The Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan

Flint, Michigan begins water shutoffs

By James Brewer, 25 March 2017

:Residents suspect that the announcement that lead levels have improved is now being used by authorities to sweep the water crisis under the carpet.

As officials end subsidies and resume water cutoffs

Michigan blames Flint water crisis on racism: Part two

By James Brewer, 4 March 2017

A 138-page report on the Flint water crisis delivered on February 7 covers up the class issues in the poisoning of the city.

As officials end subsidies and resume water cutoffs

Michigan blames Flint water crisis on racism: Part one

By James Brewer, 3 March 2017

A 138-page report on the Flint water crisis delivered on February 7 covers up the class issues in the poisoning of the city.

Boil advisory issued in Detroit following water system malfunction

By Kathleen Martin, 2 March 2017

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department issued a boil water advisory Tuesday due to concerns over bacterial contamination affecting a large section of the city.

As Michigan cuts off water bill credits, Flint officials announce shutoffs

By James Brewer, 17 February 2017

An improvement in water lead levels is the pretext for cutting off water bill subsidies to Flint residents and resuming water shutoffs.

Outpouring of anger at Flint town hall meeting

By James Brewer, 13 January 2017

An overflow crowd of anxious and angry residents wasn’t buying the rosy scenario presented by officials on the Flint water crisis.

Key player in Flint water crisis issues defensive letter to “community leaders”

By James Brewer, 31 December 2016

The CEO of the pipeline project that lobbied for Flint to sever its connection to the Detroit water system issued a defensive open letter in an apparent attempt to preempt charges.

Many US communities face worse lead contamination than Flint

By Shannon Jones, 31 December 2016

Some 1,100 communities investigated by the Reuters news agency had water with lead levels at least four times those found in Flint, Michigan.

Four prominent officials criminally indicted in Flint water crisis

By James Brewer, 21 December 2016

The heart of the case against the four defendants is the fraudulent use of the state’s Home Rule City Act emergency bond clause.

Report documents widespread failure of US communities to test water for lead

By Shannon Jones, 17 December 2016

Some four million people in the US live in communities where local officials either do not test water supplies for lead or conduct the tests improperly.

US Navy punishes family that revealed Flint water poisoning

By Zac Corrigan, 2 December 2016

A family fighting to expose the Flint water crisis say they have been subjected to retaliatory intimidation and abuse by the US Navy.

Flint residents threatened with water shutoffs

By Carlos Delgado, 21 November 2016

The shutoff notices come as the state challenges a federal order to begin door-to-door water delivery.

US agency report documents failure to act on Flint water crisis

By James Brewer, 25 October 2016

The Office of Inspector General found that the Environmental Protection Agency had both the evidence and legal authority to act in June 2015, much sooner than it did.

One year since the exposure of the Flint water crisis

By Carlos Delgado and James Brewer, 6 October 2016

October 1 marked the anniversary of the first acknowledgement by the governor of Michigan of the Flint water crisis, which poisoned an entire city.

The development of public water systems and the crisis in Flint

By Shannon Jones, 5 October 2016

The events in Flint are a sharp expression of a historical retrogression in the United States, where gains made by the working class in an earlier period are being stripped away.

One year since the official acknowledgment of the Flint water crisis

Billions for infrastructure and health care not war!

By Jerry White—Socialist Equality Party candidate for US president, 5 October 2016

The Socialist Equality Party fights for the only viable program to address the disaster inflicted on the residents of Flint, Michigan.

Research team hikes estimate: At least half of Flint, Michigan homes have lead pipes

By James Brewer, 1 October 2016

The unserious efforts being made in replacing lead service lines in Flint are further discredited by the revelation that even more homes have them.

Pittsburgh residents demand their water be tested for lead

By Samuel Davidson and James Brewer, 29 September 2016

Belated lead-in-water testing by Pittsburgh authorities showed dangerously high levels of lead in 43 percent of homes.

Michigan governor secretly abolished Flint’s right to sue

By James Brewer, 22 September 2016

Six months ago, unbeknown to the public, a resolution from the governor’s office was passed, effectively preventing the city from suing the state over the water crisis.

SEP presidential candidate Jerry White denounces war, advances socialist program at third party forum

By our reporter, 17 September 2016

White participated in a radio forum of third-party and independent presidential candidates held at Flint’s Mott Community College.

State of Michigan reduces revenue sharing payments to city of Flint

By Carlos Delgado, 3 September 2016

The reduced revenue sharing comes as the city continues to suffer the effects of its widespread lead-in-water crisis, which has wreaked havoc on the lives of city residents.

