The nightmare for residents of Flint, Michigan could soon come to an end. Billionaire businessman Elon Musk pledged on Wednesday to clean up the city’s drinking water.
Flint’s Mayor Karen Weaver and Musk agreed on Twitter to have a telephone conversation on Friday about the specifics of how he could help to end the water contamination crisis. See below:
Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and co-founder of electric carmaker Tesla, tweeted that he’s serious about his pledge, which seems to have come from nowhere. “Please consider this a commitment that I will fund fixing the water in any house in Flint that has water contamination above FDA levels. No kidding,” he tweeted.
This comes against the backdrop of Musk offering to help in the rescue of the Thai youth soccer team players who were trapped in a flooded cave for more than a week, showing that Musk is putting his money where his mouth is.
Cost-cutting measures by state officials led to the tainted drinking water crisis in the majority Black city. Flint’s water supply became contaminated with lead and other toxins after Michigan changed the city’s water source in 2014. Residents soon began complaining about the water tasting and smelling funny, but officials ignored them. Tests conducted by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and Virginia Tech in 2015 uncovered dangerous levels of lead in the water at residents’ homes.
Michigan now claims that the city’s drinking water meets EPA standards, but many residents don’t trust the state officials.