[Work in Progress] Timeline: Flint’s Water Crisis

This is a work in progress. Not all dates and events between the end of 2015 and current date have been added as of publication. This timeline will be updated periodically, as events unfold and as key information is revealed about Flint’s ongoing water crisis. Some information is incomplete or in need of validation. Links to sources will be added over time. If you have content you believe is relevant and should be added, please share in comments.
__________

1974-2002

XX-DEC-1974 — The federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) enacted to ensure safe drinking water for the public; the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for setting safety standards, monitoring, compliance and enforcement of the same under the SDWA.

07-JUN-1991 — EPA issued the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) limiting the amount of lead and copper in public drinking water, as well limiting the permissible amount of pipe corrosion occurring due to the water itself.

XX-JUL-1998 — The federal Environmental Protection Agency required all large public water systems maintain a program to monitor and control lead in drinking water due to piping corrosion under the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR). Cities like Flint must have a state-approved plan to maintain water to regulatory limits for pH, alkalinity, corrosion inhibitor chemicals.

XX-XXX-2002 — [DATE TBD] Genesee County purchased 326 acres of property with 300 feet of Lake Huron waterfront via auction from Detroit Edison, for $2.7 million **How did this purchase affect the city of Flint’s 2002-2004 financial crisis?
__________

2009

28-AUG-2009 — Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) issued a permit to Genesee County Drain Commission for water withdrawal from Lake Huron (Permit 2009-001), up to 85 million gallons per day. MDEQ director at the time is Steven Chester.
__________

2011

10-MAY-2011 — DTE Energy expressed interest in acquiring 3 million gallons of water from Lake Huron intake for use at the Greenwood electricity generation plant.

07-SEP-2011 — Report to Flint City Council by Rowe Professional Services determined buying water from Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA) cheaper than continuing to purchase from Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), or using Flint River water as upgrades to Flint treatment equipment required would cost $50 million.

XX-SEP-2011 — (confirm date) City of Flint increase water and sewer rates 35%. Higher water costs due in part to higher-than-expected unmetered water losses. This is the second double-digit rate hike in 2011. The city’s water system once served ~200K residents, now serves half that number and a much smaller manufacturing base.

29-NOV-2011 — Emergency Manager Michael Brown appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to take over management of the city of Flint effective 01-DEC-2011. Democratically elected offices are now subordinate to the EM.

XX-DEC-2011 — (confirm date) Report showed the City of Flint leaking 30 to 40% of its water, well above more typical 15-20 percent loss of unmetered water.

14-DEC-2011 — EM Michael Brown appointed Howard Croft as Director of Infrastructure and Development. Croft’s role has oversight of Parks and Recreation department, Street Maintenance, Water and Sewer, Sanitation, Planning, Fleet and Community and Economic Development. Jerry Ambrose named financial advisor, with oversight of finance, budget and treasury departments; Gary Bates named director of human resources and labor relations. Bates’s role was temporary, lasting 90 days, at time of appointment.

20-DEC-2011 — The City of Detroit sells $500,675,000 in bonds for Water Supply System Revenue funding (pdf). The offering prospectus notes Flint’s desire to migrate to the KWA, but that it might be seven years out before the move. 6% of DWSD water is supplied to Flint.
__________

2012

XX-FEB-2012 — (confirm date) Emergency Manager’s team audited Flint’s water system to identify current rate of unmetered water loss.

23-APR-2012 — EM Michael Brown proposed budget plan includes a 25% average increase in water and sewer rates, with water rates projected to increase 12.5% and sewer 45%. City personnel cuts were also proposed. Water and sewer are the single largest expenditure in the budget. (Proposed budget, PDF) **Did any of the personnel cuts made affect staffing of water and sewer maintenance?

XX-AUG-2012 — [DATE TBD] Emergency Manager Ed Kurtz appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder after Brown steps down. Kurtz has previous experience working in Flint during the 2002-2004 financial emergency.

XX-DEC-2012 — [DATE TBD] Michigan Treasury officials met with Flint city officials to discuss drinking water alternatives, including Flint River. Only two options — remaining on DWSD, or development/switch to new KWA — would be studied.
__________

2013

25-MAR-2013 — Flint City Council voted to join KWA. This vote is non-binding since EM holds all power to authorize/contract.

26-MAR-2013 — [EMAIL] MDEQ Office of Drinking Water and Management Assistance district director Stephen Busch emailed a draft assessment to Dan Wyant concerning Flint’s water system and alternative sources. The draft outlined concerns about the health risks and increased expenses expected with a switch to Flint River water. (A copy of the mail was not public until released by Gov. Snyder’s office on 12-FEB-2016.) **Note remarks in email regarding economic development–were these obscured as part of decision-making, elevated above public health concerns?

29-MAR-2013 — EM Ed Kurtz signs resolution authorizing Flint to enter into a contract with KWA to purchase water.

11-APR-2013 — Andy Dillon, MI-Treasurer, told EM Ed Kurtz state approved city of Flint’s entry into agreement with KWA effective 16-APR-2016 pending review of DWSD offer expected on 15-APR-2013

15-APR-2013 — [EMAIL] DWSD offered rate 48% lower than the current rate, saving 20% over 30 years compared to KWA. **Where is documentation of this offer to Flint EM and/or state??

16-APR-2013 — Genesee County Drain Commissioner’s Office issued a Joint Statement from commissioner Jeff Wright and Flint EM Ed Kurtz regarding Detroit’s Final Offer on Water Service. Excerpt:

After reviewing the proposal, both Ed Kurtz and Jeff Wright were in agreement, the Karegnondi Pipeline is still the best option for our residents, saving them the most money both in the short and long term. The offer from Detroit, even on its surface, will cost residents more money than KWA.

Wright is also the CEO of KWA. **Is Wright’s role as both Drain Commissioner and KWA’s CEO a conflict of interest?

16-APR-2013 — EM Ed Kurtz signed an agreement with KWA though KWA cannot supply water for another 2.5 years.

17-APR-2013 — Certified letter received by Flint City Clerk from DWSD, notifying termination of water contract in one year. Flint EMs and MI state officials treat this notice as “cut off.”

01-MAY-2013 — Genesee County Drain Commissioner’s Office Communications Director Kevin Sylvester published a letter to All Interested Parties, including attachments supporting the decision to purchase Flint’s drinking water from KWA. The letter indicates the decision has been vetted by MDEQ, MI-Treasury, MI-Agriculture.

29-MAY-2013 — EM Ed Kurtz tendered notice of resignation. He will work through the first week of July.

21-JUN-2013 — EM Ed Kurtz presented a resolution to enter into a professional engineering services contract for implementation of placing the Flint Water Plant into Operation. The contract is sole source with Lockwood, Andrews & Newman, Inc. engineers.

26-JUN-2013 — With the approval of Flint’s CLO Bade and Finance Director Ambrose, EM Ed Kurtz hired Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. engineers (LAN) on a sole-source contract to plan switch-over to Flint River through Flint Water Plant. Fee: $171,000. LAN is a subsidiary of national consulting firm Leo A. Daly, based in Texas. **Why was LAN hired versus any other in-state engineering firm?

