Trump’s EPA awards Flint, Michigan, $100 million for water crisis

By Lauren Victoria Burke (NNPA Newswire Contributor)

Buried in the 24-hour news cycle of Russian conspiracies, presidential tweets, and White House nepotism, the Trump Administration found the time to set aside $100 million for the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Mich.
According to a press release about the grant, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) $100 million to fund drinking water infrastructure upgrades in Flint. The press release said that, “The funding, provided by the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act of 2016, or WIIN, enables Flint to accelerate and expand its work to replace lead service lines and make other critical infrastructure improvements.”
In the statement, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said that, the people of Flint and all Americans deserve a more responsive federal government.
“EPA will especially focus on helping Michigan improve Flint’s water infrastructure as part of our larger goal of improving America’s water infrastructure,” said Pruitt.
During a March 22 meeting at the White House with seven members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.), said that she and President Trump spoke about assistance for Flint.
“He said he thought it was awful and criminal…I was surprised he understood how that happened,” said Lawrence, who represents parts of Detroit. The congresswoman added that the president also wanted to know who was responsible for the lead in Flint’s water.
After the EPA announced the news, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver expressed appreciation for the funds.
“The City of Flint being awarded a grant of this magnitude in such a critical time of need will be a huge benefit,” Weaver said in a statement. “As we prepare to start the next phase of the FAST Start pipe replacement program, these funds will give us what we need to reach our goal of replacing 6,000 pipes this year and make other needed infrastructure improvements.”
Weaver continued: “We look forward to the continued support of the EPA and federal government.”
Additionally on March 28, a U.S. District Court settlement was announced, forcing the state of Michigan to set aside $97 million to replace defective water lines in Flint. The settlement money will cover 18,000 homes in the city by the year 2020.

Lauren Victoria Burke is a political analyst who speaks on politics and African American leadership. She is also a frequent contributor to the NNPA Newswire and Connect with Lauren by email at and on Twitter at @LVBurke.

Trump Atrocities Report (TAR) #2

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The Greene County Democrat started a new column last week to point out some of the negative and harmful actions taken by President Donald J. Trump (No. 45) and the Trump Administration.
Some of these actions will be legislative changes, overzealous cuts in Federal regulations, appointees that are unqualified or chosen to destroy the government function they were asked to head up and official statements that do not make sense or are ‘alternative truths’.
Some of the atrocities are where President Trump or members of his family will get a financial benefit from their position or have a clear conflict of interest.
Last week, we listed four (4) atrocities, so we will be continuing our list, by listing our examples in consecutive order, beginning this week’s column with Atrocity No. 5.

Atrocity No. 5 : Treason by Retired General Michael Flynn, National Security Adviser. Trump has dismissed General Flynn after 24 days as National Security Adviser for improper and illegal contacts with the Russian Government, which would have been described as “treason” if committed by any other Administration. An independent investigation is needed to get to the bottom of ‘Benedict Arnold Flynn’ and his contacts with the Russian government and intelligence agencies both during the Presidential campaign and after taking his position in the White House. The investigation needs to determine what role President Trump himself played in this national security betrayal and debacle.

Atrocity No. 6: More problems for the Cabinet of Millionaires and Billionaires:

a. Andrew Puzder, Secretary of Labor: CEO of Hardees and Carl Jr. fast food franchise restaurant chain, who opposes an increase in the minimum wage, regulations increasing overtime pay and other benefits to help working people, has run into some problems with confirmation because he employed an undocumented ‘nanny’ and abused his former wife. Puzder’s nomination should be withdrawn because he is unfit to head a department to help and work with working people, who fueled Trump’s electoral victory.

b. Jeff Sessions, Attorney General : in his first action as our chief law enforcement officer, Sessions declined to continue supporting transgendered children suing the State of Texas for discriminatory bathroom use requirements. This is the beginning of Sessions trying to reverse voting, civil and human rights for the most vulnerable in our nation.

c. Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): still asserting denial of climate change and rolling back regulations for clean air, water and land.

Atrocity No. 7: Nordstrom Department Stores attacked by Trump for cancelling Ivana Trump clothing line; and Kellyanne Conway, 45’s Chief Adviser and a Federal employee, urging Americans to buy Ivana’s products during a TV interview.

Atrocity No. 8: Delaying implementation of the rules for fiduciary responsibilities for financial counselors advising people on their retirement funds. As part of dismantling the consumer protections of the Dodd-Frank Act, Trump delayed implementation of regulations requiring financial counselors to be transparent with people on the marketing and pricing of retirement products. How does this change help American workers!
We invite our readers to send us items to be included on our Atrocities List and for circulating this report among people who voted for ‘45’ in the election and who may be reconsidering their decision.