Thursday, February 4, 2016

Oversight and Government Reform: Examining the Flint Water Crisis - Part 2

Examining the Flint Water Crisis - Part 2 - YouTube


Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform


1:44 Mr. Joel Beauvais, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
6:40 Mr. Keith Creagh Director, Department of Environmental Quality, State of Michigan
12:00 Dr. Mr. Marc Edwards, Charles P. Lundsford Professor of Environmental and Water Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
15:13 LeeAnne Walters, Flint Resident

21:06 Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI)
25:54 Dr. Mr. Marc Edwards - If it had not been for people completely outside the system those children in Flint would still be drinking that water to this day. That is a fact

26:13 Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) Chairman
27:50 Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (D-MI)
34:11 Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI)
40:46 Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
42:31 In the District, there were late term miscarriages and spontaneous abortions after an usually amount of lead was found in the water between 2000-2003 when a corrosion control substance was added to the water miscarriages and spontaneous abortions reverted to the normal rate.

48:56 Congressman John Mica (M-FL)
54:20 Congressman Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA)
59:34 Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ)
1:05:29 Congressman Elijah Cummings, Ranking Member (D-MD)
1:12:59 Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC)
1:18:34 Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA)
1:24:09 Congressman Jody Hice (R-GA)
1:29:18 Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL)
1:32:04 Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (D-MI)
1:34:36 Congressman Steve Russell (R-OK)
1:40:40 Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA)
1:46:28 Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-SC)
1:51:45 Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ)
1:58:32 Congressman Gary J. Palmer (R-AL)
2:03:21 Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett (D-VI: Virgin Islands)
2:09:08 Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) Chairman
2:18:22 Congressman William Lacy Clay (D-MO)
2:25:17 Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-WI)

Friday, December 4, 2015

Lead poisoning linked to violent crime - Chicago Tribune

Lead poisoning linked to violent crime - Chicago Tribune:

For those who had been exposed to lead as toddlers, even in small amounts, the scans revealed changes that were subtle, permanent and devastating.
The toxic metal had robbed them of gray matter in the parts of the brain that enable people to pay attention, regulate emotions and control impulses. Lead also had scrambled the production of white matter that transmits signals between different parts of the brain, largely by mimicking calcium, an element that plays a critical role in brain development.
Scars left by lead have had significant consequences for the study participants and their communities. As children, they struggled in school more than those who had not been exposed. As teens, they committed crimes more frequently, University of Cincinnatiresearchers reported.
"What we found — and continue to find — is that lead sowed the seeds of their future," said Kim Dietrich, a neuropsychologist who has been following the group of nearly 300 people since they were born in the late 1970s. "It isn't conducive to behavior we associate with normal development, making smart decisions and success."

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Flint Water Crisis: Citizens Fighting For Clean Water Against Poison Politics

Jack Olmsted (Videoblogging 206/GMO Free News): You seem like a pretty even-keeled guy. What gets you upset about this (Flint Water Crisis) or is it simply business as usual? You have been at it (journalist) for twenty years…haven’t you seen it all?

Curt Guyette: Never seen anything like this. Where people...especially children, pregnant women, being poisoned with LEAD just to save money. Then the extent to which they went to try to cover it up. To deny there was a problem. What they did in terms of testing to make it appear that LEAD levels were lower than they really were. In terms, of just the scope of the issue, and how serious the issue is.

How many people are affected...I've never been involved with a story like this at all.

Jack: What is the big story here? There's lots a little stories - pregnant women, kids, schools, the [water system] infrastructure, the lead pipes, the government [corruption], the emergency manager [law]. What is the big story here for you?

Curt: Well it's a combination of the things that you just talked about certainly the role of the emergency management in this and how emergency management created this crisis. Which was a totally created crisis that could have been avoided. So that's one thing.

Jack: Let's say you are going to write a book. What is the title of the book?

Curt: I would say, "It's Fighting The Poison" because the big story is how citizens like LeeAnne Walters and Lois Amaze, the “Concerned Pastors For Social Action”... all these different groups and people who created this “Coalition for Clean Water” in Flint and refused to accept the government claims that the water was safe and kept pushing and pushing and pushing until they eventually forced the governor to allow Flint to go back to the Detroit system is the story.

In that sense, it's a very inspiring story about how citizens were able to through incredible effort and perseverance do what was needed to create change.

Part of what they did was find allies. One of the allies that they found was Virginia Tech which did the testing. And they really did heroic work. They were working around the clock when the samples were collected. Another ally was the ACLU of Michigan. This is not a traditional ACLU kind of issue but because it stemmed from taking away democracy, we thought it was important to become involved. And it freed me up to spend a lot of time with helping to coordinate and conduct the tests with the citizens.

Then at the same time doing our own parallel investigation into how the city was able to claim LEAD was below the federal action level when Virginia Tech was finding it to be far above the action level.

They [City] were basically exploiting loopholes in the law that effectively skewed the test low. So, these are all parts... but the really inspiring and instructive thing to come out of this is how even when democracy is taken away from them, if people are determined and persevere, can win out against really incredible odds.

You have all the power of the state that was working against these people.

They were not getting any help from the local media who were writing some of these activists off as being hysterical or however else they might have characterized them and certainly not give them any credibility without investigating really what the government was claiming.

