Two Million Gallons of Raw Sewage ‘Spill’ Into Already Contaminated Flint River

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(Image Credit: Photo by Aron Rubel

What Did The People of Flint Ever Do To Deserve This? ‘Emergency’ (Mis)management Might Hold the Answer

Now comes word that the City of Flint, Michigan, already suffering under a five-year-long plague of the lead-contaminated Flint River water, has managed to somehow spill more than two million gallons of raw sewage into that self-same, diseased and filthy waterway.

Flint’s Original Water Crisis — A Recap & Update

The original Flint water crisis began a full five years ago in 2014. At that time, Flint’s sole source of drinking water was surreptitiously switched from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (sourced from Lake Huron and the Detroit River) to the less expensive Flint River. Since 1908, the Flint River had been used as an industrial toilet, dumping ground and open sewer by General Motors Corporation. Flint, Michigan (not Detroit) is the original home of GMC.

Emergency (Mis)Managers — or 21st Century Overseers?

In 2002, the GOP-dominated Michigan state legislature passed and the Republican Governor Rick Snyder signed its first “financial emergency manager” law. By 2012, the actual voters of Michigan had had enough and rejected this usurpation of local power by an overwhelming state-wide referendum.

What Does An Emergency Manager Actually Do?

Emergency managers are appointed by the governor and have broad power to intervene in financially struggling municipalities and school districts. However, they do not simply consult or work with established (elected) city managers. Rather, EMs over-rule any and all city governments’ decisions and authority which run counter to their own personal, political, social, economic, and yes, cultural ideologies, beliefs, opinions and values. For all practical purposes, EMs actually, literally, replace local elected governments and institute their own policies, procedures and protocols without any input whatsoever from elected officials.

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