28-JUN-2013 — KWA broke ground on the pipeline project near Lake Huron.

30-JUN-2013 — EM Ed Kurtz left his role as of the end of fiscal year.

18-JUL-2013 — The City of Detroit declared bankruptcy. KWA bond financing put on hold.

08-JUL-2013 — Michael Brown appointed Flint’s EM a second time.

XX-SEP-2013 — [DATE TBD] Genesee County sold $35 million in bonds based on a 5.04% interest rate to finance the launch of KWA construction.

11-SEP-2013 — Michael Brown resigned as EM.

01-OCT-2013 — Darnell Earley appointed EM. He served Flint previously in 2002 as mayor.
__________

2014

07-MAR-2014 — EM Darnell Earley rejected an offer to continue purchasing water from DWSD. Earley discloses in a letter that Flint will take water from Flint River.

26-MAR-2014 — Credit rating agencies Moody’s and Standard & Poors offered A2 (upper-middle-grade) and A-plus (with stable outlook) credit ratings respectively on $220 million bonds to be sold by KWA. Loan rate based on these ratings was expected to be at or below 5%.

09-APR-2014 — MDEQ approved permits allowing Flint to switch to Flint River

14-APR-2014 — [EMAIL] City of Flint’s Laboratory & Water Quality Supervisor Mike Glasgow emailed MDEQ (name/contact TBD):

“I have people above me making plans to distribute water ASAP […] I was reluctant before, but after looking at the monitoring schedule and our current staffing, I do not anticipate giving the OK to begin sending water out anytime soon […] If water is distributed from this plant in the next couple weeks, it will be against my direction. […] I need time to adequately train additional staff and to update our monitoring plans before I will feel we are ready. I will reiterate this to management above me, but they seem to have their own agenda.”

This email was not public until released by Gov. Snyder’s office 12-FEB-2015.

25-APR-2014 — Flint’s water system was switched over to Flint River **Were there ever any tests prior to this date during which river water entered water system?

01-JUN-2014 — Complaints swelled from residents about the smell/taste/color of water; some residents claim it has made them ill.

14-AUG-2014 — Flint water tested positive for E. coli bacteria. Boil Water advisories were issued 2 days later.

05-SEP-2014 — A second Boil Water advisory issued, including a new portion of the city.

09-SEP-2014 — Boil Water advisories ended.

XX-SEP-2014 — [DATE TBD] Children’s blood lead levels test unusually high for period July-August-September. The data appears in Michigan Department of Human Health Services’ records.

13-OCT-2014 — General Motors said it will buy water from Flint Township as chlorine added to Flint City water can cause corrosion in its engines.

17-OCT-2014 — Government official(s) or employees aware of possible link between Legionnaires Disease cases and the city’s switch to Flint River as water source. Data will show Genesee county experienced a tapering of a first outbreak at this point. (Government’s awareness not made public until January 2016; report by The Flint Journal does not specify who exactly from GCHD and Flint water system were first aware.)

XX-OCT-2014 — [DATE TBD] Gov. Snyder requests a briefing on Flint water situation from MDEQ. Aging pipes prone to corrosion are blamed for E. coli bacteria and subsequent Boil Water advisories. Lead levels are not mentioned.

XX-NOV-2014 — (confirm date) [EMAIL] Dick Posthumus, senior advisor to the governor, asks Snyder if he will support a bill to allow Flint to boost its income tax from 1 percent to 1.5 percent (a rate some other cities have). No definitive response received.

XX-DEC-2014 — (confirm date) [EMAIL] Snyder’s Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs Sally Durfee wrote to Executive Director to the Governor Allison Scott and Posthumus that [an income tax rate increase – confirm] would raise $6.5 million per year, has the support of the Flint emergency manager and the state Treasury Department. But State Rep. Jeff Farrington (R-Utica) said, “he would take up this bill over his dead body.”
__________

2015

01-JAN-2015 — MDEQ began a second six-month Flint monitoring period under Lead and Copper Rule. First testing period showed a 90th percentile reading of six parts per billion of lead in Flint tap water.

02-JAN-2015 — MDEQ reports levels of total trihalomethanes (TTHM) are unacceptable. TTHM in water resulted from chlorination to treat for E. coli. Water is in violation of federal Safe Drinking Water Act; the city mailed a notice to its customers saying it is in violation due to the TTHM.

06-JAN-2015 — Flint mayor Dayne Walling said water is safe, he and his family use it.

09-JAN-2015 — University of Michigan-Flint water tests revealed high lead levels in two locations on campus. Some water fountains are turned off.

11-JAN-2015 — EM Darnell Earley rejected city council members plea to stop using Flint River water. Water treatment consultants will be hired instead as the cost of switching back to DWSD could cost $12 million-plus.

12-JAN-2015 — (confirm date) DWSD offered EM Earley a waiver of a $4 million reconnection fee to switch back to Detroit Water.

13-JAN-2015 — Flint’s Department of Public Works published a letter including questions from the public about Flint’s water system and the city’s response. The letter is signed by Howard Croft, Dayne Walling, and Jerry Ambrose. The letter does not include any questions or answers about lead levels or Legionella contamination.

13-JAN-2015 — EM Darnell Earley left to become EM of Detroit Public Schools. Gov. Snyder appoints Jerry Ambrose as new EM for Flint.

22-JAN-2015 — (confirm source) Snyder Admin’s Dick Posthumus wrote, “[W]e have two meetings coming up on this next week” including Snyder Director of Strategy John Walsh, top urban affairs aide Harvey Hollins, and numerous others in the administration. “Later that day we are meeting with several people from Flint, including the EM, Mayor, and Senator Ananich.”

27-JAN-2015 — “An internal email from a Health Department supervisor on Jan. 27, 2015, says employees at Flint’s water treatment plant had not responded in months to ‘multiple written and verbal requests’ for information, slowing progress on the probe. In the same month that the email was written, two new cases of Legionnaires’ were reported in the county.” — Excerpt, 16-JAN-2016 article by The Flint Journal. GCHD supervisor not named, nor is a copy of the email published.

04-FEB-2015 — EM Jerry Ambrose signed a resolution authorizing Flint to contract Veolia Water as water quality consultant to review and evaluate the water treatment process and distribution system. The water plant consultant was to provide recommendations to remain compliant with State and Federal agencies. The resolution indicates Veolia was the sole bidder; the resolution does not mention specific water problems to date like lead, TTHM, or biological agent contamination. **Why Veolia was the sole bidder?

25-FEB-2015 — Mike Glasgow with the City of Flint discovered high lead in water samples from Flint resident Lee Anne Walters’ home — 104 parts per billion.

XX-FEB-2015 — (Confirm date) Lee Anne Walters forwarded results of lead tests to EPA-Region 5 office.

XX-FEB-2015 — (Confirm date) [EMAIL] EPA-Region 5 office forward Walters’ test results to MDEQ’s Stephen Busch and Mike Prysby. Subject: “HIGH LEAD: FLINT Water testing Results.”

