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BENTON HARBOR, Mich.—This is a city in crisis.
“You can’t drink the water. You can’t brush your teeth with the water. You can’t cook with the water.... You can’t make baby formula with the water,” says Reverend Edward Pinkney, president of the Benton Harbor Community Water Council.
The community’s water is not safe to drink because it contains potentially toxic amounts of lead. Citizens must rely on bottled water for their daily needs.
Residents of Benton Harbor complained for years about the safety of the water, but few actions were taken. In September 2021 the Benton Harbor Community Water Council and others filed a petition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calling for it to secure a source of safe drinking water for the community. The petition also calls for the replacement of the lead service lines running into the city’s homes.
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