Majority-Black Mich. City Has Water Problem That Rivals Flint Crisis

"Benton Harbor has lead contamination well beyond the federal action levels."

"The state of Michigan has told a majority-Black city not to use tap water for drinking, bathing, or cooking “out of an abundance of caution” because of lead contamination. Residents of Benton Harbor, three hours west of Detroit, have been dealing with poisoned water for at least three years, and experts say that state and local officials have not done enough to help, according to the Guardian.

Back in 2018, it was discovered that Benton Harbor had lead contamination of 22 parts per billion (ppb) in its water. That is a figure much higher than the federal action level of 15 ppb and higher; that number is also higher than that of Flint during the peak of its water crisis. To be clear, no level of lead contamination is safe. The reason why there is a federal action level is because the Environmental Protection Agency uses it as a national standard to determine which water systems to focus on.

For its part, the state has committed to expanding free water distribution in Benton Harbor and promised to comply with the federal water regulations. Local activists say their situation is that of environmental injustice and have warned the state about the water crisis for years."

Terrell Jermaine Starr reports for The Root October 12, 2021.


"Michigan Tells Majority-Black City Not To Drink Tap Water Amid Lead Crisis" (Guardian)


Source: The Root, 10/13/2021