National Resources Defense Council senior attorney Dimple Choudhary and University of Michigan Ross School of Business professor Eric Schwartz have made it their mission to find where lead pipes exist in places like Flint and Newark, New Jersey, and to make sure people poisoned by those lead lines get justice in the courts.
Chaudhary is the lead counsel in cases against both Flint and Pittsburg for their lead water crises. Schwartz, a professor of marketing at the Ross School, is one of the researchers that developed an algorithm to determine what neighborhoods most likely have lead pipes in Flint.
Click on the player above to hear the conversation.
Stephen Henderson speaks with Choudhary and Schwartz about their efforts to get justice for people in these cities, the much bigger problem of lead water lines and contamination throughout the United States, and what happens from here.
“Citizens are the last line of defense. Citizens can step in and say, ‘Hey, you are not protecting my drinking water.'” – Dimple Choudhary, National Resources Defense Council
“We recognize that in Flint and other cities, there’s a real uncertainty actually about which homes have lead pipes,” says Schwartz. “And the fact that that’s so uncertain, even at the peak of a crisis, should be a bit startling.”
“Right now, citizens are the last line of defense,” says Choudhary. “Thankfully, these laws were drafted with many layers of protection in mind, and so citizens can step in and say, ‘Hey, you are not protecting my drinking water.'”
The podcast season is a companion to the book “What the Eyes Don’t See,” written by Flint pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, whose research showed Flint children had elevated lead levels in their blood after the switch. The Flint Water Crisis began in April 2014 when, under the authority of a state-appointed emergency manager, the city of Flint switched its water source from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department system to water from the Flint River.