Detroit professor advances “structural racism” theory of Flint water crisis

By James Brewer, 1 September 2016

A report submitted as evidence that the Flint water crisis was the result of racism is aimed at concealing the class issues and diverting popular outrage into establishment channels.

New Zealand: Thousands infected by contaminated water in Havelock North

By Tom Peters, 27 August 2016

The precise source of the contamination is not yet known, but waterways have become highly polluted due to intensive and unregulated farming.

As federal emergency funding ends:

Flint residents describe conditions of ongoing water crisis

By Carlos Delgado, 25 August 2016

Two residents recount their personal experiences in Flint and express their outrage at the system.

Unsafe levels of carcinogenic chemicals found in drinking water of 6 million Americans

By James Brewer, 10 August 2016

A report from a Harvard University research team warns of the widespread impact in the US of particular unregulated industrial chemicals.

Michigan attorney general charges six more state officials in Flint water crisis

By James Brewer, 30 July 2016

These six indictments bring the number of criminal indictments to nine.

Water officials envision doubling of city of Flint water rates

By James Brewer, 29 July 2016

Michigan’s state treasurer warned that Flint’s already exorbitant water rates may double over the next five years.

State officials work to obscure water crisis in Flint

By Carlos Delgado, 23 July 2016

The appointment of BP’s former spokesperson as Michigan’s new environmental director highlights the official cover-up in the Flint water crisis.

Wider questions arise from Flint water crisis

By James Brewer, 1 July 2016

The Natural Resources Defense Council reports that some 5,300 water systems, serving 18 million people, are in violation of US lead and copper rules.

Flint mayor announces city will continue pipeline deal at center of lead water crisis

By James Brewer, 23 June 2016

Democratic Mayor Karen Weaver announced Tuesday that Flint will not attempt to break the contract with the Karegnondi Water Authority.

New data exposes widespread lead poisoning of Michigan children

By James Brewer, 10 June 2016

Figures released Monday by state health authorities show that the lead poisoning in Flint is just the tip of the iceberg.

Investigation reveals signs of nationwide US water crisis

By Genevieve Leigh, 6 June 2016

As many as 33 major US cities were found to have engaged in deceptive water testing procedures to hide high lead levels in drinking water, according to a Guardian investigation.

Outrage erupts at Flint meeting of pipeline board

By James Brewer, 20 May 2016

Residents of Flint spoke out in anger during a board meeting of the KWA pipeline authority.

New evidence reveals state of Michigan helped to push Flint into pipeline deal

By James Brookfield, 19 May 2016

A “sweetheart” state environmental order was issued to ensure that bond attorneys for the new pipeline would face no financial obstacles to Flint’s signing on to the project.

Who’s who in the Flint water crisis: Part three

By Carlos Delgado, 18 May 2016

The final part in our series profiling the major figures in the crisis focuses on those who conspired to cover up the devastating effects of the lead exposure.

Video: Flint, Michigan resident speaks on lack of services for poisoned residents

By Tim Rivers, 17 May 2016

Keri Webber, whose family still suffers serious health issues as a result of the lead contamination of Flint’s water, says those affected by the disaster have been left to fend for themselves.

Corporate-backed charities come up with teaspoon of help for Flint

By Sheila Brehm, 13 May 2016

A spokesman for the foundations claim the money—to be distributed over five years—is intended to provide “a sense of hope” for the residents of Flint.

Who’s who in the Flint water crisis: Part two

By Carlos Delgado, 11 May 2016

The second part in our series profiling the major figures in the crisis focuses on those who oversaw the switch to the Flint River.

Who’s who in the Flint water crisis: Part one

By Carlos Delgado, 7 May 2016

The first part of our series profiling the major figures behind the crisis focuses on those who laid the groundwork for the switch from the treated Lake Huron water supplied by Detroit.

Obama in Flint: Let them drink lead

By Andre Damon, 6 May 2016

President Obama’s callous declaration that poisoned children in Flint, Michigan “will be fine” expresses the contempt felt by America’s financial oligarchy for the great mass of society.

Michigan state House passes draconian attack on public education

By Shannon Jones and Nancy Hanover, 6 May 2016

In the wake of their return to work following a two-day sickout, Detroit teachers are facing attacks from emergency manager Steven Rhodes and the state legislature.

Angry reaction to Obama’s speech in Flint

An interview with LeeAnne Walters

By our reporters, 6 May 2016

Walters, her husband, and another Flint resident, Keri Webber, angrily walked out of Obama's event Wednesday after he arrogantly declared, “The kids will be just fine.”

