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Today, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality made strides in cleaning up Flint. Michigan DEQ Director Keith Creagh proposed a five part strategy to determine whether Flint’s water is safe to drink. Creagh went in front of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to outline his plans. The goal is to ensure lead is out of the water through detailed testing in homes, schools, food service, and blood testing.
Governor Snyder made it clear there needs to be long-term solutions in Flint. “I take full responsibility to fix the problem so it will never happen again,” said Snyder.
After tapping Keith Creagh to head the Department of Environmental Quality to oversee the Flint water crisis, it’s time to unveil the plan and get the ball rolling.
From last week’s press conference, Creagh said, “we can say that things are trending better. 160 of those samples were above 15 parts per billion. So the vast majority of 93.7% were below 15 parts per billion. 85% were below 5 parts per billion.”
The five part strategy was developed to encompass several parts of the state infrastructure including testing the water in homes and schools. One Flint school is having water fixtures replaced. The Department of Agriculture ensures food services are using water filters. The Department of Health and Human Services will make sure residents with high blood lead levels have water tested for lead.
The Governor sent out an e-mail to all state employees. In the letter he states, “what happened in Flint can never be allowed to happen again anywhere in our state.” He then thanked the state workers for their help with Flint and then asked them to not let the situation in Flint negatively impact their motivation to work everyday. Not everyone agrees with Snyder’s sentiments.
UAW Local 6000 Legislatvie Liaison Ray Holman said, “We feel like Governor Rick Snyder is speaking out both sides of his mouth. Right now we do have a culture unfortunately of where basically people are taught to keep their heads down and not to speak out.”
Creagh hopes to say something about the general health of the Flint water system sometime in April. Flint switched their system in 2014 to the Flint River. The river was not treated properly causing lead from pipes to leach into Flint homes.