Democrat Governor Ignored Struggling GOP District That Had Lead in Water

Democrat Governor Ignored Struggling GOP District That Had Lead in Water

( – During her campaign, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) platform focused heavily on providing clean water for Flint. However, residents in another neighborhood allege she failed to recognize their water situation, which is even worse.

Benton Harbor is 180 miles west of Flint and has higher lead levels in the water supply than the highly publicized city. The governor knew about the situation. She mentioned it in a July 2018 campaign ad, but she failed to offer any aid after her election. Residents say she’s failed them.

Despite touting water as a fundamental right during her campaign and making promises that she would not ignore the water issues, Whitmer gave zero aid to Benton Harbor. Meanwhile, she offered hundreds of millions of dollars to Flint.

In September, residents sent an emergency petition to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alleging that the governor failed to ensure they had clean water. The EPA offered to oversee the delivery of bottled water to the city.

In October, Whitmer requested funds to help fix lead piping, and she finally visited Benton Harbor. Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist promised that within 18 months, the city would have all lead lines replaced.

The communications director for the Michigan Republican Party accuses Whitmer of acting too late and only after residents involved the EPA. He urges an investigation into what took so long. Meanwhile, a group of residents from the city filed a lawsuit in federal court against the governor, mayor and other officials for deliberately ignoring their water crisis. They asked the court to award them $76 million in damages and other services such as blood testing and aid for residents with health issues due to lead exposure.

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