Obama to Flint: Shut up and drink the water

By Shannon Jones, 5 May 2016

Obama perpetuated the cover-up of the criminal responsibility of government officials at all levels for the disaster, while downplaying the health consequences of lead poisoning.

“He wants to sweep this under the rug”

Flint residents respond to Obama’s speech on water crisis

By our reporters, 5 May 2016

The WSWS spoke to Flint residents who expressed anger that they were being urged to use the water despite recent test results showing dangerously high levels of lead.

In midst of water shutoffs, Flint water crisis

Detroit teachers shut schools for second day to protest non-payment of wages

By Thomas Gaist, 4 May 2016

The new attack on Detroit teachers is part of a wider assault on the working class being carried out by both big business parties and the Obama administration.

Support the struggle of Detroit teachers! Unite the working class in a fight back!

By Niles Niemuth, 4 May 2016

The attack on Detroit teachers is just one part of an assault on every section of the working class throughout the region and beyond.
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Michigan officials “game” sampling of lead in water

By James Brewer, 28 April 2016

A British newspaper report uncovered a 2008 email from a state Department of Environmental Quality official asking a technician to conceal lead levels in water.

”I’m tired of being peaceful. I’m tired of being nice”

Flint residents protest two years of ongoing water crisis

By Sheila Brehm and Lawrence Porter, 27 April 2016

Flint residents are increasingly frustrated and angry over the indifference, disdain and absence of assistance from all levels of government, even as the lead crisis in Flint continues.

Michigan residents protest contaminated water at community meeting

By Carlos Delgado, 26 April 2016

Residents from the Arbor Village Mobile Home Community described deplorable conditions and expressed frustration at officials’ lack of concern.

Two years of the Flint water crisis

A crime of capitalism

By Shannon Jones, 25 April 2016

April 25 marks the second anniversary of the criminal decision to shift the city of Flint’s water supply to the polluted Flint River, setting in motion a social catastrophe.

Low-level officials face indictment in Flint lead poisoning crisis

By Shannon Jones, 21 April 2016

Two low-level state officials and a city of Flint employee face multiple felony and misdemeanor charges in relation to the lead poisoning of city residents.

Video: Flint residents speak out on ongoing water crisis

By Buster Haycook, 20 April 2016

Tens of thousands of people in Flint, Michigan have been exposed to lead as a result of the city’s 2014 decision to switch its water source to the contaminated Flint River.

Thousands of Detroit children exposed to lead or copper contaminated water

By Nancy Hanover, 19 April 2016

One third of DPS schools are reporting lead or copper contamination of drinking water, with one sample at 100 times the EPA toxic level.

Research team confirms dangerous levels of lead still contaminate Flint water supply

By Carlos Delgado, 14 April 2016

While water quality has improved since switching from the Flint River to Detroit, for some households lead levels have actually increased significantly since 2015.

Photo essay: Contaminated water and hazardous conditions at Michigan mobile home park

By Carlos Delgado and Janel Flechsig, 11 April 2016

Despite intimidation from the community’s management, residents spoke with WSWS reporters at length about the brutal conditions of life inside the community.

Racketeering lawsuit filed against Michigan governor, officials over Flint poisoning

By James Brewer, 9 April 2016

State and local officials are accused of conceiving and enacting a “wrongful scheme” to sell Flint residents “poisoned drinking water from a new, free water source.”

Michigan governor threatens to cut aid to Flint over potential lawsuit

By James Brewer, 6 April 2016

Even though Flint’s mayor claims that the city is not planning to sue the state, Michigan officials are demanding that its intent to sue filing be dropped.

Anger erupts at Flint public hearing

By James Brewer, 2 April 2016

Residents packed the legislative hearing to voice their outrage over the lead poisoning of the city’s water supply.

Newly-released email details complicity of Obama’s EPA in Flint poisoning

By James Brewer, 30 March 2016

The lies of top Environmental Protection Agency officials are exposed in this internal communication in which a leading expert at the agency declares, “EPA is a cesspool.”

Obama administration to cut off Flint emergency aid

By James Brewer, 29 March 2016

The Obama administration, along with state and local government officials of both parties, played a critical role in creating and covering up the disaster in Flint.

Flint water task force report leaves Snyder off the hook

By James Brewer, 26 March 2016

While the Snyder-appointed task force report includes damning findings, the Michigan governor is cynically using it to co-opt widespread outrage against his administration.