XX-FEB-2015 — (Confirm date) [EMAIL] EPA-Region 5 Lead-in-Water expert Miguel Del Toral asked MDEQ via EPA employee Oconfirm identity): “Miguel was wondering if Flint is feeding Phosphates. Flint must have Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment-is it Phosphates?”

27-FEB-2015 — [EMAIL] MDEQ’s Stephen Busch replied to EPA in bulleted points: “The City of Flint…Has an Optimized Corrosion Control Program”; “Conducts quarterly Water Quality Parameter monitoring at 25 sites and has not had any unusual results”; “has never had a 90th percentile lead AL exceedance.” However, Flint was not adding phosphates or other anti-corrosion chemicals.

XX-FEB-2015 — (Confirm date) [EMAIL] EPA’S Del Toral responds to MDEQ, ““If I remember correctly, Detroit is feeding PO4 for the LCR, but since Flint is no longer part of that interconnection, I was wondering what their was. They are required to have in place which is why I was asking what they were using.”

10-MAR-2015 — [EMAIL] James Henry, Genesee County Environmental Healty supervisor wrote to Flint and MDEQ officials in regard to an uptick in Legionnaires Disease, “The increase of the illnesses closely corresponds with the timeframe of the switch to the Flint River Water. The majority of the cases reside or have an association with the city…This situation has been explicitly explained to the MDEQ and many of the city’s officials. I want to make sure in writing that there are no misunderstandings regarding this significant and urgent public health issue.”

12-MAR-2015 — Veolia Water submits their report. Excerpt (emphasis added):

“Although a review of water quality records for the time period under our study indicates compliance with State and Federal water quality regulations, Veolia, as an operator and manager of comparable utilities, recommends a variety of actions to address improvements in water quality and related aesthetics including: operational changes and improvements; changes in water treatment processes, procedures and chemical dosing; adjustments in how current technologies are being used; increased maintenance and capital program activities; increased training; and, an enhanced customer communications program.”

18-MAR-2015 — Lee Anne Walters’ home retested after plumbing flushed thoroughly. Results are worse — 397 ppb. The test results do not make sense as Walters’ plumbing had been replaced by plastic, lead-free plumbing as all copper plumbing had been stripped from the home prior to its purchase.

XX-MAR-2015 — (confirm date) EPA-Region 5 forwarded Walters’ test results to MDEQ, asking, “Any thoughts on how to respond to her? I’m running out of ideas.”

19-MAR-2015 — [VOICEMAIL] MDEQ responds to EPA’s Del Toral, saying that “MDEQ had investigated and found Ms. Walters’ high lead was due to lead sources in her plumbing.”

23-MAR-2015 — Flint’s city council votes 7-1 to reconnect with DWSD. The vote is non-binding as the city remains under the control of an emergency manager.

27-MAR-2015 — Lee Anne Walters’ son tested for blood lead level. Results were high, above the Center for Disease Control’s 5 ug/dL ‘threshold of concern.’

XX-XXX-2015 — [DATE TBD – may be duplicate] Lee Anne Walters’ child diagnosed with lead poisoning, the source of which is Walters’ household connection to Flint water system. Walters’ water service has been disconnected and reconnected to a neighbor’s water by a garden hose.

XX-MAR-2015 — [DATE TBD] Lee Anne Walters called the City of Flint to confirm the existence of an “Optimized Corrosion Control Program.” City officials advised her there was no such program.

XX-MAR-2015 — [DATE TBD] Walters contacted EPA’s Del Toral, advising the lack of corrosion control program.

13-APR-2015 — City Administrator Natasha Henderson and Department of Public Works Director Howard Croft told Flint City Council that a new carbon filtration system to remove TTHM wouldn’t be needed after the city switches to KWA. The filter was scheduled for implementation in July 2015.

23-APR-2015 — [EMAIL] EPA’s Del Toral emails MDEQ, asking what corrosion control program was used in Flint.

XX-APR-2015 — [DATE TBD] MDEQ’S (confirm identity) replies to EPA’s Del Toral, acknowledging Flint had no corrosion control program.

27-APR-2015 — [EMAIL] EPA’s Del Toral emails EPA-Region 5: “Flint has not been operating any corrosion control treatment, which is very concerning given the likelihood of LSLs in the City.”

27-APR-2015 — EPA’s Del Toral stops at Lee Anne Walters’ house, inspects household plumbing, finds it is plastic and lead-free. Del Toral also leaves sample bottles and leaves contact information for VA-Tech’s Marc Edwards if she wants an analysis.

28-APR-2015 — VA-Tech’s Marc Edwards spoke with Lee Anne Walters and explained how to collect a 30-bottle sample.

29-APR-2015 — EM Jerry Ambrose leaves office as the city’s financial emergency is declared over. Oversight of the city council and mayor’s office are now under “Receivership Transition Advisory Board.”

XX-MAY-2015 — Data will later reveal a second months’ long outbreak of Legionnaires Disease begins in Genesee County during this month.

XX-MAY-2015 — [DATE TBD] Lee Anne Walters’ samples were sent to VA-Tech for analysis. The average lead level was “2,429 ppb lead, the high was 13,200 ppb, and even after 25 minutes flushing the water never dropped below 200 ppb.”

XX-MAY-2015 — [DATE TBD] Walters tells EPA’s Del Toral about the high lead results.

XX-MAY-2015 — [DATE TBD] EPA’s Del Toral arrives at Walters’ home in Flint, arrives in time to find City of Flint replacing the service line to Walters’ home. The pipe, which Del Toral sampled, was pure lead.

01-JUN-2015 — Flint’s water tested lower in May for TTHM, below federal guidelines, but the average of tests over the last year meant Flint’s water was still in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

05-JUN-2015 — The Coalition for Clean Water, whose members include Flint Concerned Pastors for Social Action, the Democracy Defense League, and Flint City Councilman Eric Mays, filed suit against the city of Flint to force the water system to be reconnected to DWSD.

16-JUN-2015 — The City of Flint filed to move CCW’s lawsuit to federal court.

23-JUN-2015 — U.S. District Judge Stephen Murphy denied the Coalition for Clean Water’s motion for an injunction against the City of Flint. Murphy decision said he was “unable to determine the coalition’s legal theory, or even whether the court has the power to grant the requested relief.”

24-JUN-2015 — A memo written by Miguel Del Toral of EPA was leaked. The memo addresses Lee Anne Walters’ household water tests reporting high lead levels.

24-JUN-2015 — [May be a duplicate of above entry] EPA’s Del Toral sent a follow-up memo to both Lee Anne Walters and VA-Tech’s Marc Edwards, outlining concerns about Flint’s lead corrosion problem. Del Toral included a “included a clear recommendation that the USEPA investigate whether the City of Flint was in compliance with federal laws for lead corrosion control.”

XX-XXX-2015 — [DATE TBD] Lee-Anne Walters made two phonecalls to a state lead poisoning nurse “Karen” in Lansing. “Karen” was dismissive about Walters’ concerns, saying “He is barely lead poisoned. If CDC had not changed their lead poisoning standard from 10 down to 5, we would not be having this conversation.” On protest from Walters, “Karen” said, “I am working with kids in their 40’s and 50’s. It is just a few IQ points…it is not the end of the world.”

