FLINT, MI -- A plumber discovered what appeared to be lead fishing sinkers in the water faucet of a Flint home that registered a spike in lead levels earlier this year, the U.S.
An EPA spokeswoman confirmed in an email to MLive-The Flint Journal that a resident in the home also registered an increased level of lead in blood tests and said the discovery of the lead came after "a non-government individual was doing some assessment work in the same resident's home." "EPA can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any criminal or civil investigation into the matter," the statement says.
EPA's confirmation of the fishing sinkers inside the faucet came on the same day that the Web site Flint Water Study published emails from the agency, showing top executives there communicated about what one called a "very odd issue regarding high (lead) levels at a home in Flint." One email from Christopher Korleski, EPA's regional water division director, names a specific individual who was "involved somehow" in the situation, but the indivdual's name was redacted by the agency, which released emails to Flint Water Study after a Freedom of Information Act request.
In addition to emails about the fishing-sinker discovery, the group posted a video on YouTube titled, "Lead sinkers from a Flint resident's plumbing help explain astronomically high lead-in-water results." The video clip, "showing that lead sinkers (used for fishing) were found in the tabtub fixture," is also mentioned in an email from Miguel Del Toral, regulations manager for EPA's Region 5 office, to other agency officials.
In another email, Del Toral makes reference to the lead level of water tested from the home as having been more than 3,000 parts per billion -- more than 200 times the federal threshold of 15 ppb.