Posts Tagged ‘water’

From the Bottom of the Bucket

September 22, 2017

“The Bucket,” a desert video by John Wells of the Southwest Texas Alternative Energy and Sustainable Living Field Laboratory (The Field Lab) in Terlingua, Texas, who notes “the swimming bees were rescued.” Ehru music by Doug Maxwell.
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Flint, Michigan: Residents Pay Full Price for Undrinkable Water

March 2, 2017

Flint Michigan Residents Pay Full Price for Undrinkable Water

“Residents in Flint, Mich., are about to start paying the full cost of their water again, even though what’s flowing from their taps has yet to be declared safe to drink without an approved filter.

On Wednesday, state officials will end a program that has helped pay residents’ bills since a series of ill-fated decisions by state-appointed emergency managers left the city’s water system contaminated with lead. Since that 2014 disaster, the state has spent roughly $41 million in credits to help offset local utility bills. Residents have gotten a 65 percent credit each month on their water use, while commercial accounts received a 20 percent credit.”

— “Flint residents must start paying for water they still can’t drink without a filter,” Brady Dennis, Washington Post

Flint residents pay one of the country’s highest water rates for the privilege of receiving lead-laced drinking water that poisons their children. About 40 percent of Flint residents live below the poverty line.

The Flint water system was privatized by Republican Governor Rick Snyder.

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Judge Orders Bottled Water Delivery To Flint Residents

November 11, 2016

Judge Orders Bottled Water Delivery To Flint Residents

Federal Court Judge David M. Lawson has ordered Michigan state and local governments to provide home delivery of at least four cases of water a week to each resident of Flint, unless officials verify that the household has a properly installed and maintained water filter. Deliveries must continue until the city’s water lead hazard ends.

Bottled water had previously been available for pick-up at various locations throughout the city, but restrictive access hours and limits per family placed the burden on residents, 40 percent of whom live below the poverty line. Many do not own cars, and had to walk to and from the water supply centers.

As Judge Lawson observed:

“In modern society, when we turn on a faucet, we expect safe drinking water to flow out. As the evidence shows, this is no longer the case in Flint. The Flint water crisis has in effect turned back the clock to a time when people traveled to central water sources to fill their buckets and carry the water home.”

The water became tainted with lead in 2014 when the Republican state government privatized Flint’s water utility, which then instituted cost-cutting measure while charging residents some of the highest rates in the nation.

More:

“Federal judge orders delivery of bottled water in Flint,” Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press

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Flint: Fear the Water

March 18, 2016

A New Yorker video, produced by Zackary Canepari and Jessica Dimmock.

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Flint, Michigan

February 24, 2016

Flint, Michigan

Flint, Michigan residents, 40 percent of whom have incomes under the poverty level, have been paying the highest water bills in the nation for the lead-tainted water that has endangered their children’s health. Those rates were set by the state-appointed emergency managers who switched the system from Detroit water to chemical-laden Flint River water. Thank you, Governor Rick Snyder.

More:

“While Lead Flowed Through the Pipes, Flint Residents Paid America’s Most Expensive Water Bills,” Julia Lurie, Mother Jones

“Flint Is What Happens When a Small-Government, Anti-Spending Philosophy Rules the Day,” Jeff Turrentine , Pacific Standard

“Lessons from Flint and the Price of Water Privatization,”  Mary Grant and Jo Miles, Food & Water Watch

“By the numbers: Flint’s water emergency,” Associated Press

Related:

“How the Flint River got so toxic,” Tim Carmody, The Verge

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West Virginia: Life in the Spill Zone

March 13, 2014

West Virginia: Life in the Spill Zone

“Life in West Virginia wasn’t all that easy to begin with. It is the third poorest state in the country; almost 18 percent of its population lives below the poverty line. Many people in the spill zone are now spending a chunk of their paychecks simply to have access to clean water — a necessity so fundamental it’s one that people in a developed country should expect.”

— “Don’t Drink the Water: West Virginia After the Chemical Spill,” Heather Rogers, Rolling Stone

Related:

“Chemical Valley,” Evan Osmos, The New Yorker

“What’s that smell in West Virginia water?” ScienceBlog

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Freedom is Negligent, Goes Bankrupt

January 18, 2014

Freedom is Negligent, Goes Bankrupt

This may be the closest thing to good news coming out of West Virginia this week: Freedom Industries has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  But does the Elk River chemical spill mean we’ll finally get toughmeaningful regulation and inspection of chemical storage facilities? Probably not.

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Wild, Wonderful West Virginia

January 16, 2014

Wild, Wonderful West Virginia
The business-friendly, health-challenged state of West Virginia has still not recovered from the spill of 7,500 gallons of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol (MCHM) from Charleston’s Freedom Industries chemical plant into the Elk River, drinking water source for 300,000 people in nine counties. Some recent updates:

“Why So Many West Virginians Relied on Water from the Elk River: Industry Already Polluted the Others,” Nora Caplan-Bricker, The New Republic

“Safety violations found at another Freedom chemical facility,” Lindsay Abrams, Salon

“West Virginia chemical spill shines spotlight on loose regulation,” Alexandra Field. Meridith Edwards and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN

“West Virginians Tolerate Chemical Spills Out of Fear of Losing Jobs,” Robert Reich, Moyers & Company

“I’m From West Virginia and I’ve Got Something to Say About the Chemical Spill,” Eric Waggoner, Huffington Post

“Thirsty in West Virginia,” Emma Fisher, Salon

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West Virginia Ministry of Truth Press Conference

January 11, 2014

West Virginia Ministry of Truth Press Conference
In Charleston, the capital of West Virginia, a 48,000 gallon tank at the Freedom Industries plant dumped a chemical called 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol (MCHM) into the Elk River, a water source for 300,000 people in nine counties. Residents have been warned not to drink or wash with their tap water. Officials from the West Virginia American Water Company and Freedom Industries immediately held a press conference to address this public health crisis.

Press conference speakers had been well-trained by Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, and adhered to its principles:

West Virginia American Water President Jeffrey McIntyre: “I can’t tell you that the water is unsafe … but I also can’t tell you it’s safe.”

Freedom Industries president Gary Southern: “Our intent is to be absolutely transparent and we’ll tell you what we know, as much as we know. … We have no information on that.”

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Giant Machine Tunnels Under Nation’s Capital

April 11, 2013

Lady Bird, a 400-foot-long, $30 million, 1,300-ton German-made tunnel boring machine, will soon be carving miles of 22-foot-wide tunnel 100 feet below the Potomac riverbed. It’s part of DC Water’s Clean Rivers Project, the second-largest civil engineering project in DC history (only Metrorail is bigger). When completed in 2025, the $2.6 billion EPA-funded dig will keep raw sewage from flowing into the Potomac and Anacostia when it rains hard. That’s what happens now (it’s called CSO, “Combined Sewer Overflow”).

Lady Bird will be underground and out of sight, but you can follow her on her own Twitter account.

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