10-JUL-2015 — MDEQ’s Brad Wurfel said, “anyone who is concerned about lead in the drinking water in Flint can relax. It does not look like there is any broad problem with the water supply freeing up lead as it goes to homes,” in an interview with Michigan Public Radio.

23-JUL-2015 — [EMAIL] Linda Dykema, Michigan Department of Community Health, sent an email with subject: “R.E.Director’s Office Assignment- Flint- need update ASAP”

27-JUL-2015 — [EMAIL] Email from [XXXX – confirm identity] asked, “[C]an you quickly run any tests to see if the difference in the first graph is statistically significant”

28-JUL-2015 — [EMAIL] Email summary includes, “This doesn’t say anything about causality, but it does warrant further investigation.”

10-AUG-2015 — [EMAIL] EPA Region 5 Chief, Ground and Drinking Water Branch Thomas Poy asked MDEQ’s Liane Shekter Smith, Richard Benzie, and Stephen Busch:

Liane: Any news on flint since our call a couple of weeks ago? Has the letter been sent to inform them that they are not optimized for lead based on their monitoring, Have they been approached about starting corrosion control sooner rather than later?”

(Date of the referenced call not yet available as of this timeline update 15-FEB-2016, to be confirmed)

20-AUG-2015 — A Michigan Public Radio report demonstrates how MDEQ manipulated the report on Flint’s water samples to meet federal guidelines for lead levels. Two dropped samples, one of which was from Lee Anne Walters’ house, lowered the city below the federal action level.

24-AUG-2015 — A simple study by VA-Tech team demonstrates Flint’s water’s higher degree of corrosivity versus DWSD water. Flint River water has about 8 times more chloride in it than Detroit water; the increased corrosion may have resulted in numerous water main breaks.

02-SEP-2015 — [EMAIL] VA-Tech’s Marc Edwards made data request to Robert Scott, MI-DCH, identical to data request in November 2006 for blood lead study in Lansing, MI. No response received. Email subject: “Repeat of 2006 sudy request, but for Flint and Genesee County and Detroit zip codes, from January 1 2011 to present.”

06-SEP-2015 — MDEQ’s Brad Wurfel refutes findings to date by Virginia Tech University’s Marc Edwards. “The samples don’t match the testing that we’ve been doing in the same kind of neighborhoods all over the city for the past year,” saying MDEQ conducted two rounds of testing in the past year, and that MI-DCH also tests blood lead levels in Flint. “With these kind of numbers we would have expected to be seeing a spike somewhere else in the other lead monitoring that goes on in the community.”

07-SEP-2015 — [EMAIL] VA-Tech’s Marc Edwards sent reminder to Robert Scott, MI-DCH.

08-SEP-2015 — [EMAIL] 7:55 a.m. MI-DCH Robert Scott replied, “Yes, sorry for the delay; I’ll get you a more complete answer later today.”

08-SEP-2015 — [EMAIL] 4:19 p.m. MI-DCH Robert Scott follow-up: “…There has been some concern about the water source change in Flint, and in fact we had a call about it today.” A new data sharing agreement was requested; Scott indicated he would run it past “Legal.”

10-SEP-2015 — [EMAIL] 7:57 p.m. VA-Tech’s Marc Edwards asks MI-DCH’s Robert Scott, “Do you need anything else from me?”

11-SEP-2015 — [EMAIL] 12:58 p.m. MI-DCH’s Scott replies, “Maybe. My contact at Legal let me know the other day that he’s unusually busy with other matters right now, so his review of DUAs might be delayed unless there was a specific reason for quicker action on his part. If you are in need of a reasonably quick turnaround–i.e., a week rather than a month or so–then please send me a paragraph explaining why. I’ll pass that along with your DUA. If you’re not in a hurry, then I’m all set for now–I’ll submit your DUA as is.”

11-SEP-2015 — [EMAIL] 1:03 p.m. VA-Tech’s Marc Edwards replies to MI-DCH’s Scott: “Yes, I think there is clearly some urgency to the situation. MDEQ has publicly stated that your blood lead records, are showing that there is no public health concern for residents in Flint. The levels of lead in Flint water, that we are finding in our water sampling, are certainly in a range that can cause childhood lead poisoning. Indeed, one child has already, likely been lead poisoned from exposure to high lead in water. I think the fact that you already have other teams working on these records, indicates a high level of interest, and urgency. Congressional interest in the safety of the water is also very high, and this will be an important issue in deciding options for treating the water, in the weeks and months ahead.”

11-SEP-2015 — [EMAIL] 1:09 p.m. MI-DCH’S Robert Scott wrote to colleagues Nancy Peeler, Karen Lishinski, Wesley Priem, “The attached was submitted to me along with a request for de-identified data, which should be no problem. When you have a few minutes you might want to take a look at it. Sounds like there might be more to this than what we learned previously. Yikes!.”

16-SEP-2015 — Virginia Tech University’s Marc Edwards and research team, in conjunction with ACLU of Michigan and Flint residents, wrap up water sample tests taken from approximately 300 homes around Flint. Lee Anne Walters’ sample is the highest, with a number of other samples approaching a level considered “hazardous waste.”

24-SEP-2015 — 2:09 p.m. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician at Hurley Medical Center, releases research results on blood samples drawn from Flint children. The study, which compared blood samples gathered January-September 2013, to levels in samples collected from January-September 2015, showed blood lead levels elevated after the city switched to Flint River water.

24-SEP-2015 — 6:51 p.m. MI-HHSD spokesperson Angela Minicuci responded to the Hurley study results, indicating blood lead levels in Flint have remained fairly steady for children under 16 years old since the city switched from Lake Huron water to the river. “We are reviewing the results…Our data is not in line” with Dr. Hanna-Attisha’s report. (source: The Flint Journal-MLive)

30-SEP-2015 — Gov. Snyder said, “Things were not fully understood,” about the switch to Flint River water from DWSD, admitting mistakes were made.

XX-OCT-2015 — Data will show the second outbreak of Legionnaires Disease in Genesee County ends this month.

01-OCT-2015 — A Public Health Emergency is declared by Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) in response to the city’s water lead level advisory. The city launches an effort to distribute water filters to residents.

02-OCT-2015 — MDEQ director Dan Wyant said Flint water system used corrosion controls. MDEQ spokesman Brad Wurfel said Flint used lime to correct water hardness and corrosion. Neither were accurate statements.

06-OCT-2015 — The State of Michigan distributes 20,000 water filters. GHCD and nonprofit United Way distribute another 4,000.

08-OCT-2015 — (Confirm time of day) MDEQ director Dan Wyant announced during a press conference that Flint’s Eisenhower and Freeman elementary schools, and Brownell/Holmes STEM academies tested above federal limit for lead in drinking water. One of the schools tested at more than six times the federal limit.

