A Corrosive Past

Photo by Sarah Rice for Getty Images

Photo by Sarah Rice for Getty Images

Flint, Michigan is a city with a tumultuous history. Once proudly named “Vehicle City,” Flint – home of General Motors – stood as the second largest auto-manufacturing town in America. The series of financial crises that rocked the nation during the twentieth century eventually led GM to close its plants, devastating Flint. The road to recovery has been slow and painful. And it looks like it will be slower still. The world is looking to Flint again, this time in the wake of another disaster. The Flint Water Crisis is the product of systemic sociopolitical and racial disparities that have ailed the city since its founding. Still unfolding, the incident exposes a combination of unjust governing policies, gross negligence, and a refusal to acknowledge the plight of a historically vulnerable population. In most cases of environmental pollution, harm is not spread equally; Flint is no different. The social, economic, and political marginalization of impoverished, minority, redlined communities in Flint set them up for decades of disinvestment and neglect. These neighborhoods have felt the disparate impact of the crisis, given that their dilapidation made them more prone to contamination. To understand the roots of the current crisis, it is necessary to dig down into the history books, back to Flint’s “glory days.”

First, an overview of the Water Crisis: In April 2014, two Emergency Managers did away with a long-standing water contract with Detroit, in anticipation of a pipeline from Lake Huron that would bring water directly to Flint. Their switch to Flint River water would save the city $12 million annually until pipeline completion.[1] Michigan’s Constitution provides that, in the case of a financial emergency, the governor can appoint Emergency Managers (EMs) to assume control of the city in order to remedy the crisis.[2] Since 2011, unelected EMs have held office in Flint. Beholden to neither local nor municipal officials, they decided that it was in Flint’s best interest to give up a safe, reliable source of water for one in which cars, trash, and dead bodies have been found. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) approved the switch, foreseeing no change in water quality. The heavily polluted and poorly treated Flint River water began to corrode the city’s lead pipes. Just a month after making the switch, residents began making complaints of the new water’s strange appearance and odor. The DEQ reassured Flint that “turbidity, residual chlorine and bacteria levels meet all standards set by the state.”[3] In the months following the switch, residents started coming down with rashes, headaches, hair loss. Officials paved over concerns. They added more chlorine to the water, resulting in a violation under the Safe Drinking Water Act for trihalomethanes (TTHM) – a disinfectant byproduct.[4] In August of 2014 city officials found E. coli in the water; they mandated nothing more than a boil order.[5] GM stopped using the water when they discovered it rusted car parts. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, the EMs, the DEQ, and various other government officials refused to switch Flint’s water source back to Detroit and subverted residents’ claims of environmental pollution. It would not be until January 2016 that Snyder would declare, and President Obama would approve, a state of emergency for the city.

Flint River Water // Photo by Sarah Rice for Getty Images

Flint River Water // Photo by Sarah Rice for Getty Images

As stated earlier, Flint’s vulnerability to the devastating effects of the water crisis stems from a history of marginalization. Flint River water leached lead more from certain pipes, because those pipes sat in dilapidated houses in poor, minority communities that had been kept that way through a history of racist housing policies. Marginalization in Flint was an import of big business. Flint fought hard at the turn of the twentieth century to raise the capital needed to keep the newly relocated Buick Motor Company in town. Their gamble paid off. Two years later, Buick’s Chief Tyler Durant founded GM and quickly established Flint as a hub of auto manufacturing. Through 1930, Flint had a population that was 80% white, and only 3.6% black.[6] Even then, Flint’s small black community was kept segregated to a select few areas, one of them being the polluted, run down neighborhood of St. John St. In 1919 GM founded the Modern Housing Corporation to provide housing for its workers in just over a decade built almost three thousand houses in Flint. The housing policies that GM set in place, Andrew Highsmith outlines, allowed Jim Crow to take root in Flint. GM had covenants, one of which dictated that homes, “‘could not be leased to or occupied by any person or persons not wholly of the white or Caucasian race.’”[7] Racist housing policies alone made Flint the “third most segregated city in the nation.”[8] Jim Crow delineated spaces reserved for blacks’ not only in neighborhoods, but also in the workforce. As far as GM was concerned, the assembly line was the place of the whites. Black workers were forced to take positions as “janitors or foundry workers.[9] Segregated schools and discriminatory store practices only made life more inhospitable for Flint’s black population. The Great Depression’s nearly 75 percent cut to auto manufacturing sent Flint’s unemployment rates skyrocketing to almost 50 percent.[10] The banks all but ceased lending, resulting in rampant housing shortages.

