Elon Musk announced on Twitter that he will fund fixing the remaining homes in Flint, Michigan that are still without safe and clean running water. The public health crisis has raged since 2014, when the town changed water sources as a cost-saving measure.
In the years since, skyrocketing water costs and a host of health problems for residents of the country’s third most segregated city have been the result.
Musk, who is worth an estimated $20.1 billion, could use the good publicity, and it might come from him buying people in Flint water filters. This past week, he has been on the receiving end of a great deal of snark about an unused submarine his team developed to aid in the weekend rescue of a Thai soccer team.
“Please consider this a commitment that I will fund fixing the water in any house in Flint that has water contamination above FDA levels,” Musk’s Tweet reads. “No kidding.”
Musk has long been an enemy of traditional Detroit automakers, no matter if the people at the top like him, like Bill Ford conveyed recently to CBS News. While Musk didn’t comment on it on Twitter, the irony that he’s helping the people of a city that General Motors polluted likely isn’t lost on him. “GM’s water problems were far more extensive than previously disclosed, including issues at its assembly plant in [Flint] that have gone unreported until now,” Jalopnik reported last spring.
Most of the water in Flint is in up to government standards, according to Politifact’s latest ruling on the matter. But there are still homes whose lead contamination remains above FDA approved levels.
Musk plans to “organize a weekend in Flint to add filters to those houses.”
Musk is still working through some of the details. For example, it’s yet to be announced whether to use professional plumbers on every fix or simply bring them in to inspect a non-pro’s work. To be fair, he is traveling in China but says that an email address — firstname.lastname@example.org — will be set up by tomorrow.