08-OCT-2015 — (Confirm time of day and location) Gov. Snyder announces Flint’s water system will switch back to DWSD. The $12 million cost will be paid by Mott Foundation ($10 million) and Flint ($2 million).

16-OCT-2015 — Flint’s water system switches back to DWSD. A full flush of the water system was expected to take three weeks.

19-OCT-2015 — MDEQ director Dan Wyant said department used the wrong federal standards for corrosion treatments over previous 17 months.

21-OCT-2015 — Gov. Snyder announces a Flint Water Task Force to review state, federal and municipal actions, offer recommendations

03-NOV-2015 — Karen Weaver elected as mayor of Flint, unseating incumbent Dayne Walling.

04-NOV-2015 — [EMAIL] MDEQ Michael Prysby, District Engineer, MI-ODWMA, emailed Brent Wright and Michael Glasgow with City of Flint, subject: “PO4 Permit Oct28th.pdf”:

Attached is the Act 299 permit authorizing installation of the corrosion control treatment system at the water treatment plant.”

09-NOV-2015 — MDEQ released water testing data from ~400 homes and businesses, including Freeman Elementary School. MDEQ said the tests showed the lead problems are specific to buildings or faucets and not the entire Flint water system.

10-NOV-2015 — EPA regional administrator Susan Hedman announces an audit of MDEQ’s drinking water program to determine if SDWA requirements are met.

12-NOV-2015 —  Documents FOIA’d by The Flint Journal show that water samples results from water samples taken from city residences were not drawn from those with highest risk of lead contamination, though certified documents filed with state regulators indicated otherwise. The samples’ results may have delayed response to the city’s public health emergency.

13-NOV-2015 — Flint residents filed a federal class action lawsuit against the state and city government employees, naming Gov. Rick Snyder, Daniel Wyant, Liane Shekter Smith, Adam Rosenthal, Stephen Busch, Patrick Cook, Michael Prysby, Bradley Wurfel, Darnell Earley, Gerald Ambrose, Dayne Walling, Howard Croft, Michael
Glasgow and Daugherty Johnson, and the City of Flint.

16-NOV-2015 — Flint Director of Infrastructure and Development Howard Croft resigned. Croft had been in charge of Flint water system operations.

05-DEC-2015 — Mayor Karen Weaver declared a state of emergency in Flint due to the damaged water system.

28-DEC-2015 — A break-in at Flint’s City Hall was discovered by a city employee. An office containing water files in the mayor’s suite had been entered and a TV taken. It was not clear at the time the story was reported by The Flint Journal whether any documents were missing.

29-DEC-2015 — MDEQ director Dan Wyant and MDEQ spokesman Brad Wurfel resigned after Flint Water Advisory Task Force attributed Flint water crisis to MDEQ’s handling in a letter to Gov. Snyder. **Is the task force’s letter available to public?

30-DEC-2015 — Gov. Snyder appoints Keith Creagh, director of Michigan Department of Natural Resources, as interim head of MDEQ.

__________

2016

05-JAN-2016 — Gov. Snyder declared a state of emergency for the City of Flint due to the lead levels in Flint’s drinking water.

05-JAN-2016 — U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed they are working with the EPA to investigate the city’s water contamination.

13-JAN-2016 — Gov. Snyder, MI-HHSD Director Nick Lyon, and MI-HHSD Chief Medical Executive Eden Wells announced a spike in cases of Legionella bacteria were found in Genesee County. There were a total of 87 identified cases between June 2014 and November 2015, of which ten* were fatal. Wells said, “87 cases is a lot. That tells us that there is a source there that needs to be investigated.” [*-Numbers in reports vary, some show 10 fatalities, others show nine. Subject to validation./Rayne]

16-JAN-2016 — FOIA’s documents obtained by The Flint Journal-MLive revealed city, county and state public health officials identified Flint River water as a possible origin for Legionella bacteria — the cause of ‎Legionnaires’ disease — as far back as 17-OCT-2014. The documents also showed city officials did not cooperate with county health personnel looking into contamination of Flint’s water system. [NOTE; FOIA’d documents not available for public review as of 11-FEB-2016/Rayne]

22-JAN-2016 — MDEQ’s Stephen Busch and Liane Shekter-Smith were suspended without pay, according to an announcement from Gov. Snyder’s office.

03-FEB-2016 — MDEQ’s Creagh, EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Joel Beauvais, VA-Tech’s Marc Edwards, Flint resident Lee Anne Walters testified before House Oversight Committee with regard to Flint’s water crisis. EM Darnell Earley declined to appear; Rep. Jason Chaffetz promised to “hunt down” Earley to compel testimony at a future date. EPA’s Miguel Del Toral also declined to appear; the committee excused him as Del Toral was working on conditions in Flint.

05-FEB-2016 — MDEQ Drinking water and Municipal Assistance unit head Liane Shekter Smith terminated from role after review of Flint water crisis.

10-FEB-2016 — The City of Flint issued a Boil Water Advisory for north side residents (north of Flushing Road). A water main break may have exposed water in the system to biological contaminants. Gov. Snyder tweets the Boil Water Advisory, using a link to ABC12-TV in Flint.

12-FEB-2016 — [EMAIL] Emails released by Gov. Snyder’s office reveal warnings by MDEQ’s Stephen Busch on 26-MAR-2013 about the health risks and increased expenses expected with a switch to Flint River water. However none of the emails released pre-date January 1, 2014.

MORE TO COME
______________________________

SPECULATIONS AND QUESTIONS:

— Why was a 60-mile span of pipe with a new Lake Huron intake pursued, instead of 30-40 miles of pipe and connection to the City of Saginaw’s water system to the north?

— Did Detroit’s Emergency Manager Kevin Orr attempt to raise DWSD rates to Flint in order to force Flint off DWSD in preparation for the sale of DWSD to Oakland and Macomb Counties?

— Was DWSD used as an instrument to foreclose on Detroit/metro properties and transfer ownership (Example: Detroit Medical Society)?

** See also double-asterisk items marked above.
______________________________

Sources:

The Flint Journal-MLive

Michigan Radio

— City of Flint

FlintWaterStudy.org, a website produced by The Virginia Tech Research Team

Metrotimes.com

— EPA.gov

MarkMaynard.com

Bridge Magazine

— Genesee County Drain Commissioner Water & Waste Services

— Michigan.gov, including Gov. Snyder’s office (Link: Emails released 20-JAN-2016 (pdf))

Eclectablog

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, geek since birth. Opinions informed by mixed-race, multi-ethnic, cis-female condition, further shaped by kind friends of all persuasions. Sci-tech frenemy, wannabe artist, decent cook, determined author, successful troublemaker. Mother of invention and two excessively smart-assed young adult kids. Attended School of Hard Knocks; Rather Unfortunate Smallish Private Business School in Midwest; Affordable Mid-State Community College w/evening classes. Self-employed at Tiny Consulting Business; previously at Large-ish Chemical Company with HQ in Midwest in multiple marginalizing corporate drone roles, and at Rather Big IT Service Provider as a project manager, preceded by a motley assortment of gigs before the gig economy was a thing. Blogging experience includes a personal blog at the original blogs.salon.com, managing editor for a state-based news site, and a stint at Firedoglake before landing here at emptywheel as technology’s less-virginal-but-still-accursed Cassandra.
55 replies
  1. bevin says:

    There’s an article at Counterpunch today- Flint, A Tale of Two Cities- which contains aremindr of why Michigan’s corporate plunderocracy hate Flint so much. The kids they are poisoning are the descendants of the Sit Down Strikers of 1936, the real founders of the CIO.
    Maybe that is where your timeline should begin:

    “…An ongoing organizing drive in the Flint auto plants was met with stonehearted resistance by General Motors. The straw that broke the camel’s back came on December 30, 1936 when management provocatively transferred some union supporters. Workers at Flint Fisher Body Plant 2 responded by sitting down and refusing to leave the factory. Later that night, workers saw managers attempting to remove critical machinery from Fisher Body Plant 1. The workers at Plant 1 put a stop to that by sitting down as well. The shutting down of these two plants brought GM’s auto production to a screeching halt.

