Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

"My eyes are still burning. I can't breathe when I get out of the shower...we're still melting here," Flint resident Tony Palladeno said. (Photo: Flint Rising/ Facebook)

"My eyes are still burning. I can't breathe when I get out of the shower...we're still melting here," Flint resident Tony Palladeno said. (Photo: Flint Rising/ Facebook)

Flint Residents Barred From Closed-Door Water Quality Meeting

Advocates and residents are concerned that officials are rushing to declare the city's water supply safe

Lauren McCauley

Residents of Flint, Michigan who traveled to Chicago were barred from attending a private meeting Tuesday between Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and other officials, who advocates say are rushing to declare the city's water supply safe.

Outrage over the closed-door meeting prompted protests in Flint and Chicago, where residents held signs outside the Water Quality Summit asking for their detailed water quality report.

Inside the summit, officials from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), as well as Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards, who is credited with exposing the lead contamination crisis, met with Snyder to discuss current sample data, ignoring testimony from residents.

"My eyes are still burning. I can't breathe when I get out of the shower...we're still melting here," Flint resident Tony Palladeno said in a recording aired on The Young Turks (TYT). Many residents have reported similar symptoms, particularly in regards to the city's shower water, which TYT host Cenk Uygur notes was not tested.

Synder, a Republican, has claimed that the water quality is improving and said the summit will allow experts to review all of the available data. But advocates are warning that current tests are not sufficient to declare the city's water free of dangerous contamination, and residents feel it is their right to be privy to the discussion.

"Tests that show the water is OK in one place don't mean that it will be OK in another place or that it will be OK the next day if it's tested in the same place," Laura Sullivan, a professor of mechanical engineering at Flint's Kettering University, told the Detroit Free Press.

For instance, in the city's schools, there has been an inconsistent effort to replace water fixtures and install filters.

The Detroit News reported:

The ACLU, citing information it obtained in a class-action lawsuit it filed against the state on behalf of Flint students, says that while drinking fountain fixtures have been replaced, sinks in school bathrooms have not been tested for lead or equipped with filters even though students could drink water from them.

A central kitchen used to prepare food for students throughout the district did not have water filters installed as of mid-November, the organization claims, and the state has not confirmed whether it completed plans to install filters in Northwestern High School, which tested for dangerously high lead levels in October.

"The history of what has happened in Flint is of the state doing as little as possible, and that is exactly what we are seeing in the public schools," Kary Moss, executive director of ACLU of Michigan, told reporters Monday. "These children have been neglected."

Further, as ACLU attorney Michael J. Steinberg explained, "the federal Safe Drinking Water Act requires two, six-month rounds of testing before a determination can be made and even then, other factors must be considered."

"The mere fact that a couple of months of testing might bring the levels below 15 parts per billion does not mean the state is complying with the Safe Drinking Water Act," said Steinberg, who is litigating two lawsuits related to Flint's water. "Any suggestion by the state...that the water is safe is not only wrong, it's irresponsible."

On Wednesday evening, MDEQ is holding a town hall meeting in Flint. Watch the full TYT segment below:


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Ahead of Historic House Hearing, Fresh Big Oil Misinformation Campaign Exposed

"It's always helpful to remember that big fossil fuel companies (besides being overwhelmingly responsible for carbon pollution) are also skeevy disinformation hucksters."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Very Welcome' Progress as Iran Agrees to Restart Talks on Nuclear Deal Sabotaged by Trump

One peace advocate urged all sides to reconvene negotiations "as soon as possible and with renewed urgency" to avert "disastrous" consequences for Iran and the world.

Brett Wilkins ·


House Progressives: 'When We Said These Two Bills Go Together, We Meant It'

"Moving the infrastructure bill forward without the popular Build Back Better Act risks leaving behind working people, families, and our communities."

Andrea Germanos ·


As US Makes Case for Extradition, Global Demand Rises For Assange's Immediate Freedom

"Virtually no one responsible for alleged U.S. war crimes committed in the course of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars has been held accountable... and yet a publisher who exposed such crimes is potentially facing a lifetime in jail."

Julia Conley ·


Wyden's New Billionaires Income Tax Plan Applauded as Step Toward Justice

"For too long, families have been denied basic supports... while billionaires evade taxes on obscene amounts of wealth. This dynamic is economically dangerous and morally unsustainable."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo