Column: Flint case shows records should be open to all

Virginians should be immensely proud of a Virginia Tech professor and his research team’s members for their role in exposing the poisoning of Flint, Mich., residents who were forced to drink toxic water that was laced with dangerously high levels of lead.

The leader of the team is civil engineering professor Marc Edwards. He volunteered his time and considerable money (estimated at $150,000 of his own funds) after being contacted last summer by a Flint mother who conducted an Internet search for help after becoming concerned about the water coming into her home.

Edwards received a sample of the water coming from the mother’s tap in Flint and found it had the worst lead levels in water he had ever seen. High lead content is particularly dangerous for small children.

That spawned efforts by the team from Blacksburg—all volunteers—to help Flint residents, but it wasn’t easy. State and local officials in Michigan attacked Edwards’ findings, sometimes mocking his research and maintained that the water is safe. Continue…