    “The strike spread to 15 other GM plants, from Detroit to Kansas City. Finally, the crucial motor assembly operation at Chevrolet Plant number 4 in Flint was occupied. Ultimately, 93% of GM’s production workers joined the fight. Preis explains:

    “Victory or defeat for the GM workers depended on a simple strategy: keeping their buttocks firmly planked on $50 million worth of GM property until they got a signed contract. GM’s strategy was to get the workers out of the plants by hook or crook so that the police, deputies and National Guard could disperse them by force and violence.

    “The bosses hit the strikers with injunctions, but the sheriff charged with delivering the first of these was laughed out of the plant. The company attempted to recruit scabs to retake the plants, but soon gave that up. Management cut the heat to Fisher Body Plant 2 and police attempted to prevent deliveries of food and supplies to the strikers. Outside, picketers stormed the police blockade. A battle ensued; police guns were answered by bolts and bottles hurled by the workers. Eventually, the strikers aimed a freezing stream from a fire hose at the cops, successfully turning them back. When the dust settled, twenty-four strikers were injured; 14 had been shot…..”

    Flint deserves the support of anyone who has ever enjoyed the benefits, including dignity in the workplace, of a Union enforced contract. And that means just about 99% of us.

    • wayoutwest says:

      This kind of nonsense is to be expected I suppose but in reality the corporations have more profitable things to do than poison children in Flint. In fact the remaining GM plant in Flint had to switch their water supply because this water was too corrosive.

      The birth of the UAW starting in Flint was due to the Socialist and Radical workers at GM and elsewhere leading the strikes and negotiations with rank and file and community support. The workers enjoyed some power and benefits until after WW2 and the start of the Cold War when the Commie elements in labor were purged and the union bosses became little more than hiring agents for their partners the corporations. Even that purge and sellout to the Bosses wasn’t enough to stop the deindustrialization that has left Flint and many other Mid West cities depopulated and broke.

      Flint will get a new water system but they won’t get a new future.

  2. Rayne says:

    bevin (10:33) — The history of organized labor probably deserves a separate timeline of its own. I agree that one of the reasons Flint is treated so poorly is its role in labor history. It’s probably not a coincidence that non-union employer American SpiralWeld, a subsidiary of American Pipe, is building a facility on the former Buick City site — after Michigan became a Right-to-Work state — where the pipe manufacturer will make pipe for Flint’s waterline from Lake Huron. Labor has probably become ridiculously cheap in Flint compared to American Pipe’s hometown, Birmingham AL.

  3. Rayne says:

    wayoutwest (11:30) and bevin — The last post was an open thread — please debate the topic of organized labor there.

    If you have hard facts that add to the story of Flint’s water crisis — events leading up to and after the switch to Flint River as a water source, the subsequent poisoning of residents and water consumers, and the government and NGO responses — I’ll take them here in this thread. I’ve invested a lot of hours into this timeline; I’d like the thread to be open to readers who may want to contribute additional/corrective info. Thank you.

  4. orionATL says:

    this is an excellent chronology.

    the more exhaustive still, the better :)

    as every lawyer knows, chronologies can make connections pop out at you.

    when i quit following this matter here i was left with a puzzle:

    is the kanewaganda water authority a new private company or is it a new public water authority?

    does the snyder insistence on using a private corporation (if that is in fact what kwa is) to deliver water to flint not underlie the entire water crisis, i. e., was detroit forced to withdraw water supply from flint (or flint to refuse detroit water) ?

    if the flint crisis is tied to a privitization effort, are ALEC and/or SPA ( the state policy network) involved in any snyder privitization drive?

  5. orionATL says:

    was there ever any testing of home tap water of homes in flint with lead water supply pipes in order to determine lead levels in children or adults?

    can such pre-crisis lead levels be estimated from other available lead level studies in other american cities?

    • orionATL says:

      i recall reading some years ago that lead poisioning in children can lead in time to social dysfunction and violence in individuals. i don’t know how sound this research was.

  6. harpie says:

    [I guess I’ll have to do these separately-I forgot about moderation]
    Thanks for beginning this, Rayne!
    Three items about Howard Croft:
    *14 December 2011 Flint EM, Michael Brown, appoints Howard Croft to serve as the city’s new Director of Infrastructure and Development. [Position seems to be quite vast…doesn’t say what his qualifications are.] http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2011/12/new_flint_director_of_infrastr.html
    “”We are there to support Mike and help get the city back on track,” said Croft of his appointment along with Jerry Ambrose and Gary Bates. Brown said the move will help combine positions in the city and cut costs.”

  7. Tommy Gilley says:

    I didn’t see it reflected on here, but each year money was transferred out of the water and sewer fund to the general fund. In 2014, I believe they transferred 1.5 million to the general fund. This was rationalized as compensating city resources for what they did for the water department. It’s always bs in the valuations, and it’s primarily done by cities which are not able to support themselves out of sales taxes or property taxes.

    • harpie says:

      Hi! Do you have any documentation on that? If I’m not mistaken, that is very typical for towns and water authorities. They therefore very often don’t put any money back into long-term maintenance of the systems.

      • Tommy Gilley says:

        https://www.cityofflint.com/wp-content/uploads/FY16-17-Proposed-Budget.pdf

        page 32. The transfer in line item show 3.7 mil, and I can’t remember where the line item was which identified 1.5 mil was from water, but it’s there somewhere.

        It’s common for cities to do this, and they call this an enterprise fund. This has nothing to do with LT capital improvements however. States will have very loos guidelines for cities on how they rate their water and sewer services, and cities game the system to generate excess income. Why not? Their customers have no choice but to pay.

  8. harpie says:

    17 January, 2013 Karegnondi Water Authority meeting minutes; KWA “CEO” [and Genesee County Drain Commissioner] Jeff Wright and other members discuss Flint EM situation.
    Also: “CEO Wright believes that Detroit is ready to sell the existing pipeline from Imlay City to KWA. If Flint stays on with Detroit, the City of Detroit probably would not go through with the deal.”
    http://media.wix.com/ugd/60e74e_174b3ada863e714991719a381f3c4a27.pdf

  9. harpie says:

    From the Bridge Magazine Timeline:

    August 2013: Rowe Professional Services completes an engineering proposal for improvements that would allow Flint to draw water continuously from the Flint River in lieu of DWSD service. (From October 2014 MDEQ briefing to the Snyder Administration.)

    They don’t provide the documentation. [arggh!]

  10. Tommy Gilley says:

    Another thing to check: what would be the benefits to the Michigan natural gas industry to the pipeline being built. I’m down here in Texas, and I don’t know the area at all, but my spider sense is telling me that there is something deeper driving the pipeline than just city needs.

  11. wayoutwest says:

    With Rayne’s and the Bridge Magazine timeline and analysis many of the facts and dates of decisions are now available but this is still too much information to digest and should be divided up into the different phases of this long process to separate the different decisions, political/economic and technical and then all the mess that followed when the s hit the f .

    The practical, political and economic reasons for the switch to the KWA water source were reported in 2013 including the conspiracy theories and the nasty negotiations between Flint/the state and Detroit. Everyone involved but Detroit thought the switch to KWA was and still is a good practical and financially sound decision, Flint will probably be using this water by the end of this year. The KWA required the Flint City Government to publicly vote their approval and would not sign the water agreement with the state or EM until this public support was produced, if the report I read last week is accurate. The counteroffer and discussions with DWSD after the decision was approved by the state could be examined further.

    The decision by the Flint EM Earley to use Flint River water until the KWA water was available is a different if related story and that decision wasn’t approved by the FCG but seems to have been forced by DWSD giving Flint a termination notice to cut off the water supply. The information about why the ongoing negotiations with DWSD failed and ended leading to the switch to Flint River water needs more investigation.

    The failure to treat the Flint River water for corrosion control is the cause of the lead leaching and exposure of Flint residents and whomever made this decision is responsible for this crisis. Some of those people involved in the regulatory and technical failure seen in Flint are already gone and others are spinning yarns to cover their asses.

    Finally there is the political fallout from the failure, some say cover-up, to address the lead leaching and exposure when it was discovered. This scandal extends from the EPA to the Michigan governor and will produce much fodder for comment, finger pointing and political gamesmanship.

  12. Rayne says:

    harpie — THANK YOU! It’s going to take me a bit to sort through the links you provided. You’re seeing some of the challenges I ran into, like Rowe vs LAN for engineering consult. I wonder if there was an engineering firm merger? There’s been a few in the area over the last decade. I’ll get it sorted out.

    I went about this rather haphazardly, just plunged in, and the results took on a life of their own. I’m a bit fried right now, but I’ll try and work all the fresh stuff in over the next three days. Also have to figure out how to put a link on front page so it’s sticky as the crisis continues.

    EDIT: wrt Veolia — I need to see if it was that firm whose work dropped the two worst lead test results, skewing the mean so that the city’s overall lead level appeared to have met federal standards. I think I’ll bump that one up in priority. Thanks!

    Tommy Gilley — Thanks very much for bringing up the water-and-sewer fees as slush-fund-budget-fix. I know I read they were doing this somewhere as I went along, but at that moment the issue hadn’t fit in contextually. Now it does, after having 80% of the story nailed down. The water-and-sewer fees became an unofficial inverse tax, disproportionately affecting those who could least afford it. Businesses needing much greater amounts of water paid less per unit, but their departure from the area left infrastructure behind in need of continued support which individuals paid instead, as well as additional money to fill in budget shortfalls. Awful. I’ll be sure to look for related info more carefully and backfill parts of the timeline appropriately.

    WRT natural gas: Mark Maynard, a journalist/blogger from Ann Arbor, posited the KWA line may have been intended for fracking. I followed that line of inquiry and found there are (5) permitted wells located in Sanilac County, through which the KWA line transits. It’s possible those wells may have been opportunities to sell water, but I’m not certain what next steps are to research this issue. With oil prices plummeting over the last two years, even if the wells intended to use water from the KWA line, the wells may not longer be economically viable. Most fracking in the U.S. isn’t cost effective as long as oil price is at/below $65/bbl — and forecasts indicate oil will remain well below that break-even point for at least the next two years. If memory serves, Chesapeake Energy may have been involved, and they are hurting financially now. If KWA had intended to defray fixed costs as well as total price of water to Flint residents by selling water, that revenue is now literally a pipe dream. It will be important to know if KWA records are FOIA-ble. Thanks again.

    wayoutwest — Based on your comment, you have no clue what you are talking about and have not done adequate research on this topic. Second request: Please do not comment in this thread unless you are offering hard fact to add to this timeline. There’s an open thread elsewhere for editorializing.

    • Tommy Gilley says:

      Also, double check for flint using double barrel bonds. What happens down here in Texas is that a city will say they’re raising rates for infrastructure improvements. The extra money is poured into the general fund. The infrastructure is actually paid for with a double barrel bond which is paid either of 2 ways: from the water and sewer fund or if the money isn’t there it automatically gets paid through an automatic property tax levy. Since the money is moved out of the water and sewer fund, the automatic property tax levy is put in place. There’s no city government vote on the levy, so they can say ‘we didn’t vote to increase the property tax’

    • harpie says:

      Hi, Rayne! You’re welcome. It is a lot to digest, but I find Timelines really helpful.

      As for the two dropped water test results, that is said to have been DEQ:
      http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2015/11/documents_show_city_filed_fals.html#incart_article_small
      “[…] Edwards said the city’s water testing results are suspect because of the service line issue, because of its past sampling methods and because the DEQ knowingly dropped two water test samples with very high lead levels in testing this year.

      Edwards alleges the DEQ took that step in order to avoid exceeding limits for lead in federal law. The state has said the samples were dropped from the report because they did not meet testing criteria, including one of the tests having come from a home in which a water filter was used. […]”

      I’ve just finished reading the Veolia report. I’m no expert, but they seem to have done a very thorough job in the short amount of time they had. There should have been pilot treatment models done during the design process, and these decisions made before any new-source water went out to customers!

      I’m pretty sure there was a merger [or takeover] between Rowe and LAN…speaking of which, the CORRECT SPELLING of the company name is Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam-not Newman. Sorry, again.

      • harpie says:

        Also, about the Veolia report, the state asserts in their timeline that:

        “On 3/12/15 Fllint water consultant, Veolia, issues report that water meets state and federal standards. Does not report specifically on lead.”

        That’s a little slippery.

        From the recommendations:
        “Corrosion Control – The primary focus of this study was to assure compliance with the TTHM limits. That is not the only problem facing the city and its customers though. Many people are frustrated and naturally concerned by the discoloration of the water with what primarily appears to be iron from the old unlined cast iron pipes. The water system could add a polyphosphate to the water as a way to minimize the amount of discolored water. Polyphosphate addition will not make discolored water issues go away. The system has
        been experiencing a tremendous number of water line breaks the last two winters. Just last week there were more than 14 in one day. Any break, work on broken valves or hydrant flushing will change the flow of water and potentially cause temporary discoloration.”

  13. Rayne says:

    Tommy Gilley (8:24) — Do you think you can tell from the Detroit bond whether it was earmarked for double-barrel? It’s on my To-Do list to find that Flint bond from SEP-2013 and the KWA bond from MAR-2014 to link here. I ask about the Detroit one because the Too Big Too Fail banksters who underwrite financing often try the same vulture techniques if they pull it off in Detroit, but on a smaller scale in Flint. Thanks for the tip. Cannot believe how many different ways there are to siphon off money and still stick it to poor people left behind. I suppose this is Iraq post-war development, re-imported.

    EDIT: An unvoted increase for water-and-sewer in lieu of property tax increase is *exactly* how properties could be forced into foreclosure on a much shorter timeline than if property owner didn’t pay taxes on a timely basis. See the Speculations/Questions at bottom of timeline — now have to look at DWSD rates to see if foreclosures went up with water-and-sewer rates, and if they were in tandem with bond sales. ~smh~

  14. harpie says:

    Here’s an article confirming your 12 Jan. 2015 date for DWSD offering to waive the $4 mil. reconnection fee:
    http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2015 01/detroit_offers_flint_deal_for.html

    It also says:
    “Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, an engineering contractor for Flint, raised the question of reverting to water from the Detroit in a Nov. 26 report to the city.

    The report concludes that “utilizing the DWSD for interim supply is cost-prohibitive under the terms defined by DWSD,” but McCormick said in her letter that the report appears to have been based on “some incorrect assumptions.””

  15. harpie says:

    One of the recommendations in the 3/12/15 Veolia Report [link at #33 above]

    “Contract with your engineer and initiate discussions with the State on the addition of a corrosion control chemical. This action can be submitted and discussed with the state at the same time as the other chemical and filter changes saving time and effort. A target dosage of 0.5 mg/L phosphate is suggested for improved corrosion control.”

    They estimate an annual operating cost of $50, 000 and a one time capital cost of $50, 000.

  16. harpie says:

    Here’s a link to the 4/22/14 construction permits for the water treatment plant, signed off by MDEQ [Prysby and two others—can’t read the handwriting]:
    https://www.cityofflint.com/wp-content/uploads/Approved-Construction-Permits.pdf

    “Improvements to the City of Flint WTP to enable treatment of Flint River water on an interim basis until the KWA Lake Huron Water Supply is available for connection and use by the City of Flint:”

    The plant supervisor who signed the applications is Brent Wright [related to Jeff Wright?].
    I’m still wondering if MDEQ is actually responsible for review/approval of the specifics of the proposed water treatment plan designed by the engineering firm?

  17. harpie says:

    26 March, 2013
    “Stephen Busch, with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s drinking water division, told other DEQ officials in a March 26, 2013, email that the use of the river could lead to multiple problems, including increased disinfectant by-products and microbials in the water, which could put the public’s health at risk.”

    http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2016/02/deq_official_warned_of_flint_r.html

    1 January 2016
    “The state announced in January [2016] that Busch was suspended pending an investigation into how the agency handled the city’s drinking water crisis.”

    • harpie says:

      http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2016/02/deq_official_warned_of_flint_r.html

      Even though Busch said [3/27/13]:
      ***
      “[…] Finally, we have additional questions for TYJT regarding the various DWSD supply options and the considerations they made in the operations of the Flint WTP. These considerations will have an impact on the cost estimates for DWSD options. […]”
      ***
      Wyant told Dillon [a little later on 3/27/13]
      ***
      “[…]All indications are that we are supportive of KWA and its cost benefits compared to DWSD options. If that’s not the answer you want tomorrow- then we should discuss.”

  18. Rayne says:

    harpie — Thanks for all the new goodies, am still reviewing and adding the content you offered yesterday. WRT (46): LOL, that’s exactly the same experience I’m having.

    Thanks for the link to Bridge mag, need to cite them now as they were the source for the content referring to Dick Posthumus. Their timeline is quite a bit more abbreviated.

    WRT (47) — ugh, Stephen Busch. Says one thing, then another. That one needs watching.
    WRT (48) — Any convo with Andy Dillon needs attention. He has earned my distrust over the last +9 years. That convo in particular is subpoena worthy.

    You know what I’ll be doing this weekend with all the new documents released. Thanks again.

    EDIT: Meant to add one thing particularly frustrating me is the lack of original source documents — Flint Journal, for example, FOIA’s them and then does not share them with the public. They write an article and that’s that for them, end of story until next news-worthy issue emerges. Only compounds gatekeeping by government officials.

  19. Rayne says:

    harpie — Okay, here’s my checklist as I work through the links you supplied up thread.

    (9) 14-DEC-2011 — Added
    (10) 12-NOV-2015 — Added
    (11) 16-NOV-2015 — Added
    (12, 13) Added to Sources
    (14) 12-MAR-2015 — Veolia report added, note your observation of MI-GOV’s timeline.
    (15) 26-MAR-2013 — Not added; doesn’t change the plot’s direction, IMO. Retain for future review, may yet be needed.
    (17) 17-JAN-2013 — Can’t use that link, insecure. Looking for alternatives.
    (21) 29-MAR-2013 — Added
    (22) 16-APR-2013 — Added
    (23) 01-MAY-2013 — Added
    (24) 28-JUN-2013 — Validated
    (25) XX-AUG-2013 — Rowe was referred to as Rowe Engineering in this Flint Journal piece. Changed name to Rowe Professional Services (though I need to hunt down an EM resolution to reflect name as approved).
    (26) Omitting at this time, more editorial than specific; retain for future review.
    (27) 13-JAN-2015 — Added
    (28) 26-JUN-2013 — Name corrected, but a new question emerges. Why LAN? It’s a subsidiary of a national firm based in Texas. Why not an in-state engineering firm?
    (29) XX-JUL-2011 — Rowe doesn’t appear to be affiliated with LAN, at least not by ownership. Rowe is based in MI, and local office was hired.
    (33,38) 12-MAR-2015 — Veolia report added, as noted in (14), and agreed, slippery. MORE than slippery on MI-GOV’s timeline. I’ll have a post about it.

    That’s as far as I’ve gotten, more to come. Still have to read the emails released on Friday. Thanks for your assistance!

  20. Rayne says:

    harpie — Hey, I need help, have a post pending, waiting for info from you. In re: that timeline you provided a link to at comment (14) above — can you tell me how you found that? Did it come up in a search, or was it contained in another document or a press release or an article? I can’t backtrack to it. Any background on how you found it will help. Thanks!

  21. Rayne says:

    greengiant (10:41) — Thanks for that. I think any and all of third parties are scrambling to get clear of the debris field, especially LAN since they’re named in a suit. I’ll add an item to the timeline once I sort out the original contract documentation. Thanks again.

  22. Rayne says:

    harpie (54) — Thanks very much, that’s a good start. The 20-JAN-2016 post is helpful, gives us a snapshot of Gov’s office thinking before most recent emails released. I’ll follow this thread to wrap up the post.

Comments are closed.