The federal government responded by creating the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) to buy and refinance mortgage loans for those defaulting on payments. However, the system of valuation reproduced racist policies, as only white homes received the highest value grades.[10] This process became known as redlining, and established which communities held worth, and which were too risky to invest in.[11] The HOLC was followed by the 1934 establishment of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which insured bank loans and mortgages in order to assuage banks’ doubts about lending to prospective homeowners. The FHA, too, carried out assessments of which home mortgages should be insured that relied on racial demographics as a metric for judging risk of investment.[12] FHA policies all but halted the construction of homes for blacks. The post-World War II boom and labor shortage in Flint, Highsmith says, “trigger[ed] a mass migration of black workers to Flint.”[13] The city’s black population doubled in seven years. However, this far from solved the housing crisis.The FHA-induced real-estate revival resulted in mass evictions of black renters as white landlords looked to cash in on mortgages. And, in this period of tremendous growth, developers built only 25 new homes for blacks – all in the redlined St. John St. neighborhood.[14] The influx of African Americans to Flint sparked a parallel exodus of white residents, many of whom left the city, leaving Flint’s marginalized communities to suffer the burden.

Economic growth in the following decades did not translate to urban renewal for neighborhoods like St. John St. They remained the most polluted in the city – lacking any sort of investment. In 1971, GM, Flint’s economic foundation, followed the trend in disinvestment beginning a series of sweeping cuts to its workforce. The “strong trade unions, high wages, obsolete infrastructure, and increasingly anti-corporate political climate” that developed in the years preceding, like white flight, turned GM away from the city.[15] The company began to invest elsewhere. OPEC’s 1973 oil embargo on the U.S. and the 1979 drop in oil production hit Flint hard. In 1975, unemployment stayed in the range of 15 and 20 percent, 50 percent for African Americans.[16] Again, Flint residents took flight: within eight years the population fell 20 percent. Property abandonment and neglect for remaining communities – many, poor minority neighborhoods – were rampant. In response to huge financial losses, GM worked to increase efficiency by “spatially [integrating] manufacturing and assembly” by centralizing production in a $475 million facility called Buick City.[17] In November 1999, following a decade of plant closures, GM shut down the facility. Flint was left to suffer a 30.8 percent poverty rate – 36.4 percent for blacks.[18]

In the wake of GM’s Buick City closure and parallel closures in Detroit, Michigan has struggled to regain economic footing. Since 1990 local governments have had the power pursuant to Public Act 72 to appoint Emergency Managers in order to ensure that citizens receive “basic services” during a financial emergency. The state first exercised that authority in 2009.[19] EMs are instituted in order to mitigate fiscal effects on communities, but they assume control of aspects of city regulation ranging from education to public health. Emergency Managers are not locally elected officials. Their appointment completely undermines citizens’ ability to select their own leaders, threatening principles fundamental to American democracy. Many have called the system racist. As a Root article explains, “Emergency financial managers have been primarily assigned to majority-African-American cities across Michigan. In the past decade, over half of African Americans in Michigan—compared with only 2 percent of whites—have lived under emergency management.”[20] Emergency Managers, residents argue, represent a conservative, white leadership. Labor unions have found their agreements with city officials essentially null and void.[21] The fact that EMs are fiscal specialists but are delegated with public health has meant that many health concerns go under-noticed and under-treated – a criticism with particular salience in the wake of the Water Crisis.[22] The six EMs who have controlled Flint since 2011 have undertaken their fiscal responsibilities by, in some cases, cutting pay or jobs for city employees, and raising water costs or taking from the water budget.[23] Their appointment left Flint’s government without authority to “independently check water quality after concerns were raised.”[24] Emergency Law set Flint up to have poor decisions made, without accountability, on behalf of residents and left the city without the political resources to respond to an incident. In short, emergency management set Flint up for disaster.