Why the New York Times is pushing racial politics in Flint

By Barry Grey, 26 March 2016

It is to preempt and subvert the growth of class consciousness that the Times, the “newspaper of record” of the American ruling class, ferociously promotes racial politics.

Michigan governor’s Flint “action plan”: A cover for criminality

By James Brewer, 23 March 2016

Rick Snyder’s “action plan” for Flint amounts to self-serving bluster, while Obama’s World Water Day event falls flat.

Chief proponent of Flint water supply switch hosts public meeting

By James Brookfield, 21 March 2016

The CEO of the Karegondi Water Authority, Jeffery Wright, an individual centrally connected to the lead poisoning crisis in Flint, sought to place a rosy aura around his pet project.

The crimes behind the US lead water crisis

By Andre Damon, 19 March 2016

The revelation of widespread lead contamination in drinking water in the US, and the complete indifference of the government to it, have shown where the priorities of American capitalism lie.

As reports point to nationwide epidemic of lead contamination

Michigan governor, EPA head testify on Flint water crisis

By Andre Damon, 18 March 2016

The same day as Rick Snyder and Gina McCarthy testified before Congress, USA Today reported that up to one-fifth of America’s water systems may be contaminated with lead.

Video: Lead poisoning discussed at Flint water event

By James Brewer, 18 March 2016

As home water samples were being collected in Flint, city residents told the World Socialist Web Site how the lead poisoning crisis has affected them.

Flint emergency manager, EPA continue to dodge responsibility for water crisis

By James Brewer, 17 March 2016

While federal, state and local officials tried to evade responsibility, Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards indicted the EPA for allowing the poisoning of Flint residents.

Second test of Flint water being performed by Virginia Tech

By James Brewer, 17 March 2016

An event was held in Flint last Saturday, billed as an “EPA Open House,” to collect water samples from Flint homes.

Flint meeting examines background of city’s water crisis

By Shannon Jones, 12 March 2016

The SEP and IYSSE held a well-attended meeting on the campus of the University of Michigan, Flint, examining the social and political background to the lead poisoning of city residents.

Flint residents call out government’s failure to act on water poisoning

By Buster Haycook, 10 March 2016

Despite pledges to act by politicians at the federal, state and local levels, no serious action is being taken to address the poisoning of city residents.

Democrats cover up role of Obama administration in Flint water crisis

By James Brewer, 9 March 2016

Clinton and Sanders said nothing about the US Environmental Protection Agency, which concealed its findings of high lead levels in Flint’s water.

SEP and IYSSE meeting: The political and social roots of the Flint water crisis

9 March 2016

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) will examine the real causes of the Flint water crisis––and who is responsible for the poisoning of the population.

The Flint water crisis and the US elections

By Jerry White, 7 March 2016

The economic nationalist policies promoted by Sanders complement the anti-immigrant racism and xenophobia of Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

Flint resident files lawsuit against corporations, officials

By James Brewer, 5 March 2016

LeeAnne Walters, whose four children still experience symptoms from exposure to lead, named three companies and three officials in her suit.

New information emerges about Flint’s decision to switch to untreated water

By James Brewer, 1 March 2016

The examination of uncovered documents, combined with the thousands of newly-public emails released by Governor Rick Snyder, begin to uncover the economic interests behind the poisoning of Flint.

Top advisors to Michigan governor urged switching water supply from polluted Flint River

By Shannon Jones, 27 February 2016

Newly released emails show that top aides to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder advocated switching the Flint water supply back to the Detroit water system by October 2014, a year before the public disclosure of contamination.

Flint death toll from Legionnaires’ disease worsened by state and federal inaction

By James Brewer, 25 February 2016

From early on, the criminally negligent handling of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak by the highest officials exacerbated its scope and effects.

Flint residents protest lead poisoning and political cover-up

By Buster Haycook and Zac Corrigan, 23 February 2016

The WSWS spoke to residents about the ongoing water crisis which has revealed fundamental problems of American society, including unprecedented levels of social inequality.

Jesse Jackson promotes Democratic Party at Flint rally

By Shannon Jones, 20 February 2016

While the anger expressed by march participants was genuine, Jackson sought to channel outrage behind the very same politicians responsible for the lead poisoning of Flint residents.

An interview with Professor Marc Edwards on the Flint water crisis

By Carlos Delgado, 19 February 2016

The Virginia Tech University professor responsible for revealing the Flint water crisis to the world speaks about the complicity of government agencies in concealing dangerous levels of lead in public drinking water.

