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US Lead in Benton Harbor water must be addressed right away, outraged residents say

03:20  24 october  2021
03:20  24 october  2021 Source:   nbcnews.com

Michigan orders 'all-hands-on-deck' response to water crisis

  Michigan orders 'all-hands-on-deck' response to water crisis Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said on Thursday that elevated levels of lead in tap water in the southwestern part of the state would require an "all-hands-on-deck, whole-of-government approach."Whitmer issued an executive order to allocate federal, state and local resources to expeditiously replace all of the lead service lines in Benton Harbor in the next 18 months. The governor's directive also called for access to free bottled water indefinitely and for free or low-cost services, like health care, needed because of the lead contamination.

Residents of a predominantly Black city in Michigan whose drinking water has contained high levels of lead for at least three years now are demanding a more aggressive state response. While state officials say they are working to rectify the problem stemming from outdated, corroded service lines, Benton Harbor residents say they’ve been sounding alarms over the contamination since 2018 and the delayed response has not only increased frustration, but has also accumulated more harm. The city of 10,000 is more than 84 percent Black and nearly half of the residents live in poverty

Residents of a predominantly Black city in Michigan whose drinking water has contained high levels of lead for at least three years now are demanding a more aggressive state response. While state officials say they are working to rectify the problem stemming from outdated, corroded service lines, Benton Stacey Branscumb, 47, has lived in Benton Harbor since 2009 and believes many of his pets including two tanks of fish and his dog died as a result of lead exposure. He said his tap water tested lead levels at 469 ppb, 31 times more than the EPA action level. “I don’t believe the state or the city is doing

Residents of a predominantly Black city in Michigan whose drinking water has contained high levels of lead for at least three years now are demanding a more aggressive state response.

While state officials say they are working to rectify the problem stemming from outdated, corroded service lines, Benton Harbor residents say they’ve been sounding alarms over the contamination since 2018 and the delayed response has not only increased frustration, but has also accumulated more harm.

The city of 10,000 is more than 84 percent Black and nearly half of the residents live in poverty, a characteristic similar to Flint, which faced its own water emergency starting in 2014.

Governor seeks $11M as water crisis rages in predominately Black community

  Governor seeks $11M as water crisis rages in predominately Black community Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer visited Benton Harbor amid a crisis of toxic lead poisoning the city's drinking water in the predominately Black community. The governor issued a new call for the state legislature to provide an additional $11.4 million investment to help expedite the replacement of lead pipes and service lines in the predominately Black community within the next 18 months.

Whereas state officers say they’re working to rectify the issue stemming from outdated, corroded service strains, Benton Harbor residents say they’ve been sounding alarms over the contamination since 2018 and the delayed response has not solely elevated frustration, however has Edward Pinkney speaks to NBC Information concerning the lead water disaster, in Benton Harbor , Mich.NBC Information. The Michigan Division of Well being and Human Providers disbursed hundreds of instances of bottled water to Benton Harbor , which sits 80 miles south of Grand Rapids, after issuing an

Benton Harbor residents urged to use bottled water due to elevated lead levels in water . Testing, beginning in 2018, showed continued elevation of lead levels in the water despite corrosion control measures being implemented. Don Campbell/The Herald-Palladium via AP, FILE. "It took three years and a petition to force this to happen. There's a major problem. They were trying to cover it up," Pinkney told ABC News. "When you have lead in your water , you're poisoning the community. We must take a stand and make sure that every single community has clean water and we must do it immediately.

“How do you justify three years of documented contamination and do nothing?” said Edward Pinkney, head of the Benton Harbor Community Water Council, a local environmental justice group that started the push for clean water. “We appreciate the bottles of water, but the bottles of water are just a Band-Aid on a bullet wound.”

Image: Rev. Edward Pinkney speaks to NBC News about the lead water crisis, in Benton Harbor, Mich. (NBC News) © NBC News Image: Rev. Edward Pinkney speaks to NBC News about the lead water crisis, in Benton Harbor, Mich. (NBC News)

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services disbursed thousands of cases of bottled water to Benton Harbor, which sits 80 miles south of Grand Rapids, after issuing an advisory last week urging residents not to use tap water for "cooking, drinking, brushing teeth, and mixing powdered infant formula” out of “an “abundance of caution” due to significantly high levels of lead.

More water woes for Benton Harbor after pipe rupture

  More water woes for Benton Harbor after pipe rupture BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A YMCA offered showers after a southwestern Michigan city, already struggling with lead in its water, lost most water service due to a pipe rupture. "No water is a 911. It’s a major problem,” Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad said. Schools were closed Thursday, a day after the break occurred. “The 89-year-old water main burst and is taking longer than expected to address,” Muhammad said on Twitter. “The contractors are still working on getting the water level down in order to repair the water main.”In Lansing, Eric Oswald, head of Michigan's drinking water division, told state lawmakers that the pipe could be repaired later Thursday.

Residents of a predominantly Black city in Michigan whose drinking water has contained high levels of lead for at least three years now are demanding a more aggressive state response. While state officials say they are working to rectify the problem stemming from outdated, corroded service lines, Benton Harbor residents say they’ve been sounding alarms over the contamination since 2018 and the delayed response has not only increased frustration, but has also accumulated more harm. The city of 10,000 is more than 84 percent Black and nearly half of the residents live in poverty

“How do you justify 3 years of documented contamination and do not anything?” stated Edward Pinkney, head of the Benton Harbor Neighborhood Water Council. Your email address will not be published.

The city’s water tested to reveal contamination of 22 parts per billion in 2018 and has consistently had elevated lead levels since. Testing showed 24 ppb between January and June this year. The action level, a measure of corrosion control effectiveness set by the Environmental Protection Agency, is 15 ppb but the agencysays there is no safe level of lead.

After pleas for help fell on what Pinkney called “deaf ears,” his group and 19 other environmental justice organizations, including many who worked on the Flint crisis, filed a petition for emergency action last month asking the EPA for federal intervention. The agency agreed to step in, which finally prompted action from the state, he said. He said a lawsuit against the city and state is still forthcoming.

“It's unfortunate that you look at life so cheap in a community that’s overwhelmingly African American,” he added.

Benton Harbor water crisis latest: City now has no water

  Benton Harbor water crisis latest: City now has no water A water main break in Benton Harbor, Michigan, has resulted in a city-wide loss of water that has shuttered schools and upended businesses on Thursday. Your browser does not support this video © Seth Herald/Reuters Volunteers with Southwest Community Action Agency load cases of bottled water into residents vehicles, as city officials warn of dangerous amounts of lead in the city's water systems, in Benton Harbor, Mich., Oct. 20, 2021.

Residents of a predominantly Black metropolis in Michigan whose consuming water has contained excessive ranges of lead for a minimum of three years now are demanding a extra aggressive state response. Whereas state officers say they’re working to rectify the issue stemming from outdated, corroded service traces, Benton Harbor residents say they’ve been sounding alarms over the contamination since 2018 and the delayed response has not solely elevated frustration, however has additionally amassed extra hurt. The town of 10,000 is greater than 84 p.c Black and practically half of

The city of Benton Harbor is the second majority-Black city in the state of Michigan to experience high amounts of […] Trump claims the documents and testimony the committee is seeking is protected by executive privilege and must be kept confidential, and Bannon is rebuffing investigators until they reach a deal with Trump or a court weighs in. Three former Trump administration officials — Mark Meadows, Dan Scavino and Kash Patel — have received similar subpoenas, but the extent of their cooperation was unclear.

Image: A resident picks up bottled water at a distribution site, in Benton Harbor, Mich. © Provided by NBC News Image: A resident picks up bottled water at a distribution site, in Benton Harbor, Mich.

Bobbie Clay, 52, a lifelong Benton Harbor resident who also has children and young grandchildren in the city, said she’s very concerned about long-term health consequences, especially among young people.


Video: Benton Harbor, Michigan faces water crisis amid unsafe lead levels (NBC News)

“The water is affecting our children,” she said. “There is a noticeable change between how my kids were versus my grandkids. The young ones are extremely hyperactive and large numbers of parents have been going to doctors to figure out what's going on.”

According to the EPA, even low levels of lead in children can result in behavioral and learning problems, lower IQ and hyperactivity, slowed growth and hearing problems. In adults, it can lead to cardiovascular effects, increased blood pressure and incidence of hypertension, decreased kidney function, and reproductive problems in both men and women.

Clay said she’s been using bottled water to drink for the last four years and describes the tap water as having a “white film” and “weird smell” at times.

In France, Trump-like TV pundit rocks presidential campaign

  In France, Trump-like TV pundit rocks presidential campaign PARIS (AP) — A survivor of the terrible journey to Auschwitz remembered how the youngest wailed. There were 99 children squeezed among 751 adults gasping for air, crazed by thirst and hunger, aboard convoy No. 63 that departed Paris at 10 minutes past midday on Dec. 17, 1943. The 828 murdered at the death camp from that trainload alone included 3-year-old Francine Baur, her sister Myriam, 9, their brothers Antoine and Pierre, 6 and 10, and their parents Odette and André. All born in France, their French citizenship proved worthless under France's wartime Vichy regime that teamed up with the country's Nazi occupiers and their extermination of Jews.

The state is offering free blood tests for lead levels with additional testing through mobile units coming soon, said Lynn Sutfin, public relations officer with the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Image: A resident fills a cup with tap water, in Benton Harbor, Mich. (NBC News) © NBC News Image: A resident fills a cup with tap water, in Benton Harbor, Mich. (NBC News)

Stacey Branscumb, 47, has lived in Benton Harbor since 2009 and believes many of his pets including two tanks of fish and his dog died as a result of lead exposure. He said his tap water tested lead levels at 469 ppb, 31 times more than the EPA action level.

“I don’t believe the state or the city is doing enough to fix this,” he said. “They need to drop everything else and handle this because what’s in the water will do a lot more harm to us than anything else.”

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the state Legislature have cleared $10 million to replace the city’s old and corroding lead water pipes within the next five years.

According to the EPA filing, “Benton Harbor has stated that it has 5,877 total service lines; 51 percent of its service lines either are known to contain lead, are known to be galvanized lines previously connected to lead, or are of unknown material but likely to contain lead.”

“Protecting the health and safety of Benton Harbor residents is a top priority,” Elizabeth Hertel, director of the state Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement last week.

But Pinkney said five years is too long to address a pressing health crisis, and says that the state needs to better stress the urgency of the situation to the residents.

“Just tell the people that the water is unsafe to drink,” he said.

“Stop sending out mixed messages about an ‘abundance of caution,’ and tell people the truth that it's just not safe," he said.

Lauren Cho remains identified by coroner, ending months-long search .
Officials reported human remains found in October are those of Lauren Cho, missing from southern California.Cho, 30, of New Jersey, was last seen on June 28, walking away from a residence she was staying at in the Yucca Valley, triggering a months-long search headed by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

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