The disaster, once it hit, did not have equitable effects. Flint’s history of racist housing policies established under the HOLC and FHA and upheld by social, economic, and political forces in the decades following ensured that the impact be felt disproportionately. It helps to note that the current water crisis is not Flint’s first incident of lead pollution. The 1992 construction of the $80 million Genesee Power Station and incinerator in the predominantly black North End (a region including St. John St.) showed how labeling a community as “undesirable” makes it the target of undesirable activities (like waste disposal). The North End was widely recognized to be the most polluted area in Flint. This of course was because developers and city officials had, over the decades, ensured that it be such. As a result, they had few qualms about poisoning the North End’s air, burning wood coated in lead-based paint.[25] Then, as now, the DEQ neglected residents’ concerns about the dangers of the project, suggesting that it was making the fiscally savvy decision for the good of Flint.[26] Residents’ joint suit with the NAACP and activist group United for Action was ultimately filed in vain. Similar dynamics were at play in regards to the water crisis. It was in September of 2016, more than two-and-a-half years after Flint changed its water source, that the first tests were conducted – not by the government – on residents’ blood lead levels. Pediatrician Mona Hanna-Atisha’s findings were startling. The number of children with lead poisoning rose from 2.4% to 4.9% after the switch to the Flint River.[27] More significantly, numbers in the “socioeconomically disadvantaged,” predominantly black Fifth Ward rose from 4.9% to 15.7% revealing marginalization to be a key factor in crisis evaluation.[28] A Wall Street Journal article ascribes the data gap to limited access to “bottled water and filters” and “poor nutrition” (and thus greater vulnerability to lead poisoning) for the “40% of the population liv[ing] below the poverty line.”[29] Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards who has been leading the charge to test Flint’s water additionally points out that, as previously mentioned, “water tends to sit in pipes longer in neighborhoods with vacant houses,” – that is, disadvantaged minority communities – and thus has a greater corrosive effect.[30]

State officials initially denied Hanna-Atisha’s findings, along with a host of other independently conducted studies. What becomes clear is that the Water Crisis is larger than water; it is the story of a city that allowed certain communities to corrode and was deaf to their plight. Only now, with the nation’s eyes on Flint, have officials have let up in their suppression campaigns and begun to open a window on the conditions that governments, developers, and residents have chosen to ignore and perpetuate.

[1] Mitch Smith, “A Water Dilemma in Michigan: Butty or Costly?” New York Times, March 24, 2015, accessed March 16, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/25/us/a-water-dilemma-in-michigan-cheaper-or-clearer.html?_r=1.

[2] “Emergency Manager Law,” State of Michigan, accessed March 16, 2016, https://www.michigan.gov/documents/snyder/EMF_Fact_Sheet2_347889_7.pdf.

[3] Hannah Rappleye, Lisa Riordan Seville and Tacy Connor, “Decisions, Broken Promises: A Timeline of the Flint Water Crisis,” NBC News, accessed March 16, 2016, http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/bad-decisions-broken-promises-timeline-flint-water-crisis-n499641.

[4] Smith, “A Water Dilemma in Michigan.”

[5] Smith, “A Water Dilemma in Michigan.”

[6]Andrew Highsmith, Demolition means progress: Flint, Michigan, and the fate of the American metropolis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015): 27.

[7]  Highsmith, Demolition means progress, 32.

[8] Highsmith, Demolition means progress, 34.

[9] Highsmith, Demolition means progress, 34.

[10] Highsmith, Demolition means progress, 37.

[11] Highsmith, Demolition means progress, 38.

[12] Highsmith, Demolition means progress, 39.

[13] Highsmith, Demolition means progress, 50.

[14] Highsmith, Demolition means progress, 50.

[15] Highsmith, Demolition means progress, 50.

[16] Highsmith, Demolition means progress, 243.

[17] Highsmith, Demolition means progress, 246.

[18] Highsmith, Demolition means progress, 255.

[19] Highsmith, Demolition means progress, 254.

[20] Highsmith, Demolition means progress, 254.

[21] “Emergency Manager Law”.

[22] Louise Seamster and Jessica Welburn, “How a Racist System Has Poisoned the Water in Flint, Mich.,” The Root, January 9, 2016, accessed March 16, 2016, http://www.theroot.com/articles/politics/2016/01/how_a_racist_system_has_poisoned_the_water_in_flint_mich.html.

[23] Steven Yaccino, “Michigan Voters Repeal a Financial Law,” New York Times, November 7, 2012, accessed March 16, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/08/us/michigan-voters-kill-emergency-managers-for-city-finances.html.

