Ohio’s Environmental Protection Agency accuses the water treatment plant operator of falsifying reports in a lead poisoning scandal in Sebring, Ohio. It is not clear at this time how long the lead has been leaching into the town’s drinking water. The agency issued a warning about Sebring’s water supply on Dec. 3, The agency then directly notified residents of the issue on Jan 21 when it came to their attention that the local water authority had not done so.
Obama declares an official State of Emergency in the Flint Water Crisis. The move, requested by Gov. Snyder, frees up $5M in federal aid funding. Snyder’s initial request sought $31M, but this was denied on the grounds that the mandates allowing funds on that scale to be released are only available for natural disasters. Obama’s declaration will also free up FEMA to co-ordinate relief efforts in Flint.
Cher donates over 180,000 bottles of water to Flint residents in response to the water crisis. Shipments will start on 18 Jan. The water will be distributed through the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and was provided through Icelandic Glacial, where the singer had contacts who agreed to double Cher’s donation. Cher:
This is a tragedy of staggering proportion and it’s shocking that it’s happening in the middle of our country.
Gov. Snyder asks the federal government for declarations of an emergency and a major disaster in the Flint water crisis. The declarations, if granted, would help get federal aid to individuals and public agencies providing people with clean drinking water in the stricken city. Snyder has apologized for the state’s slow handling of the water crisis. Blood lead levels of some children in Flint was found to have doubled in 2015. While the city’s water supply was switched back to Lake Huron in October, lead levels in the tap water remain above levels considered acceptable in many homes.
Gov. Snyder activates the Michigan National Guard to assist in the distribution of clean drinking water to Flint residents in response to the city’s drinking water crisis. The Red Cross will now be free to go door-to-door to provide more personal services. Flint’s drinking water became contaminated with lead when the city’s water supply was switched from Lake Huron to the Flint River in 2014.
As we work to ensure that all Flint residents have access to clean and safe drinking water, we are providing them with the direct assistance they need in order to stretch our resources further. The Michigan National Guard is trained and ready to assist the citizens of Flint.