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The Effects of Flint's Lead-Tainted Water Will Reverberate For a Lifetime

The Michigan city’s switch to local river water has resulted in a civic scandal, a public health emergency, and an alleged violation of constitutional rights.
Lemott Thomas carries free water being distributed at the Lincoln Park United Methodist Church in Flint, Michigan.
Lemott Thomas carries free water being distributed at the Lincoln Park United Methodist Church in Flint, Michigan. AP Photo/Paul Sancy

So “egregious and so outrageous that it shocks the conscience”: That is how residents of Flint, Michigan have characterized the actions of city officials handling a water supplies tainted with dangerous levels of lead.

20 months after the city began sourcing its water from the highly corrosive Flint River, Mayor Mayor Karen Weaver (who won the November election against predecessor Dayne Walling, in a campaign dominated by the issue of water) has officially declared a state of emergency in hopes of attracting federal support.