[24] Julie Bosman and Monica Davey, “Anger in Michigan Over Appointing Emergency Managers,” New York Times, January 22, 2016, accessed March 16, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/23/us/anger-in-michigan-over-appointing-emergency-managers.html?_r=0

[25] Highsmith, Demolition means progress, 252.

[26] Highsmith, Demolition means progress, 27.

[27] Seamster and Welburn, “How a Racist System”

[28] Seamster and Welburn, “How a Racist System”

[29] Kris Maher, “U.S. News: Flint’s Poorest at Center of Crisis – Research Finds the Highest Lead Exposure among City’s Children in Least Affluent Wards,” Wall Street Journal, February 29 2016, ProQuest, accessed March 16 2016, http://search.proquest.com/nationalnewspremier/docview/1768524821/EF27AAEDA74245D4PQ/21?accountid=15054.

[30] Maher, “Flint’s Poorest at Center of Crisis.”

[31] Maher, “Flint’s Poorest at Center of Crisis.”

[32] Maher, “Flint’s Poorest at Center of Crisis.”











Science in Flint: Ours, Not Yours

A National Guard Member Hauls Emergency Water // Photo by Sarah Rice for Getty Images

A National Guard Member Hauls Emergency Water // Photo by Sarah Rice for Getty Images

The Flint Water Crisis is just that – a crisis – because the authorities tasked with disaster mitigation worked against victims. The Michigan governor’s office, city officials, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had a responsibility to test the validity of claims. Instead they denied the change in water quality and the existence of environmental hazards (lead). These agencies used science to shut down concerned community members. It was only when community members themselves began to seek out and provide their own scientific data that they could enter into conversation.

Much of the crisis can be seen as a vastly unequal dialogue between Flint residents and DEQ and city officials. The month after citizens began filling their cups and baths with Flint River water, they began complaining. Some, like Bethany Hazard switched to bottled water over concern for the “murky or foamy” liquid coming out of her tap.[1] The new water, “70 percent harder than lake water,” looked, felt and smelled nothing like that from Detroit.[2] Nevertheless, DEQ officials concluded “turbidity, residual chlorine and bacteria levels” in addition to “nitrates, metals, residual disinfectant, and arsenic” met state standards.[3] Rather than consider the implications of the disparity in water quality, officials suggested that residents adjust their expectations. Emergency Manager Darnell Earley told residents, “We are not going to see the (same type of water),” as if to say, You should expect your water to be nasty.[4] He made no mention of what different quality should mean for water costs – which citizens were already struggling to pay. Earley emphasized that DEQ water safety standards – not community complaints – would guide city policy.[5]

Months later, test results on the new water showed positive for E. coli, or fecal coliform bacteria. City officials issued a boil advisory, but stated that the measure was only a “precaution” and the product of an “abnormal test.”[6] Another round of tests came back positive for total coliform – an indication of a contaminated water system (not just the water itself).[7] The implications of this finding were downplayed. The city issued more boil advisories. To address the E. coli issue, water treatment officials added more chlorine. In this decision Flint had its worst violation yet, exceeding maximum contamination levels of trihalomethanes, or TTHM – “disinfection byproducts” – outlined by the Safe Drinking Water Act.[8] The city identified no necessary action for residents. The answers to FAQs from concerned citizens on Flint’s website read, “Do I need to boil my water? No. This is not an emergency. If this were an emergency you would have been notified within 24 hours. Is water from the Flint River safe to drink? Yes. The water meets the EPA regulatory standards that say it is safe to drink.”[9]

Photo by Sarah Rice for Getty Images

Photo by Sarah Rice for Getty Images

Worse yet, it seems the city held onto TTHM findings for eight months before bringing it to public attention.[10] Meanwhile, Flint-based General Motors made a deal with Flint Township (adjacent to Flint) – which was still receiving water from Detroit – to change its water source back after it found that chloride levels in Flint River water corroded car parts.[11] In the name of fiscal responsibility, EM Darnell Earley turned down the opportunity to broker a deal for Flint, despite residents’ demands to do so. Statements made by citizens such as, “These people [emergency managers] are supposed to make sure we’re safe,” speak to shared concerns over Emergency Managers–fiscal “experts” –having been tasked with public health.[12] Months later, a consultant from environmental and sustainability firm Veolia North America paid by state officials assured residents that the water was in compliance with TTHM levels.[13] In keeping with a trend of image preservation, as opposed to disaster mitigation, Flint officials made only an effort to prove that water was up-to-standard in regards to a specific violation (TTHM). They did not think to run more comprehensive tests for hazards such as lead and copper, despite Veolia stating that the issue in Flint appeared to be “about the (transmission pipes).”[14] The reality of Flint’s water hazards was far worse than E. coli, or even TTHM and would only be unearthed through the action of citizens and independent researchers.

