Ex­pert de­clares qual­i­fied end to wa­ter cri­sis in Flint

Waterloo Region Record - - WORLD - Jeff Karoub

DETROIT — An ex­pert who has warned about dan­ger­ous lead lev­els in Flint, Mich.’s drink­ing wa­ter de­clared on Fri­day a qual­i­fied end to the cri­sis.

Vir­ginia Tech re­searcher Marc Ed­wards made the an­nounce­ment two years to the day af­ter stand­ing in front of City Hall with res­i­dents and other re­searchers to high­light se­ri­ous lead con­tam­i­na­tion prob­lem in the fi­nan­cially strug­gling in­dus­trial city’s wa­ter sup­ply.

Ed­wards warned against cel­e­bra­tion. He rec­om­mended the con­tin­ued use of fil­ters and warned many res­i­dents will take a long time to re­gain trust in gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials who ini­tially dis­missed their con­cerns.

“To­day, we have equally definitive data show­ing that the lev­els of these pa­ram­e­ters cur­rently in Flint wa­ter are now back to nor­mal lev­els for a city with old lead pipes,” Ed­wards said. “Ob­vi­ously, there is still a cri­sis of con­fi­dence … that’s not go­ing to be re­stored any time soon. It’s be­yond the reach of science to solve — it can only be ad­dressed by years of trust­wor­thy be­hav­iour by gov­ern­ment agen­cies, who un­for­tu­nately lost that trust … in the first place.”

Ed­wards’ team has col­lected sam­ples from 138 Flint homes. The test­ing showed that lead lev­els con­tin­ued to stay well be­low the fed­eral safety stan­dard of 15 parts per bil­lion.

TERRAY SYLVESTER, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Shawn Jones, right, and Tony Price dis­trib­ute bot­tled wa­ter at a point of dis­tri­bu­tion at Saint Mark Mis­sion­ary Bap­tist Church last month.

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