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Learning from the Flint Water Crisis: Legal Implications and Community Public Health Impacts

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Published on May 25, 2018

May 15, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST

In 2014, while under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager, the city of Flint, Michigan, switched from receiving finished water from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to treating its own water drawn from the Flint River. The switch was intended to decrease costs for the fiscally distressed city. Despite the corrosiveness of Flint River water, the city water department failed to treat the water with anticorrosion control measures. As a result, lead from the aging service lines to homes leached into the drinking water and poisoned thousands of Flint residents. A team of Network attorneys recently published an analysis examining legal aspects of the Flint water crisis, available here.

In this webinar, two of the report’s authors will first describe the team’s legal analysis and recommendations. Then, a health disparities researcher and an activist and community organizer, both based in Flint, will jointly present a community-level response to the crisis.

By attending this webinar, you will:

- Explore the complex legal arrangements at the heart of the crisis, including public health, safe drinking water, and emergency manager laws.
- Review recommended changes to the relevant laws and their implementation.
- Learn about the ongoing public health impacts of the water crisis in the Flint community.

Moderator:
- Peter D. Jacobson, JD, MPH, Professor Emeritus of Health Law and Policy, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Co-Director, The Network for Public Health Law – Mid-States Region

Speakers:
- Colleen Healy Boufides, JD, Senior Attorney, The Network for Public Health Law – Mid-States Region
- Jennifer Bernstein, JD, MPH, Deputy Director, The Network for Public Health Law – Mid-States Region
- Kent Key, PhD, Director, Office of Community Scholars and Partnerships, Michigan State University
- Nayyirah Shariff, Community Organizer, Flint Democracy Defense League

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