Good Law | Bad Law #69 - Flint Michigan Water Crisis W/ Hunter Shkolnik
Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast series Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by Hunter Shkolnik, Co-Liaison Counsel for the Flint Michigan Water Crisis Lawsuit. In today’s episode, Hunter explains what caused this crisis and how it has affected the citizens of Flint.
The Flint water crisis started in 2014 when the city of Flint decided to change the source of its water from the Detroit River to the Flint River. In a city that had declared a financial state of emergency 3 years early, the move was designed to save money. The Flint water would have been fine had the officials in charge of the transition taken the proper precautions and conducted the proper tests.
Because Flint’s water service lines were over 100 years old, they were made of lead pipes. During the episode Hunter explains lead pipes alone don’t cause any harm because they are treated with a protective coating that keeps the lead from leaching into the water. As long as that coating is on the pipes, the water is safe.
Hunter goes on to explain that the water from the Flint River had a different chemical make-up than the water from the Detroit River which had flowed through those pipes for the past 100 years, a chemical make-up that proved to be corrosive to the protective coating on the lead pipes. Had the officials done the proper testing during the transition they would have caught this and been able to treat the water to prevent this from happening. Unfortunately, the testing never occurred, and the protective coating was stripped from the pipes.
Listen in as Aaron and Hunter discuss the Flint water crisis and the litigation surrounding the crisis on today’s fascinating episode.
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Host: Aaron Freiwald
Guest: Hunter Shkolnik