In the 3 years since Michigan’s government created the water crisis in Flint, we have witnessed, in the starkest of terms, what environmental racism looks like. The fact that we have a city in America where you literally can’t drink the water is unimaginable. Even if this were fixed today, the effects will likely carry on for at least a generation.
What might not be at the front of everyone’s mind is that there was another deadly by-product of this mess. Twelve people died from Legionnaires’ diseases as a result of bacteria in the improperly treated water.
Today, we learned that at least one person will be facing charges over these deaths. Nick Lyon, the head of Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services has been charged with involuntary manslaughter over his failure to alert the public over the Legionnaires’ outbreak.
While it is good to think that someone might finally be held accountable for this man-made disaster, let us not forget that the water in Flint is still unsafe and there is not ETA on when it will be. Let us not forget that a population of people is being denied access to a safe source of a basic necessity to sustain life. Just let that one sink in.