Despite lead poisoning, Flint water rates highest in US

By James Brewer, 18 February 2016

A report by a national water advocacy group surveys comparative rates in the country’s largest water systems.

Water quality official warned Flint, Michigan was not prepared for switch to Flint River

By James Brewer, 16 February 2016

Eight days before switching to the heavily polluted river as a water source, a city official warned that the water system was not ready for the change.

GM and UAW donate $3 million to Flint: Criminals covering their tracks

By Jerry White, 12 February 2016

Outside of the state and local authorities, there are few if any other entities so deeply implicated in the social catastrophe in Flint as GM and the UAW.

Flint inmates forced to use contaminated water

By Sheila Brehm, 12 February 2016

Former inmate and Flint resident Jody Cramer brought the situation to public attention when he spoke out on a national radio program.

E-mails show Michigan state officials knew of Legionnaires’ outbreak in Flint in early 2015

By James Brewer, 11 February 2016

Numerous health experts concerned that Flint River water was the source of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak were thwarted by state water authorities.

Protest at University of Michigan on Flint crisis promotes racial politics

By James Brookfield, 11 February 2016

The intervention by SEP Assistant National Secretary Lawrence Porter provoked considerable discussion about the class issues in the water disaster, the Democratic Party and racial politics.

Cities and towns across the US suffer lead poisoning rates worse than Flint

By Carlos Delgado, 9 February 2016

One of the first doctors to describe the effects of lead on children called the disease “a toxicity of habitation.” Today it might be more accurately termed a toxicity of poverty.

Hillary Clinton covers for Obama and Democrats in Flint water crisis

By Shannon Jones, 8 February 2016

In a visit to Flint on Sunday, Clinton sought to obscure the criminal role of Democratic officials at all levels of government in covering up the lead poisoning of residents.

Emails reveal Michigan governor’s staffer knew about Flint Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in March 2015

By James Brewer, 6 February 2016

A March 13 email to a staffer for Governor Snyder related that county health officials suspected that the “uptick” in Legionnaires’ disease was due to the switch to the Flint River.

Hundreds attend University of Michigan talk on Flint water crisis

By Carlos Delgado, 6 February 2016

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha spoke about her work and the devastating impact of lead poisoning on Flint residents.

Residents speak out against Flint water disaster at Congressional hearing

By our reporter, 5 February 2016

The WSWS interviewed some of those who attended this week's Congressional hearing on the Flint water poisoning crisis.

Political crisis over Flint poisoning intensifies as Congress holds hearing

By Nick Barrickman, 4 February 2016

Scientists and residents of Flint, Michigan who testified in Washington described a systematic cover-up of lead poisoning at the local, state and federal level.

Flint pre-screening of the documentary MisLEAD: America’s Secret Epidemic

Parents fighting lead poisoning denounce government inaction and lies

By Tim Rivers, 4 February 2016

Following a preview screening of the film MisLEAD: America’s Secret Epidemic, which documents the epidemic spread of lead across America, a panel of parents was joined by the director of the film and a state expert for lead risk assessment.

US Environmental Protection Agency administrator appears in Flint, Michigan to “rebuild trust” over water crisis

By James Brewer, 3 February 2016

The one-day visit was a politically orchestrated effort at damage control engineered from the highest levels of government.

The World Socialist Web Site and the Flint water crisis

By Shannon Jones, 1 February 2016

Long before the crisis in Flint became a national issue, the World Socialist Web Site was exposing the facts and issuing warnings.

State workers in Flint supplied with bottled water one year prior to acknowledgement of crisis

By E.P. Bannon, 30 January 2016

An internal email shows that the administration of Michigan Governor Snyder was providing state workers in Flint with bottled water long before any government official publicly acknowledged a health hazard existed.

Questions emerge over motives behind ending Flint’s ties to Detroit water system

By James Brewer and Jerry White, 29 January 2016

The official narrative, that Flint officials disconnected the city from the relationship from the Detroit water system simply to save money, has been undermined by recent revelations.

The Rachel Maddow show in Flint: Damage control for Democrats

By Shannon Jones, 29 January 2016

Maddow’s appearance was an attempt to bolster the credibility of the state’s political establishment, whose criminality has been exposed by the crisis around the city’s lead-poisoned water.

Emergency meeting on the crisis in Detroit and Flint draws over one hundred workers and youth

By E.P. Bannon, 29 January 2016

The meeting, which was attended by teachers, city workers, autoworkers, students and other sections of the working class, discussed a political strategy for the entire working class.