The first sign of potential lead contamination in Flint water came from a state health worker. Epidemiologist Cristin Larder saw elevated blood lead levels in Flint children during the period of July, August, and September of 2014 and passed this information on to superiors for “further investigation.”[15] They did nothing with the data. Content with the post-September drop in lead levels, they defined the spike as a “seasonal anomaly.”[16] Flint resident LeeAnne Walters, after watching her children grow sick and break out in rashes, sent water samples to Marc Edwards, a professor of environmental engineering at Virginia Tech. The samples showed lead levels to be 13,000 parts per billion for Walters’ water with an average of 2,000 parts per billion.[17] According to an article in The Atlantic, “The EPA recommends keeping lead content below 15 parts per billion.”[18] Edwards said it was “the worst I’d ever seen.”[19] Edwards sent the data off to the EPA and to Flint health officials. They did nothing; ditto for Flint.

This was not the first case of the EPA – the agency that is supposed to act when the city and state DEQ do not – failing Flint. An ACLU leak revealed that the EPA’s water expert, Miguel Del Toral, had warned the organization about lead leaching from pipes in Flint.[20] Among the many poignant points in his memo is, “At a MINIMUM, the City should be warning residents about the high lead…The only people that question the science are the ones that have a vested interest in not finding lead.”[21] Higher-ups dismissed his memo on the grounds of questionable sampling, and Del Toral’s findings were kept within the EPA for four months before being released – and revised.[22] The EPA also failed to implement the Lead-Copper Rule (intended to prevent lead and copper contamination of water), by allowing the DEQ to put off instituting corrosion controls and, in turn, expose the city’s residents that much earlier to dangerous neurotoxins.[23] It seems the EPA had a “vested interest in not finding lead.”

In Flint, Marc Edwards saw an eerie resemblance to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) falsification of findings pertaining to lead poisoning in Washington DC – a 2004 scandal.[24] His six-year fight and victory against the CDC made him primed to take on the Flint Water Crisis. Self-funded and with the help of Virginia Tech students, Edwards has conducted two large-scale samples of lead levels in Flint. His work provides residents what they have always wanted – science that is used to educate and engage, not to dismiss those affected. Edwards has used Freedom of Information Act Requests to get access to “documents and emails of state and city officials” and to make visible what had previously been a hidden scandal.[25] With a history of success against seemingly irrefutable agencies, Edwards validated the concerns of Flint’s residents such that officials could no longer ignore them. Other independent actors followed in Edwards’ footsteps. Flint pediatrician Mona Hanna-Atisha examined the effects of then apparent water lead levels in children. She found a 3.5% increase in blood lead levels and a 6.6% increase in communities with the “highest water lead levels.”[26] It took weeks of denial for city officials to finally acknowledge the validity of her data. The mental and physical implications for Flint’s estimated 10,000 under-6 children was not lost on the public and the outrage that resulted has prompted the city to begin tracking the health of those affected.[27]

Reflecting on what is now a national crisis complicates the notion of scientific expertise. The Department of Environmental Quality and EPA are the sources we’ve been led to believe are the agencies with the knowledge to respond in the case of an environmental disaster. However those authorities’ will for knowledge in the case of Flint was clouded by the expectation that the Flint River was to be Flint’s water source. There could not be contaminants in the water because that would mean the failure of Flint officials’ water project. Whatever contaminants were proven to be irrefutably present were addressed singularly, without consideration for other possible hazards. The findings these agencies produced were not knowledge, for they had no scientific clout. It they did, they would have been reconciled with the local knowledge that Flint River water was affecting residents. It would take a combination of data from trusted researchers (e.g. Edwards and Hanna-Atisha) and proven malfeasance by agencies and officials involved to expose Flint for the fiasco it is.


