On Thursday, January 21st, President Obama announced that his administration is giving $80 million in aid to Michigan mostly to help repair Flint’s water infrastructure and make the drinking water safe again.
Speaking to a gathering of mayors at the White House, the president called the lead contamination of drinking water in Flint an “inexcusable” situation.
“We’re going to have that funding available to you by the end of next week, and that includes $80 million for the state of Michigan,” Obama said.
“Our children should not have to be worried about the water that they’re drinking in American cities. That’s not something that we should accept.”
A White House official later said the revolving fund money would be made immediately available. The state will decide how much of the $80 million will be directed to Flint.
In a six-hour Wednesday visit to Detroit, the president pledged that “we will have the backs of Flint’s people.”
Michigan’s Legislature is fast-tracking $28 million in immediate state assistance for purchasing more bottled water and filters, and conducting a host of health, educational and nutritional services for children with lead in their bloodstreams.
“This is the type of leadership and action my community deserves,” Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, said in a statement about the $80 million. “These resources will help with immediate health and safety needs while we continue to push for the long-term support the state must provide.”
The infusion of federal money into the state revolving fund allows Michigan to make low-cost loans to eligible municipalities for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure construction, a White House official said.
Michigan has to submit a plan for how it intends to use the money to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 5 office.
This comes after many celebrities have also chimed in to lend their support to Flint. Everyone from Michigan native, Big Sean, to mogul Sean “P Diddy” Combs, have sent money and tens of thousands of bottled water to give ease to help the pain.
This type of mix up could happen in any city.
If you suspect lead poisoning, your symptoms may include:
Abdominal pain and cramping (usually the first sign of a high, toxic dose of lead poison)
Difficulty getting pregnant
Loss of previous developmental skills (in young children)
Low appetite and energy
Very high levels of lead may cause vomiting, staggering walk, muscle weakness, seizures, or coma.