Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public – The First Canon of Civil Engineering
Read the full background here .
Since last August many people have contacted us, and asked how they could help us. To date, we refused almost all offers of financial support to avoid even an appearance of a conflict of interest—even so, our integrity and motives were openly questioned on more than one occasion. We have tried very hard to be apolitical and fair. What happened in Flint represents a tragic failure of both state and federal government.
We now feel that Flint’s kids are finally being protected and decisive actions are underway to ameliorate the harm that was done. We were fully prepared to remain engaged for another 10 year battle as in the case of the DC lead crisis , but our major efforts in Flint are now clearly behind us. While we would not wish the last 6 months on anyone, we would not trade it for anything either.
For those interested in what it took, financially and time-wise, the following is a rough accounting:
The deficit of $147,174 in out of pocket expenses has been covered by Professor Edwards’ discretionary research and personal funds. We also conservatively estimate that our total donated labor exceeds 3.0 person years (well over $165,000) of effort.
No matter what, our overall balance sheet will be closed out as “priceless,”because as environmental engineers we aspire to “ Saving <Human>kind from Itself,” and we defended the truth and Flint residents with sound science . We are also ashamed that some in our profession acted contrary to the First Canon of Civil Engineering, and violated the “safety, health and welfare of the public.” Hopefully, our work will inspire current and future ‘Environmental Engineers’to also uphold the First Canon of Civil Engineering. People have also asked us what our similar 10+ year volunteer effort in D.C. cost . We would tell you, but you would never believe it, and that battle is still not over .
At this point, we hope our work speaks for itself. If you like what we did, and want to donate to partly offset our costs and help us do similar work in the future, we have set up this GoFundMe page.
All proceeds will ultimately go to a Virginia Tech Foundation account supervised by Dr. Marc Edwards, offsetting costs for our work in Flint, and to support similar future work in the public interest.