In December 2014, six people were charged with allowing seven-thousand gallons of a toxic chemical to leak into the Elk River in West Virginia. (CNN) Over a year after the leak, it was still determined that the drinking water of 300,000 West Virginia residents was still contaminated.
The chemical is commonly used in the coal mining industry for cleaning and was kept in tanks that were shown to be cracked and not maintained. The indictment for these individuals alleged that money was the reason that the tanks were not serviced. Elk River primarily provides drinking water for the city of Charleston.
That leads me to why I had no interest in having an ice cold glass of water when I was just in Charleston. I was not swayed despite the assurances that the water is fine. I simply said, “How about a bottled water?”.
Because of my Charleston work, a news story grabbed my attention from the Detroit Free Press , that reports on a lawsuit recently filed by several Flint, Michigan families.
Four families claim that 14 government officials deliberately deprived Flint residents of clean water in an effort to save money. The plaintiffs claim that the water has caused health issues including skin lesions, hair loss, “brain fog” , convulsions, hypertension, autoimmune disorders, and high levels of lead and copper in their bloodstreams.
In many states, it is difficult to file a civil suit against a city or town because laws protect them under governmental immunity. In Michigan, if gross negligence is shown there is a potential right to bring a lawsuit. That legal standard is partially defined as “shocks the conscience and was deliberately indifferent … and so reckless as to demonstrate a substantial lack of concern for whether an injury results”.
When I was a kid, my grandparents kept a tin cup at the sink. Anyone who was thirsty, could grab that cup and fill it up right at the sink. Thirst quenched! I miss those days!
And more health in pic o’ day: