Town Hall Questions by Category
The following questions were compiled from the note cards collected during the Flint Water Town Hall meeting that was held on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 and those submitted to ABC 12 News. It will take some time to gather the answers from the various persons best equipped to provide the most accurate response. Flint Cares hopes all questions will be answered no later than February 8, 2017. As questions are answered they will be posted below the question. If we haven’t received answers, those responsible for answering the are listed below the answer. The answered questions have the department that answered the question at the end. The questions are categorized as best as possible to help you locate a particular question or concern area. Some questions were very personal in nature (asking about specific health issues) that would identify the person. In these cases the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are connecting directly to the resident. The questions below are an exact transcription of the note cards.
Q. Can you maintain my multistage replacement cartridges my filtration systems require due to orthophosphate by products?
A. Replacement cartridges for PUR, and Brita filters are available at any of the Community Points of Distribution Sites (C-PODs) and Community Help Centers across the city. Additional information can be found at https://flintcares.com/pods/ and https://flintcares.com/water-2/. Multistage replacement cartridges are not available. Governor’s Office
Q. How can residents that do not have financial access to filters or shower filters be accommodated?
A. Residents are encouraged to “Call for CORE” at 810-238-6700, and visit CPODs and Help Centers; These initiatives provide Flint residents with filters, cartridges, training, and information on installation and maintenance.
Habitat for Humanity will be starting a program to distribute shower filters in the coming weeks. More information regarding this program can be found by contacting Habitat for Humanity at http://www.geneseehabitat.org/. Governor’s Office
Q. What will you change in the way you distribute water? The water was sitting in extreme heat all summer and people need to know to keep it in a cool dry place.
A. Governor’s OfficeBottled water remains available at the Community PODs. Water distributed from the PODs or delivered directly to residents via the 211-Access and Functional Need (AFN) program has always been stored properly and for only short time periods. Other water distribution centers (Churches, Community centers, etc.) should be asked how water has been stored and residents are advised to not store water outside in either summer or winter. Additional information on appropriate bottled water storage at your home can be found at https://flintcares.com/water-2/. At this time, decisions have not been made about how long the PODs and water delivery will remain in place. All future changes to PODs and water delivery will be carried out overtime and residents will be given advance notice.
Q. Why have the city, state or government not installed a point of entry backwash whole house system in every home?
A. Whole house filter systems might trigger more bacteria problems. Much, much worse than the POU filters. This is what we published on our website last year. “Will filters help Mitigate this Problem in Flint? Virginia Tech
Q. Why have the city not help deploy backwash point of entry filtration systems in every home until infrastructure is fixed?
A. Whole house filter systems might trigger more bacteria problems. Much, much worse than the POU filters. This is what we published on our website last year. “Will filters help Mitigate this Problem in Flint? Virginia Tech
Q. When will the water/filters delivery to homes begin for installation?
A. The Community Outreach and Resident Education (CORE) program is ramping up and currently over 100 program educators have been hired. Program Educators are currently out in the city going door to door providing residents information on the proper installation, use and maintenance of the filters. CORE team members bring filters and cartridges with them and can provide these resources as needed during their visit. MDEQ
Q. Will the residents be able to make the choice between bottled water and filtered water? If so, how long?
A. Bottled water will remain available throughout Flint. As demand for bottled water changes, we will continue to assess how long each POD should remain open. No PODs are projected to close before April/May and when closures do occur, there will be advance notice given that includes other locations for bottled water distribution. Even though lead levels in flint water are below Federal standards, flint residents are being advised to use filtered water because the City’s water infrastructure is old, overly large, and being subjected to lead pipe removal. Throughout this process, it is still possible for chunks (particulates) of lead to be jarred free and a “point of use” faucet filter is the only sure way to trap the lead and keep it out of your water.
Q. I received a letter from Goyette Mechanical offering free replacement kitchen & bathroom faucets. I got a free kitchen faucet from union way last August. The bathroom faucet is fine. How can you make sure help is offered to those who need help and minimize unneeded & redundant help?
A. Every effort is being made to ensure that the residents of Flint are aware of the multiple programs being provided across the community. This now includes a door-to-door program, sponsored by both the City and the State called C.O.R.E (Community Outreach Resident Education). The combined efforts of the multiple agencies may result in the same or similar services being offered to residents in one or more instances to ensure that every resident is informed. MDEQ
Q. In the 60’s & 70’s, there were intensive and highly visible campaigns to protect our environment (water and land). What are we going to do now to teach our children so our grandchildren and future generations don’t have to experience this type of failure again?
A. The EPA has many outreach efforts to increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues and to provide the public with the necessary skills to make informed decisions and take responsible action. To learn more at https://www.epa.gov/education EPA
Q. Is it a true statement that Arthur Woodson was hired by EPA/Mr Durno for Community Outreach and Information?
A. No, Mr. Woodson has not been hired by EPA. Mr. Woodson is one of many engaged Flint residents who has participated in EPA hosted public events and continues to voice his concerns to the Agency. EPA
Q. Need simplified version – Is there a way to provide reports to community which are more simple to understand? Information is very complicated.
A. The state of Michigan has created a website (http://www.michigan.gov/flintwater/) to provide relevant information regarding water quality. The community group Flint Cares has additional information on their website (https://flintcares.com/). Additionally, the presentations made throughout the Flint Water Town Hall event are available at: https://flintcares.com/townhall/. Governor’s Office
Q. Is it true the government is paying for all kids daycare in the City of Flint?
A. The child must live inside the City, and regardless of your income, you may be eligible for the Child Development and Care (CDC) program through the Flint Emergency Declaration, if:
- You have a child(ren) under the age of four.
- You currently live in the Flint water system area.
- You (when you were pregnant) or your child lived, worked, or received childcare or education at an address that was serviced by the Flint water system at any time from April 25, 2014 through August 14, 2016.
A printable flier for this can be found under Children’s Resources on this webpage! For information or to apply, contact your local Genesee County MDHHS office located at:
- 125 E. Union St
Flint, MI 48501
– OR –
- 4809 Clio Rd
Flint, MI 48501
Q. The Help Centers (Greater Holy Temple, Bethel United) are open 10-4:30 p.m. M, T, Thur / Wed 8:30 – 2:30 GHS Mental Health Support
A. This is an informational statement. More on the Help Centers can be found under the water section of this website.
Q. From this meeting, how often do you plan on keeping the residents updated on this process?
A. City of Flint’s Mayor’s Office
Q. Also, after ruining our trust, why should we believe anything being told to us right now?
A. City of Flint’s Mayor’s Office
Q. Please provide to Flint Cares a good list of resources for seniors and 22 & over.
A. We will forward some links to information that we have on the Flintwater site. Also know that AARP in Genesee County is VERY active! See: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/flintwater/SENIOR_FLINT_HANDOUT_DR6_FINAL_526869_7.pdf , and also note that information about the faucet replacement program, skin care, mobile nutrition sites, etc. are also on FlintCares; all of this information is useful for anyone of any age. Another great resource is the Valley Area Agency on Aging, see: http://www.valleyareaaging.net/services/. Also: A contract with MSU Extension was established in Sept 2016 for increasing nutrition education in Flint. This contract includes the option of free transportation to classes/demonstrations if the participant requires it. The following classes will be available to seniors:
- Eat Smart Live Strong nutrition series
- Eat Healthy Be Active nutrition series
- Cooking Matters for Adults nutrition series
- Diabetes PATH series of classes
- Dining with Diabetes series of classes
- Chronic Pain PATH series of classes
Chemicals, Exposure, and Safety
Q. No level of lead is safe. So how is it ok that the 90th percentile is 12 ppb?
A. MDHHS: No level of lead is safe; it is very assuring that the level of lead in water is decreasing, we recommend strongly that filters continue to be used at this time.
CDC: There no safe blood lead level.
EPA: The lead action level of 15ppb in the lead and copper rule is not a measure of safety – the action level is used to determine whether a drinking water system has optimized corrosion control. Water systems collect drinking water samples from their highest risk or ‘tier 1’ sites, which are houses that have lead service lines or pipes with solder that contains lead. If the highest ten percent of their samples exceed the action level, a large public water system has to take a number of actions, including public notification, public education, and lead service line replacement (with non-lead lines). If these actions aren’t taken, then the municipality would be in violation of the rule. The City and State have taken all of these actions and must continue to do so for at least 12 months after the action level was exceeded. EPA continues to review the state of recovery of the drinking water system and has not changed its recommendations. Residents should continue to drink filtered water. In the future, EPA will evaluate its recommendations and continue to keep the community informed.
Q. Do the prisoners have safe drinking water?
A. Yes. The State of Michigan delivers bottled water to the prisoners every one to two weeks upon request from the County. Genesee County Emergency Operation Center
Q. What’s going to be done about the PBB and PCB that was in the waters? (Question asked multiple times)
Q. Have you discovered the chemicals that were in the water? The chemical that the public is unaware of.
A. EPA and other organizations have sampled drinking water for more than lead and copper. A full list of chemicals that the EPA has sampled for can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-05/documents/analytes-v2.pdf
During the water crisis, there were times when several chemicals were above regulated levels, including lead and disinfection by-products. The City of Flint’s drinking water reports are available for review at https://www.cityofflint.com/2016/07/07/annual-water-quality-report-for-city-of-flint/ EPA
Q. What about chemicals dumped in river years before?
A. Extensive testing of the water produced by the Flint Water Treatment Plant while it was using the Flint River as a raw water source does not indicate any concern with chemicals that may have been “dumped” in the river. The water produced was tested for approximately 150 different potential contaminants. The categories tested include inorganic contaminants such as nitrates and sodium; metals such as lead, arsenic and mercury; volatile organic compounds such as gases, oils and degreasers; synthetic organic compounds such as pesticides and herbicides; and radiological contaminants such as radium. All test results met the stringent requirements of the federal and state Safe Drinking Water Acts. MDEQ
Q. Do you agree that there’s more than lead in our water/soil/infrastructure?
A. While water has been the focus of lead exposure it is acknowledged that there are many potential sources of lead exposure beyond water. These include sources such as paint, dust and soil. In home investigations have been made available to individuals that have had elevated blood lead test results. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services or Genesee County Health Department can assist in investigating potential sources of lead. MDEQ
Q. Why fluoride to drink & there is aluminum in it? How can this be solved?
A. The fluoride added by the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) has to be approved for use in drinking water. It must meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Standard 60 requirements for water treatment chemicals. This ANSI/NSF certification provides independent testing to assure the product is safe for use in drinking water. The fluoride levels are monitored by both GLWA and the city of Flint to ensure that EPA limits and CDC guidelines are not exceeded. MDEQ
Q. Are you using pharmaceutical fluoride or regular fluoride?
A. The fluoride added by the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) has to be approved for use in drinking water. It must meet American National Standards Institute (NSI)/National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Standard 60 requirements for water treatment chemicals. This ANSI/NSF certification provides independent testing to assure the product is safe for use in drinking water. The fluoride levels are monitored by both GLWA and the city of Flint to ensure that EPA limits and CDC guidelines are not exceeded. MDEQ
Q. Where are the detailed lab reports to back up what is being said about the safety of the water?
A. The DEQ laboratory maintains the all of the information that is used to generate its reports. This included the original sample submission forms, the analytical data, quality control data, and sample preparation records. All the results from from the samples tested in Flint are located on our website at www.michigan.gov/flintwater. MDEQ
Q. Science has proven that the smell of chlorine is TTHMs. When our chlorine was 3 times higher than it is now, we never smelled it. *We are smelling chlorine disinfection by products.
Q. Is it safe to bathe in Flint city water?
A. Yes. Per EPA, “Question: Is it safe for adults to shower or bathe with Flint water? Can babies be bathed in tap water? Answer: Yes. Your skin does not absorb lead in water. If plain tap water has too much lead, bathing and showering is still safe for children and adults. It is safe even if the skin has minor cuts or scrapes. Never drink bathwater, and do not allow babies and children to drink bathwater. Rashes have many causes, but no medical link between rashes and unfiltered water has been found. If you have concerns, call your primary care doctor or United Way 2-1-1. ” You can also see information here at: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/LeadInWaterInfoSheetV2a_511710_7.pdf; or, Marc Edwards site at: http://flintwaterstudy.org/frequently-asked-questions-on-lead-and-safety-of-flint-water/; or, the FlintCares site at: https://flintcares.com/water-2/, which notes that you can weigh the information being provided by many different scientists on the matter. MDHHS
Q. Can you guarantee that the water is safe in every home?
A. DEQ and EPA
Q. I live on ***** . (Mott Park) Can you guarantee my water will be safe?
A. EPA and DEQ
Q. Is the water coming into my home safe? Not the city but water coming out of my faucets. If yes, can I have that in writing?
A. EPA and DEQ
Q. When will you start testing shower & bathing water before saying it’s safe to bathe? Keep in mind, we know lead doesn’t cause rashes and is NOT the only contaminant in our water.
A. EPA has tested for a variety of contaminants in addition to lead: https://www.epa.gov/flint/flint-water-sampling-objectives#HotWater
EPA also provided technical assistance to CDC and ATSDR during their rash investigation. The findings from the rash investigation can be found at: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/ntsip/flint_rash_investigation.html EPA
Q. Is it safe to drink the water? When can we drink the water? What will happen to the jobs?
A. The city of Flint is the most monitored and tested city in the country for lead and copper. The free residential lead and copper testing program continues to be available to all residents of Flint. In addition, filters and filter cartridges are also available to all Flint residents free of charge. At this time, residents are encouraged to use filtered water as efforts to replace lead service lines in the city continue so as to protect against physical disruptions that can potentially cause lead releases in service lines. MDEQ
EPA continues to recommend that residents drink filtered water until further notice. EPA and other agencies will likely keep this recommendation in place as the Fast Start program continues to remove and replace lead service lines. EPA
Q. Is the bottled water safe? Is it true it’s not regulated?
A. Bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. More information is online at http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/BuyStoreServeSafeFood/ucm077079.htm EPA
Q. Why are we still drinking bottled water when it’s a proven fact that its as bad as the tap water if not worse? According to National Resource Defense Council also said we should not consume for long time.
A. Bottled water is regulated for safety by the FDA (see answer above). Filtered water is a safe alternative to bottled water. EPA
Q. Was our soil negatively affected by our contaminated water? Specific to gardening.
A. Michigan State University Extension
Q. With the pipes looking like corrosion, will my veins look like that?
A. There is not an association of how the pipes look and how your veins age over time. Some veins can become enlarged and “gnarly”, or twisted, as we get older- this is called varicose veins, and they tend to occur in legs and feet as blood collects more in our legs when we stand often. Sometimes, varicose veins may signal a problem with your vascular system, or blood vessel system, so you should see your family doctor to discuss this if you have concerns about your veins, or if you have a new onset of this condition. However, there is not an association with City pipes or corrosion of City pipes. COF & MDHHS
Q. Regulations on what is in the water. He was to know what they are going to do for his child.
A. The EPA identifies contaminants to regulate in drinking water. The Agency sets regulatory limits for the amounts of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. These contaminant standards are required by the Safe Drinking Water Act. EPA protects public health by implementing the SDWA provisions while working with states, tribes, and many other partners. More information is online at https://www.epa.gov/dwstandardsregulations. EPA
The indiviudal that submitted the question did not identify themself so MDHHS is not aware of any specific iissue is regarding his child. If a parent has concerns or a child is experiencing any health issues, parents are encouraged to have their children evaluated by a physician. There are multiple programs that are avaialbel to the residents of Flint to support healthcare for children. Please feel free to contact the local or state public health department. MDHHS
Q. So I lost my job, that made me lose my job. My dog had translucent before they was nothing. Tired. Are they going to fix my child health?
A. I am not sure what the issue is regarding his child, but if there are health issues of concern, please be sure that he has his child evaluated by a family doctor. If there any additional questions that we can assist with, please feel free to contact the local or state public health department.
State Health Department
125 E. Union St
Flint, MI 48501
– OR –
4809 Clio Rd
Flint, MI 48501
Q. What are some long-term effects? On adults and children. Are some of the effects dealing with memory loss, IQ drop in children, behavior in children and health issues?
A. MDHHS Answer: I spoke a bit at the Town Hall about long-term effects in adults- there is a great reference document , very technical, but shows some of the actual science that is being done as we learn more about long-term effects of lead in adults and children. See: https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/ohat/lead/final/monographhealtheffectslowlevellead_newissn_508.pdf. Studies show that too much lead in our bodies can cause problems, especially for children. Children exposed to too much lead may not look or act sick, but may have problems with growth and learning. Studies have shown, at a population level, an increase in problems with developmental skills, lowered IQ, behavior and attention problems, decreased hearing, slowed growth, and kidney damage. Talk with your doctor to see if you or your child should be tested for lead. For adults, their bodies tend to absorb less lead than children’s bodies (smaller amounts of lead that is swallowed end up in adult’s blood than would end up in children’s blood). Adult’s bodies remove almost all of the lead that is swallowed, while children’s bodies only remove about a third of the lead amount they swallow. However, health effects could still occur in adults who have had years of exposure. This is why Flint adults and seniors should develop a trusting and long partnership with their family doctors. Exposure to lead can contribute to adult health effects such as:
- Essential tremor of their hands
- Small increases in blood pressure, especially in middle-aged or older people
- Decreased kidney function
- Changes in sperm and possible difficulty becoming pregnant. MDHHS
Q. When will behavioral therapists be put in Flint Schools to be able to actually work with the affected kids? Special needs kids that have problems made worse by the lead are being restrained and injured in our schools. This needs to stop. The “outbursts” are NOT their fault.
A. Behavioral therapists is not an identified title we are using in Flint Community schools. We are in the process of hiring additional social workers and counselors trained in de-escalation techniques and if necessary, how to restrain a student without injury. (Flint Community Schools)
Q. Kids with behaviors issues are medicated often. Do we know how these meds mix with the kids’ altered bodies from the lead & more?
A. The medication of children is always an important issue, and you are correct that often children with behavioral problems may require medication for various reasons, such as focusing their attention. Before a doctor prescribes these, they need to be sure that there are no interactions that would occur with other medications; I am not aware of these types of medications interfering with existing blood lead. Do note: a child’s underlying health status is important, and the family doctor should be tracking underlying kidney health and blood pressures, etc., as these themselves can be affected by lead, and kidneys and blood pressures can be affected by any medications. Further, note that any chelating agents, medications that work to draw metals out of the body that some alternative medicine folks may recommend, can lead to elevated blood lead if not used correctly, which can be harmful. MDHHS
Q. We have been asking for a full epidemiological study comprised of full spectrum water testing in conjunction with blood, hair, tissue sampling to fully explore our health problems and the water so our doctors can treat us?? *We’ve been asking since JANUARY 2015!!
A. Any doctor can order blood, tissue or hair tests if there are concerns with heavy metal exposure, such as lead, in a patient. It is important to develop a long-term relationship with a family doctor, as this is critical for all residents in Flint to monitor their health long-term. Michigan State University, Dr. Mona- Hannah- Attisha and the Greater Flint Health Coalition are developing a health registry for all Flint citizens who wish to be a part of it, which will look at health outcomes long-term (10-20 years); MDHHS will be assisting them in this effort. MDHHS
Q. Skin Rash?? To be held at Bethel United Methodist Church at 6:00 p.m. January 23
A. This has changed and will be held at some point in February
Q. Why are we still getting sick? Bacteria?
A. This question is very general, and the symptoms and concerns should be shared with your family doctor to assess what is causing your health concerns. Every individual should be evaluated in the context of their personal health concerns, which is why the relationship with your doctor is so important. There is no evidence that there has been a bacterial cause of the rashes, which were a very common concern, or that there is any current bacterial outbreak due to the water system. The recent Shigella 2016 outbreak findings have been preliminary determined by CDC and other experts to not have been spread through the water system. We are continuing to monitor water and reports for communicable diseases closely for increasing trends, and this will be conducted for the long-term. MDHHS
Q. Can you say why my hair, eyes are still burning and why do we not see regular residents, not your hand picked CORE and why is there nothing being tested from water heaters? Say this, I have 9 different chemicals in my water. Say it.
A. On December 5, 2016 Mayor Weaver announced the expansion of the CORE program. In her announcement, she emphasized the program’s intent to hire 160 Flint residents saying “We know that members of the community can heal the community. And that’s why I believe it’s important that Flint residents play a critical role in the recovery and rebuilding of our city.” The CORE team still has openings available and additional information regarding employment with the CORE team can be found at http://gstmiworks.org/flintwaterproject/. Governor’s Office
EPA has sampled both hot and cold water. Disinfection by-products that are present in Flint’s drinking water are well below regulatory levels. EPA’s hot water testing can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/flint/flint-water-sampling-objectives#HotWater EPA
Q. I have spoken to residents at their doors for the past three months. What in the water is causing the numerous accounts of not being able to breathe in the shower? Of hair loss? Of skin rashes that are consistently itching? This is NOW.
A. Regarding the rashes and hair loss, the CDC, MDHHS, and Genesee County Medical Society Dermatologists published their findings in a report last year about these issues. You can find that report at: https://flintcares.com/skin/. If you are having current problems with rash or hair loss, a doctor can examine you to see what may be underlying the issue. Per the CDC report, while exposure to the water while it was on the Flint water may have sensitized some folks then, leading to ongoing skin concerns now, these are rashes that can be improved with medical treatment. See: https://flintcares.com/skin/ . If you are having problems breathing in the shower, you can ask the DEQ, EPA or City to test the water chlorine levels at your home. Also, let your doctor know if you are having breathing problems- they should be sure that you do not have a lung sensitivity which can be associated with conditions such as asthma. MDHHS
Q. When are we going to have a door-to-door community health assessment? Are we ever going to have one?
A. There was already a Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) community survey conducted by the Flint Recovery Group, as well as a Health survey conducted by the local health department in 2016. If there are health concerns currently, it is imperative that individuals be connected with a family practitioner of health, as every individual is different and needs to be assessed in the context of their health, background, family history, etc. It is important to develop a long-term relationship with a family doctor for all in Flint to monitor health long-term. MSU, Dr. Mona- Hannah- Attisha and Greater Flint Health Coalition are developing a health registry for all Flint citizens who wish to be a part of it, which will look at health outcomes long-term (10-20 years); MDHHS will be assisting them in this effort. More information on CASPER can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hsb/disaster/casper/ MDHHS
Q. What are the inhalation & skin effects of phosphoric acid at levels such as 3,691 ppb? (Hint: Check the MSDS)
A. Although phosphoric acid is added at the Flint drinking water plant, it quickly reacts with water to form orthophosphate. Phosphoric acid is not present in residential homes. The pH is closely monitored in the system and has remained at appropriate levels (about 7 standard units). EPA
Q. Is there an increase of shigella outbreak as a result of Flint city water supply?
A. The current evidence does not show that the Shigella water outbreak was due to the Flint municipal water supply. This information was shared by Dr. McFadden and CDC at the Flint Community Meetings on Thursday afternoons. We will request that this information is posted on Flint Cares website as well. MDHHS
Q. Why isn’t the US Army Corps of Engineers doing the pipe replacement?
A. City of Flint-Answer pending
EPA-Early in 2016, the EPA discussed resources with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE). The engineering support that USACOE could provide was already being planned for by the State and City. The water system and pipe infrastructure is owned by the City of Flint. They maintain and operate their own system, including pipe replacement. EPA
Q. Was the US Corps of Engineers ever considered and how could they help or hinder our city?
A. City of Flint-Answer pending
EPA – Yes, early in 2016, the EPA discussed resources with US Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE). The engineering support that USACOE could provide was already being planned for by the State and City. The water system and pipe infrastructure is owned by the City of Flint. They maintain and operate their own system, including pipe replacement. EPA
Q. How will we get the money needed to lower the 20,000 homes over a 3 year period. What is the actual cost?
A. The state and federal governments have committed substantial funds towards this goal. Replacing all of the service lines alone is currently estimated to cost $106-108 million. The City is working diligently to both lower the cost per replacement and to seek further funding. City of Flint
Q. How is building such as this one and government building has new water faucets and school does not?
A. Faucets have been replaced in all of the Flint Community Schools as well as in Charters, parochial schools, day care facilities and other facilities that have sensitive populations. The new fixtures that were installed meet the January 4, 2014 standard. MDEQ
Q. It did not take 3 years for this problem to occur, so why is it going to take 3 years to fix it?
A. To replace all of the anticipated lead and galvanized service lines in the City is a complex project which, of necessity, will cause interference with the use of the streets and the water system. It also, to the extent permitted by funding streams and project timelines, needs to be coordinated with other street and water system projects planned by the City over the next three years. City of Flint
Q. To what extent were the main water distribution lines affected by the corrosion in the water? What is the plan for their repair/replacement?
A. City of Flint and EPA
Q. I’m still concerned about the lack of the construction workers that are from the Flint area. I know there are plenty of residents that could be working right here in their home city but instead these residents are working out of state or elsewhere. This would be a great time to get young men and women into the work force. There is lots of free training and Apprenticeships available.
A. City of Flint
Q. Can you re-coat holes in our infrastructure?
A. Such re-coating technologies exist. The question is whether that is more cost effective than actual replacing and re-sizing pipes. Virginia Tech
Q. When will the mains be replaced?
A. City of Flint
Q. Will copper to copper pipes and galvanized ones be skipped? What about zones other than 1-10? Northern Flint?
A. Galvanized lines, when connected to lead lines, are found to “catch” the highest amount of lead. So, the City is replacing galvanized lines anytime they are found in the neighborhood then being worked. No areas of the city will be skipped. The areas selected for 2017 for line replacement are criteria-based, including age of water, density of lead and galvanized lines and other criteria. The City intends to replace lead and galvanized lines throughout the City between 2017 – 2019. City of Flint
Q. If the goal is to get 500/month, how will 2-3 homes/day achieve this?
A. The contractor for each of the ten regions is required to keep a pace of 4.5 replacements per day, which equates to 45 homes per day throughout the city, which equates to 225 homes per week and approximately 900 homes per month. City of Flint
Q. How are we to be protected from the inevitable lead spikes during removal and replacement?
A. The EPA has recommended that all homes flush their lines for 15 minutes after a service line has been replaced, because particulate lead may possibly be knocked loose during the replacement process. The City requires its contractors to flush the line for 15 minutes. The City also recommends that the resident flush the pipes for an additional 15 minutes. City of Flint
Q. Will there be replacing of pipes all through the winter months?
A. The City has continued to have contractors replacing service lines throughout the winter. Because of the varying temperatures, potential snowfalls and other concerns, the City is NOT replacing lines on major streets. The additional requirements on the contractors to assure that pipes do not freeze has also slowed the rate of replacement. City of Flint
Q. What is the plan for service line replacement for residents who do not fit in the elders or youth category? The grey area.
A. All lead and galvanized service lines in a selected neighborhood will be replaced, if the home is occupied, has given permission, and has an active water account. The City considers the number of seniors and young children in a neighborhood as criteria for selection of the neighborhood. City of Flint
Q. Why are landbank homes that are currently vacant getting lines replaced?
A. Only land bank homes in already-selected neighborhoods, which are designated to be again occupied, are having their service lines replaced. City of Flint
Q. How do you propose to do 6,000 lines in 2017 when you don’t have a solid method of determining what lines need to be replaced?
A. We have selected 10 neighborhoods of 600 homes each for replacement in 2017. Those neighborhoods were selected based on a number of criteria, including the density of lead and galvanized lines in the neighborhood. City of Flint
Q. What are we doing about pipes in people’s walls that are corroded and when their hot water heaters go out? Where do they get the help? GCCARD don’t have any.
A. Families who meet income and eligibility requirements may qualify for State Emergency Relief to assist with water heater replacements. Families can apply online at www.mibridges.michigan.gov, or there is also the option of going into the local MDHHS office at 125 E. Union, or 4809 Clio Rd. MDHHS
Q. With current tests showing low lead levels, how will you identify the properties of greatest need for pipe replacement?
A. It is the City’s position that no lead service lines or other lead pipes or fittings should be present anywhere in the City water system. The City will continue to identify those neighborhoods with lead and galvanized lines. City of Flint
Q. When will Flint have money to fix broken mains? I heard the water loss is 40% on the system. What is the right percentage?
A. City of Flint
Q. What effect do water main breaks have on lead levels in water? Can water main breaks create what Dr. Edwards has described as a Russian Roulette effect of sporadic high lead levels?
A. Yes, indeed. Main breaks and construction and create these problems. Keep using the POU filters for water used for cooking or drinking. Virginia Tech
Q. Fast Start Program
A. City of Flint
Q. How optimistic do state, Flint officials and administrators feel about receiving enough money and support from grants to complete the entire goal of replacing service lines and repairing all concerns within the Flint community involving the water crisis?
A. The State has committed to assisting the City to achieve our goal. While not all of the funds needed have yet been identified and committed, the City is rather confident, based on state and federal responses this far, and the State’s commitment, that we will achieve our goal. City of Flint
Q. If the federal gov’t is kicking in $100 million now & the State of Michigan has already kicked in what it has and your representative stated we don’t even have enough money to replace all the lead service line. How do we pay to “right size” the system? How do we replace the main infrastructure? If we don’t replace the main infrastructure isn’t replacing the lead service lines a moot point? Who is going to pay for the rest?
A. City of Flint
Q. Would you expect that pipe replacement would eliminate the need for flushing and filters?
Regulators, Representatives & Decision Making
Q. All the speakers, I would like to know their degrees and how long have they been doing this job in capacity?
A. The Water Expert Panel consisted of the following individuals:
- Dr. Marc Edwards – Ph.D.Charles P Lunsford Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech University
- B.S. Bio-Physics; M.S. Environmental Engineering; Ph.D. Environmental Engineering
- George Krisztian – Flint Action Plan Coordinator, Office of Drinking Water & Municipal Assistance Division, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
- George has served as the DEQ’s Flint Action Plan Coordinator since October, 2015. He has been with the DEQ since 1998, has nearly 30 years of experience in a Laboratory. He has also served as the Laboratory Director for the DEQ for 5 years and as a Lab Director in the Private sector for approximately 7 years.
- Bachelor’s from Michigan State University
- Bryce Feighnerm – Director, Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance Division, DEQ, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
- Bryce has served as Director of the drinking water programs since August 1, 2016. Prior to that, he served as the Special Advisor on Drinking Water for the DEQ’s response efforts to the Flint Water Crisis. Bryce began his career with state government nearly 27 years ago, with the Michigan Department of Public Health, Water Supply Division, where he served as Area Engineer, District Engineer, Water Treatment Specialist, and Supervising District Engineer.
- B.S. Engineering (concentration in biosystems engineering); MS Environmental Engineering (concentration in drinking water supply engineering); Masters of Theology; Masters of Divinity; Licensed Professional Engineer; Ordained Minister.
- Mark Durno – Homeland Security Advisor / On-Scene Coordinator, U.S. EPA, Region 5
- Mark has held a role within U.S. EPA for 25 years
- B.S. Civil Engineering
- Miguel Del Toral – Regulations Manger, Ground Water and Drinking Water Branch, U.S. EPA, Region 5
- Miguel had held a role within U.S. EPA since 1987
- B.S. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
- Brigadier General Michael McDaniel, Lead, Flint-Fast Action and Sustainability Team
- Associate Dean, Director of Homeland Law/LL.M, and Professor, Western Michigan University, Cooley Law School
- B.A.; J.D.; MSS; M.A.S.S.
- JoLisa McDay 0 Water Plant Supervisor, City of Flint
- has held current role since March, 2016
- B.S.-Chemistry; M.S.-Chemistry
- Dr. Shawn McElmurry, Ph.D. – Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Wayne State University
- Dr. McElmurry joined WSU as an assistant professor in 2008, promoted to associate professor in 2014
- B.S. major in Chemistry, Central Michigan University; M.S. in Environmental Engineering, Michigan State University, Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, Michigan State University, Michigan Professional Engineering (PE) License (#6201057641)
- Dr. Nancy Love, Ph.D., Borchardt and Glysson Collegiate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan
- Adjunct Professor of Biotechnology, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; Dr. Love joined faculty as a department chair at the University of Michigan January 2007, previously she was a professor at Virginia Tech from 1994 – 2007. Prior to that Dr. Love was a practicing engineer with CH2M Hill in Dallas Texas where she worked on drinking water treatment system and distribution system hydraulic design and construction, and wastewater system design.
- B.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois; M.S. Environmental Engineering in Civil Engineering, University of Illinois; Ph.D. Environmental Systems Engineering, Clemson University; Michigan Professional Engineering (PE) License (#6201057483); Board Certified Environmental Engineer through the American Academy of Environmental Engineering
The Health Expert Panel consisted of the following individuals:
- Dr. Eden Wells, M.D., M.P.H, F.A.C.P.M. – Chief Medical Executive, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
- Dr. Wells has held her current role for two years, and been a public health physician for 25 years
- M.D., M.P.H., Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine; Board certified in Internal Medicine since 1993; Board certified in Preventive Medicine since 2004
- Dr. Laura Carravallah, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.A.P.
- Board of Directors, Genesee County Medical Society; Board of Health, Genesee County; Director, M.D.-P.H. – Medical Partners in Public Health Certificate; Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Human Development, Department of Medicine, Michigan State University-College of Human Medicine
- Board Certified in Internal Medicine (ABIM), Pediatrics (ABP) and Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HMP)
- Kirk Smith, M.H.S.A. – President & CEO, Greater Flint Health Coalition
- Kirk has held this role since 2010
- Dr. Pamela Pugh, Dr.P.H., – Chief Public Health Adviser,City of Flint
- Dr. Pugh has held her current role since October 2016
- Dr.P.H., University of Michigan School of Public Health; M.S., University of Michigan Rackham School of Graduate Studies, Environmental Health Sciences; B.S., Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Chemical Engineering
- Mark Valacak, M.P.H. – Health Officer/Director, Genesee County Health Department
- Mark has held his current role for nine years
- B.S., M.P.H.
- Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, M.D., M.P.H., Pediatrician & Director of Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative and Director, Pediatric Residency Program
- Dr. Hanna-Attisha has practiced as doctor for 15 years
- B.S., M.D., M.P.H.
- Danis Russell – Chief Executive Officer, Genesee Health System
- Danis has his held current role for 18 years
- MA clinical psychology, MBA finance, BSAS criminal justice. Governor’s Office
Q. What date was it when (who) decided that Flint’s water situation was at catastrophic concern, with respect to any obfuscation that transpired subsequently?
A. The timeline of events can be found in both websites listed below. The City of Flint declared an emergency on December 14, 2015. Genesee County voted to declare an emergency on January 4, 2015. Governor Snyder declared an emergency on January 5, 2016. The Michigan Office of the Auditor General developed a report that addressed multiple questions on the timeline and the chain of events (see the second link).
Q. I do not see any representation from the city or state dept’s of economic development. Why not?
A. The flint water town hall was an event specifically intended to communicate to the residents of Flint the recent findings of various water studies, and the implications of these studies moving forward. Specific information regarding the state’s and city’s economic development efforts can be found at: www.flintactiontracker.com and https://www.cityofflint.com/planning-and-development/community-and-economic-development/ Governor’s Office
Q. What is being done to reverse the economic impact on home owners?
A. The State and City are working towards increased economic opportunities across the community. Efforts include:
- The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) has secured $17M of “Hardest Hit Funds” in an effort combat blight in Flint;
- $1M was committed in HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funding to the Genesee County Habitat for Humanity to rehabilitate 30 owner-occupied homes within the City of Flint – specifically targeting the neighborhoods of Grand Traverse District, Mott Park, Metawanenee Hills, Ballenger Square, and Circle Drive (Genesee County);
- More than 1100 Jobs have been created; and,
- More than 350 residents have received training.
Specific information regarding the state’s and city’s economic development efforts can be found at: www.flintactiontracker.com and https://www.cityofflint.com/planning-and-development/community-and-economic-development/ Governor’s Office
Q. After the state and city make know about the problem for a year, why haven’t they ensured that water in every home has been tested so that high-risk homes can be identified, filters installed, and priorities for water line replacements established?
A. The City of Flint is the most monitored and tested city in the country for lead and copper. The free residential lead and copper testing program continues to be available to all residents of Flint. In addition, filters and filter cartridges are also available to all Flint residents free of charge. At this time, residents are encouraged to use filtered water as efforts to replace lead service lines in the city continue so as to protect against physical disruptions that can potentially cause lead releases in service lines. MDEQ
Water Quality, Sampling & Treatment
Q. How many actual samples were in the Tier 1 sites?
A. The number of Tier 1 Sites was not the same in each round of testing. As results from testing came back, the number increased and each round Sentinel Sampling contained the amount of Tier 1 Sites that we had identified up until that point in time. As more Tier 1 sites were identified, they were added to each Sentinel Round if the resident agreed to participate in the program. The numbers are as follows for each respective round: Sentinel Round 1=35, Round 2=54 Round 3=74, Round 4=79, Round 5=84 In the Extended Sentinel Rounds, Round 1=93, 2=105, 3=92, 4=87, 5=85, 6=81. Total number of Tier 1 sites in the most recent LCR monitoring period (7/1/16 -12/31/16) was 121. MDEQ
Q. Why didn’t you hire Jim Heath to clean up this water flushing procedure? He ran city of Detroit water for 40 years. He is called the godfather of Detroit Water Dept.
A. Mayor’s office
Q. My house is only 10/11 years old, my pipes are stopped up. I have black gunk covering my bathtub faucet and it is always stopped up. There is also a drop C like a white tear drop coming out. What are these masses? The black gunk drips from the other faucet in the same bathroom. I’m concerned. I have an autoimmune disease.
A. GCHD has reached out to the person who asked question. They will work to assist the person directly. Genesee County Health Department
Q. Given all the data presented in Chicago, what is your perspective on the current state of Flint water quality? *Historical perspective
A. There is no reason to believe, that Flint’s current water quality, is worse than other cities in the U.S. with older pipe infrastructure. We have a lot of data showing that bacteria, lead and other chemicals in the water are “normal.” We want to go beyond normal, and in the meantime, residents should keep using the filters and bottled water. Virginia Tech
Q. What was the level of orthophosphates before during and after the Flint River use?
A. Before the switch to the Flint River, water was received from the Great Lakes Water Authority with a typical orthophosphate level of approximately 1 mg/L. During the time that the Flint River was used for the drinking water source, orthophosphate was not used. After the switch back to Great Lakes Water Authority water, orthophosphate was added at the Flint drinking water plant to reach a level of approximately 3.1 mg/L. EPA
Q. Why are you not studying the link between phosphates and bacterial growth?
Q. When will the plant be fixed/updated?
A. City of Flint
Q. Knowing what monies are needed to replace/rebuild water plant, has any funding been allocated to do so by state/federal/city?
A. City of Flint and DEQ
Q. With what you have heard from the water experts, what is your perspective on the current state of the Flint water system? *Historical perspective
A. Although I did not attend the Chicago data summit nor have I reviewed the raw data, from what I hear from the water experts is that the water quality in Flint is improving. That is great. However, improving does not mean “all clear.” People need to continue using filters and/or bottled water. And even if Flint’s lead in water levels fall into compliance or are similar than other cities, Flint is unique in that we are about to embark in massive infrastructure work and an eventual water change again that increases the risk of lead release. So I anticipate that the people of Flint will need to use filters for years to come to minimize lead in water exposure. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha
Q. Do any of you have expertise dealing in a city with such a high corrosion level?
A. Virginia Tech University
Q. Studies have proven phosphorus & iron corrosion feeds bacteria. With low chlorine & high phosphorus, why isn’t this a priority?
Q. When will you test for bacteria & pathogens aside from chloroform?
A. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Q. According to state data, a lot of homes have not been retested since early 2016. How can you say levels have decreased as a whole? Why not test ALL homes consistently?
Q. Do you guys have a plan to clean the water and keep it clean permanently? (question from 12 year old)
A. City of Flint
Q. Is anyone or any organization testing the bottled water?
Q. Crisis Emergency, risk management, regulated disinfection byproducts, phosphate to attack lead leeching, www.epa, CORE
Q. Why do we have to pay a water bill for water that we can’t use?
A. Mayor’s office
Q. Why does Flint still have the highest water bills in Michigan? Can we get free shower filters, because that chlorine makes me ashy?
A. Mayor’s office and Habitat for Humanity
Q. Why is it my family member who is recovering from surgery and has doctors orders to not return home to heal because of water, still has to pay a water bill? Doctors order from Henry Ford.
A. City of Flint and Mayor’s office
Click HERE for a summary of the settlement agreement from the most recent court case – Concerned Pastors For Social Acation v. Khouri
Speaker: General McDaniel, City of Flint
Topic: Flint Fast Start (pipe replacement program)
Presentation: FWTH_City of Flint_Fast Start_McDaniel
Speaker: JoLisa McDay, Water Plant Supervisor, City of Flint
Topic: Flint Water Treatment Plant
Presentation:FWTH_City of Flint_McDay
Speaker: Multiple persons
Topic: Community Outreach and Resident Education (CORE)
Speaker: Bryce Feighner, Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance Division Director, MDEQ
Topic: Flint Water Quality Parameters – MDEQ
Speaker: George Krisztian, Flint Action Plan Coordinator and Laboratory Director, MDEQ
Topic: Lead Data in Flint
Speaker: Miguel Del Toral, Region 5 Regulation Manager EPA, and Mark Durno, Homeland Security Advisor / Deputy Chief Emergency Response Branch EPA
Topic: EPA Data Summary
Presentation: FWTH_USEPA_Durno_Del Toral
Speaker: Dr. Mark Edwards, Charles Lunsford Professor with the Virginia Tech Charles E. Via Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Topic: Virginia Tech data review
Speaker: Dr. Sean McElmurry, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Wayne State University and Dr. Nancy Love, Borchardt and Glysson Collegiate Professor, University of Michigan
Topic: Wayne State University and University of Michigan Data Review
Flint’s Action Tracker is a performance dashboard that was implemented by Mayor Karen Weaver and Governor Rick Snyder to provide a quick assessment of key performance areas between the City of Flint and State of Michigan. The City of Flint and State of Michigan, with help from community leaders, selected these performance areas including: water, health, education, economic, government, quality of life, and public safety.
Today, many of the site’s outcomes focus on the progress made with the water crisis. Over time, as more progress is made in these or other emerging areas, performance metrics may be added or removed. Additionally, links to additional resources are available to learn more about what you can do to support the ongoing efforts.
Click here to view the Flint Action Tracker
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