[1] Ron Fonger, “State says Flint River water meets all standards but more than twice the hardness of lake water,” The Flint Journal, May 23, 2014, accessed April 14, 2016, http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2014/05/state_says_flint_river_water_m.html.

[2] Ron Fonger, “City adding more lime to Flint River water as resident complaints pour in,” The Flint Journal, June 12, 2014, accessed April 14, 2016, http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2014/06/treated_flint_river_water_meet.html

[3] Fonger, “State says Flint River water meets all standards”

[4] Fonger, “City adding more lime to Flint River”

[5] Fonger, “City adding more lime to Flint River”

[6] Fonger, “Flint officials say ‘abnormal’ test to blame in E. coli scare, water boil advisory remains,” The Flint Journal, August 18, 2014, accessed April 14, 2016, http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2014/08/flint_officials_say_abnormal_t.html#incart_river.

[7] Fonger, “Tests positive for total coliform again in water-boil area on Flint’s west side,” The Flint Journal, August 19, 2014, accessed April 14, 2016, http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2014/08/water_boil_area_in_flint_gets.html.

[8] Fonger, “City warns of potential health risks after Flint water tests revealed too much disinfection byproduct,” The Flint Journal, August 19, 2014, accessed April 14, 2016, http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2015/01/flint_water_has_high_disinfect.html.

[9] Fonger, “City of Flint posts frequently asked questions & answers about drinking water violation,” The Flint Journal, January 6, 2015, accessed April 14, 2016, http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2015/01/city_of_flint_posts_its_answer.html.

[10] Jim Lynch, “EPA stayed silent on Flint’s tainted water,” The Detroit Free Press, January 12, 2016, accessed April 14, 2016, http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2016/01/12/epa-stayed-silent-flints-tainted-water/78719620/.

[11] Ron Fonger, “General Motors shutting off Flint River water at engine plant over corrosion worries,” The Flint Journal, October 13, 2014, accessed April 14, 2016, http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2014/10/general_motors_wont_use_flint.html.

[12] Ron Fonger, “Flint residents protest drinking water problems outside City Hall,” The Flint Journal, October 13, 2014, accessed April 14, 2016, http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2015/01/clean_water_is_a_right_and_a_p.html.

[13] Ron Fonger, “Despite quality problems, ‘Your water is safe,’ says Flint consultant,” The Flint Journal, October 13, 2014, accessed April 14, 2016, http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2015/02/flint_consultant_tells_city_de.html.

[14] Fonger, “Despite quality problems”

[15] Stephanie Gosk and Tracy Connor, “Email Was ‘Missed Opportunity’ to Save Flint’s Kids From Lead,” NBC News, January 13, 2016, accessed April 14, 2016.

[16] Gosk and Connor, “Email Was ‘Missed Opportunity’”

[17] Alana Semuels, “Aging Pipes Are Poisoning America’s Tap Water,” The Atlantic, July 29, 2015, accessed April 14, 2016, http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/07/dont-drink-the-water/399803/.

[18] Semuels, “Aging Pipes”

[19] Semuels, “Aging Pipes”

[20] Rappleye, Seville, and Connor, “Bad Decisions, Broken Promises”

[21] Lynch, “Whistle-blower Del Toral grew tired of EPA ‘cesspool,’” March 29, 2016, http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/michigan/flint-water-crisis/2016/03/28/whistle-blower-del-toral-grew-tired-epa-cesspool/82365470/.

[22] Lynch, “EPA stayed silent on Flint’s tainted water,” The Detroit News, January 12, 2015, accessed April 14, 2016, http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2016/01/12/epa-stayed-silent-flints-tainted-water/78719620/.

[23] Lynch, “EPA Stayed Silent”

[24] Colby Itkowitz, “The heroic professor who helped uncover the Flint lead water crisis​ has been asked to fix it,” The Washington Post, January 27, 2016, accessed April 14, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2016/01/26/meet-the-heroic-professor-who-helped-uncover-the-flint-lead-water-crisis/.

[25] Itkowitz, “The heroic professor”

[26] Mona Hanna-Atisha, “Elevated Blood Lead Levels in Children Associated With the Flint Drinking Water Crisis: A Spatial Analysis of Risk and Public Health Response,” American Journal of Public Health, February 2016, 106(2): 283-90.

[27] Gosk and Connor, “Email Was ‘Missed Opportunity’”