Officials in Flint, Michigan have declared a state of emergency due to the quality of the city’s drinking water.

According to NBC News, “Tests have shown elevated lead levels in the blood of some local children: prompting the Mayor of Flint, MI to declare the state of emergency to pave the way for possible government disaster aid.”

On Thursday, Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discussed the shocking developments in Flint, MI, the overwhelming health concerns, and looming legal litigation that may result from the man-made disaster.

NewsOne Now panelist A. Scott Bolden told Martin, “This is a huge issue, there’s radon issues in the rivers of Illinois as well — that mid-west corridor seems to be a real problem.”

Before the lawsuits start flying, Bolden said, “The first step is to get these kids tested, including the adults tested — because you know the kids — if you have lead poisoning, that leads to learning disabilities and other challenges.”

“Secondly, the federal and state government have to kick in not only in testing the kids, but also set up a fund so that if there are damages and lawsuits — and I promise you the plaintiff lawyers are on their way to Flint, MI right now and there will be major lawsuits about this so long as they can show damages and injuries as opposed to projecting this out.”

Angela Peoples, Co-Director of GetEQUAL, believes this disaster is result of “city managers taking over in a way that is not accountable.” She also believes the environmental crisis in Flint is representative of the “legacy of Gov. [Rick] Snyder.”

Watch Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the water crisis in Flint, MI in the video clip above.

TV One’s NewsOne Now has moved to 7 A.M. ET, be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.

Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.

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