The mayor of Flint, MI just declared a state of emergency due to widespread lead-poisoning caused by unsafe drinking water.
Public health studies have shown that lead levels have doubled in Flint since the city switched its public water supply to the Flint River in April 2014, due in part to the negligence of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
While the city's water has been switched to a different source, it's not certain that the water is now safe. Even worse, the public health crisis the lead-laden water has created has not been addressed. The most vulnerable to lead poisoning are children and pregnant women.
As the mayor pointed out in her declaration, the effects of lead poisoning are significant, irreversible and create huge needs for increased social services, such as special education and mental health services, and the juvenile justice system.
People are already experiencing skin lesions, hair loss, chemical-induced hypertension, vision loss and depression. Children exposed to lead experience developmental impacts such as lowered IQ, decreased ability to pay attention, and diminished academic achievement.
This petition calls on Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to take control of ensuring the safety of Flint's water from the Michigan DEQ. Additionally, the EPA must work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services; and the state of Michigan to develop a funded, long-term, lead action plan to ensure that the citizens of Flint will not be abandoned.
The lead emergency in Flint Michigan is completely unacceptable. The EPA must take charge of ensuring Flint's water is safe. Please respond immediately to Mayor Weaver's declaration, and develop, fund and implement a lead action plan between the state of Michigan and your federal agencies to address the health and social service needs that are imminent and long-lasting.