General Question

ibstubro's avatar

Who bears the responsibility for identifying and dealing with city infrastructure problems such as the lead in the water in Flint Michigan?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) April 14th, 2016

Local, state or federal government?

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10 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Things like water are normally a local concern, and this often means local and state governments have the most responsibility. However, the federal entities often step in when local protocols are inadequate. (The inadequacy can be the result of honest or dishonest motives.)

zenvelo's avatar

Usually the Government agency with authority over the water supply. Where I live in California, we have a Municipal Utility District, which does both water supply and sewer treatment over most of two counties. They have an elected Board.

In the Flint, Michigan case specifically, it is the State,of Michigan, because Flint is under the emergency management of a State appointed official.

JLeslie's avatar

Usually local, but with a catastrophe like that all levels of government will likely be involved in trying to remedy it.

Rarebear's avatar

The issue the politicians seem to fail to realize in their finger pointing is that in a complex system, there are multiple areas of care. Systems problems require systems responses and root cause analyses. The fact that the liberals are blaming the governor, and the conservatives are blaming the EPA, everybody is missing the point, and its doomed to happen again.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Local but there is much grey. I can tell you infrastructure is in piss poor shape all over the place. We are spending that money on fighter jets, needless legislation, foreign aide and other things we don’t need to be spending it on.

ibstubro's avatar

This is a question that will have to be addressed, soon, IMO.

“Only schools and day care centers that operate their own water systems — that’s about one of every ten — are required to test for lead, under federal rules. The 90,000 public and private schools and day care facilities relying on treated water from municipal systems are not required to test”
Source but I heard the 1 in 10 statistic on NPR today.

jerv's avatar

Well, there is much debate on that actually. Some would claim that any level of government lacks the authority to even recommend that anyone do so, and many would argue that even if the state has the authority to tell the local government what to do, the feds have no say in anything whatsoever.

The city bears the ultimate responsibility, but the state has the duty of making sure the city follows the rules, and the feds have the duty to step in when both the local and state measures are inadequate, whether through corruption or mere incompetence.

ibstubro's avatar

That’s a pretty even handed and comprehensive overview, @jerv.

I guess the next logical question is, ‘Who is in charge of the monitoring, and when does it start?”

marinelife's avatar

The government from the municipal to the federal level and everything in between.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Ultimately I suppose the government / even president are responsible. They have the most power. In a democracy by design however, it’s sad the people don’t have the most power. If the people in charge don’t take care of the people who elected them that’s pathetic…Man up mankind:(

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