Flint Water Crisis Playlist

Thursday, November 26, 2015

I Had To Fight With My Sons Doctor To Get Him Tested For Lead Poisoning!

A clip from the GMO Free News 1+hour interview session with mother LeeAnne Walters regarding the Flint Water Crisis and her children's health.

“It is too late for my (4-year old) son, but I will not stand by and let this happen to another innocent child in Flint.” LeeAnne Walters, MDEQ Mistakes and Deception Created the Flint Water Crisis

Transcript (edited for clarity)

LeeAnne Walters: I had to fight with my son's pediatrician to get the testing to begin with.

Jack Olmsted, Videoblogging 206/GMO Free News: What was the fight over?

LeeAnne: The letter they (City of Flint) gave us for the TTHMs (trihalomethanes). It said that if you have a compromised immune system you should talk to your doctor.

So, I went in and spoke with his pediatrician and the pediatrician wrote me a note saying that because of his compromised immune system that he couldn't consume the water.

Every time he would have contact with the water he would break out and these horrible, just horrific rashes. To the point where he had to have Benadryl before every bath because of how severely he was breaking out .

I took a video to show the doctor what his skin looked like before bath and after bath. You could actually see a water line across his stomach from the waist down from being submerged in the water. So. then the doctor wrote me a note saying that Gavin broke out....his skin breaks out every time he comes in contact with the water.

I went back in for our next visit, after the city decided, they wanted to start doing lead and copper tests because of the discoloration.

I walked in and the doctor just started going off on me about having an agenda. He had been in contact with the City. What he was being told by the City was completely different from what I was telling him. And he was NOT going to do anything in regards to my children....when it came to the water.

I said, "Whoa, Whoa, Whoa! Wait a second. Why are you talking to the City? I didn't give you permission for that". He had a bunch of documents in his hand. Everything that I tried to hand him he refused to take from me.

He refused to have my kids tested for lead and copper at this point.

About two weeks later, I got my lead/copper test back from the city. I got a frantic phone call from Mike Glasgow, with the water department, telling me to make sure that my kids were NOT drinking this water. If I was making juice, to make sure that I was not mixing their juice with this water. To make sure they were not consuming the water.

Because my lead level was at 104 ppb and they've never seen a lead level that high in the City and that is concerning for them because 15 ppb is the max according to the EPA.

At that point, I called the doctor's office, and said, “Hey, I just found out that I just had this is at 104 ppb. I need lab slips for my kids today”.

I was told, "I'm sorry you need to bring that report down to us and we need to wait to hear from the City before we move forward."

So, I went down to the water department and got a copy... and went to the doctor’s office and said, "OK here it is. Give me my lab slips.....Now! Either you are going to order the lab slips today or you are going to give me a letter telling me why you're waiting to hear from the City before you treat my children”.

I was there for an hour and a half and then the city actually emailed my doctor and CC'd me into it...and when that happened... minutes later, I had the lab slips for my kids.

I couldn't figure out where they (City) played into this. Like why this was such a big deal?

I figured out that the emergency manager's assistant was actually (Jerry) Ambrose's assistant and that is the wife of my pediatrician. So, there's the link between the pediatrician and the City of Flint. When I made that information public, she got moved over....

Jack: Who got moved over?

The emergency manager's assistant.

Jack:. But, the doctor, there were no repercussions on the doctor? Is this normal procedure that the doctor confers with the City and waits for the City to have a seal of approval before they give parents laps slips?

LeeAnne: Absolutely not. Absolutely not.

We actually ended up going to a dermatologist outside of the City and that was the one that finally ran the tests for us. The test showed that my son had lead poisoning and anemia from the lead poisoning.

Jack: Is there anybody that is bringing this doctor to task for what he did at this point in time or do they pretend like it never happened?

LeeAnne: It's a work in progress. It is something that we are working on. It wasn't just my family...for the longest time the doctors in the City would tell you, "Yes, I believe that it's the water, but we are not allowed to put anything in writing." I can’t tell you how many people told us that.

Jack: Who told the doctors they were not allowed to put something in writing? Who is the grand authority over the doctors? I thought that their first responsibility was the care to their patients?

LeeAnne: That is the million dollar question. Nobody knows that...

Jack: They basically had a gag order specifically on doing lead tests?

LeeAnne: Actually, it was on people that were having any issues from the water.

Jack: It sounds almost like a conspiracy, How can you get doctors to agree to that?

LeeAnne: I don't no? I'm not one of those people. I'm one of those people that would not shut up. So, I can’t answer that for you.

Jack: It sounds like something out of a "B" movie that would never happen in real life. I mean we're talking about doctors. They are educated. They went to medical school. They have a practice. They are seeing patients and then they are given a directive, "you can't do this," and everybody complies. What are they going to do? Take away their medical license? There were zero doctors to stand up to this advisory?

LeeAnne: Well, part of the problem were the lies from the MDEQ and from the City of Flint on the water. And the fact that all the testing that was coming back from the EPA was saying that we were in compliance.

So, at this point we were considered crazy whack-jobs, we didn't know what we were talking about. We were trouble makers.

And you know everything was coming back normal.

At that point, it was...we have to prove that there is a problem. They are not listening to us and that is when I started talking with Miguel Del Toral at the EPA.

Flint Water Crisis YouTube Playlist