Flint water crisis subject of upcoming panel convened by AC2 program

A discussion of the web of causes and effects of the water contamination crisis that has gripped the city of Flint, Michigan will be held on Tuesday, March 15 at 4:30 p.m. in the Coykendall Science Building (CSB) Auditorium at SUNY New Paltz.

Flint’s 2014 decision to change its water source from treated Detroit Water and Sewerage Department water, sourced from Lake Huron and the Detroit River, to less effectively treated water from the Flint River, has attracted national infamy as thousands of citizens unknowingly consumed lead-contaminated water.

This symposium-style event, titled “Toxic Water: The Poisoning of Flint,” will feature a panel of experts in diverse fields offering their perspectives on the situation in Flint.

Panelists will include:

Emily Garner, a graduate student in civil engineering and a member of the Flint Water Team at Virginia Tech, which in September 2015 published the results of a National Science Foundation-funded study documenting the extreme levels of corrosion of water in Flint and drawing international attention to the magnitude of the public health crisis;

Lawrence Schell, professor of Anthropology and director of the Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities at the University at Albany;

Michael Mascarenhas, associate professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and author of Where the Waters Divide: Neoliberalism, White Privilege, and Environmental Racism in Canada.

The discussion will be moderated by Shafiul Chowdhury, associate professor of geology and director of New Paltz’s Environmental Geochemical Science program, and will include a reception starting at 4 p.m. in the CSB lobby and a Q & A session with the audience following the panelist’s prepared remarks.

This panel is organized and sponsored by the AC2 Program at New Paltz, a partnership between the Alliance for Minority Participation (AMP) and the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (C-STEP), with a mission of increasing the number of traditionally underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students enrolled in science and engineering programs at the College.

Sponsorship support is also provided by the School of Science & Engineering. This event is free and open to the public. Please call 845-257-3728 if you need further information.