President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency has granted $100 million to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to fund “urgent drinking water infrastructure upgrades in Flint, Michigan.“
The news comes as a huge relief to Flint residents who have suffered through local government cover-ups and lies for years, with Obama’s federal government failing to lift a finger to help the children who were being poisoned by water contaminated with lead.
Critics of President Donald Trump have pointed to his proposed budget cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency as proof that he doesn’t care about ensuring that Americans have clean air and water.
However, the recent White House press release detailing Trump’s $100 million EPA grant just threw that narrative into a tailspin.
The Flint water crisis began almost three years ago, in April 2014, when Flint changed its water source from treated Detroit Water and Sewerage Department water to the Flint River – to which officials had failed to apply corrosion inhibitors.
Almost immediately, Flint residents complained about the water’s color, taste and odor. In the following months, numerous water issues arose, with little to no governmental action to fix them.
The net result is that over 10,000 children (mostly Black) were exposed to water contaminated with lead. Lead poisoning has devastating effects on the brain.
“The people of Flint and all Americans deserve a more responsive federal government,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in an agency news release. “EPA will especially focus on helping Michigan improve Flint’s water infrastructure as part of our larger goal of improving America’s water infrastructure.”
“We are excited and very grateful to receive these much-needed funds,” Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said. “The City of Flint being awarded a grant of this magnitude in such a critical time of need will be a huge benefit.”
“As we prepare to start the next phase of the FAST Start pipe replacement program, these funds will give us what we need to reach our goal of replacing 6,000 pipes this year and make other needed infrastructure improvements,” she added. “We look forward to the continued support of the EPA and federal government.”
As part of the deal, the state of Michigan matched 20 percent of the grant, pitching in $20 million, the Conservative Tribune report.
Refusing to acknowledge that a key tenet of their anti-Trump narrative had just been disrupted, CNN reported that the grant actually stemmed from efforts begun in 2016 by former President Barack Obama and the prior Congress, insinuating that Trump had nothing to do with it, apparently oblivious to the president’s repeated promise to update the crumbling infrastructure of this country as soon as possible, something Obama never seemed to consider a high priority.
CNN further dwelt on the proposed budget cuts of 31 percent to the EPA under Trump’s administration, but declined to mention the fact that programs dealing with water system infrastructure would remain intact and fully funded.
Flint has been dealing with this water crisis for roughly three years, but Obama’s EPA did next to nothing to address the problem. Now that Trump is in office and reorienting federal agencies to their actual purposes, the things that are truly necessary are already getting done post haste.