Statement from Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch
Washington, D.C. – “Today, criminal charges were filed against two state employees and one city employee for their role in the drinking water disaster in Flint, Mich. But Monday, April 25 marks two years since an emergency manager, appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, switched Flint’s water from Detroit’s system to the Flint River. While these charges have been filed so far the Governor himself has escaped accountability for that fateful decision.
“This power grab by the Governor and his appointed officials took local control of Flint’s water out of residents’ hands. The lessons of this disaster should be clear.
But, sadly, the conditions that brought us here still persist, and threaten other cities as well. Michigan’s emergency manager law is still on the books, and similar legislation is on the table in New Jersey that could privatize Atlantic City’s water system. Governor Snyder, who puts a premium on running government like a corporation, is still in office.
“Flint is a cautionary tale that you can’t put a price on clean water, nor should water provision be seen as a business decision. It also shows that we need massive investment in our municipal water systems. No resident should have to drink tap water from lead pipes in 2016, yet we’ve deprioritized this infrastructure for decades. It’s time for legislation that would adequately fund our water systems, dig up toxic pipes, and bring our water infrastructure into the 21st century.”
Contact: Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch, (202) 683-4905, [email protected]