Flint Hearing Most Notable for Key Absences
NEW YORK (February 3, 2016) – The U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing today to explore the Flint water crisis.
Following is reaction to the hearings from Natural Resources Defense Council President Rhea Suh:
“The Environmental Protection Agency’s response to the Flint water crisis was obviously a mess, but those in Congress who have made a career of pillorying the agency need to take some of the blame. Their incessant attacks on the agency have created an environment that chills the EPA from taking action to protect the public, while their unwillingness to adequately fund infrastructure helped set up this situation.
“The hearing was full of political positioning and grandstanding – all in the absence of key figures who can shed light on the disaster in Flint. It is glaring and disappointing to see Governor Rick Snyder and his emergency managers duck the opportunity to go on the record about what went wrong and how it will be fixed. Sadly, it is consistent with what we see elsewhere in Michigan with an utter lack of transparency. And it reinforces our belief that federal court supervision will be needed to protect the people of Flint moving forward.”
NRDC, the ACLU of Michigan, Concerned Pastors for Social Action, and Flint residents filed suit last week seeking replacement of lead pipes, increased water monitoring and transparency with water quality data. NRDC and its partners also petitioned the EPA in October to use its emergency powers in Flint.
More on the Flint situation from NRDC’s Switchboard blog at http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/rsuh/making_it_right_in_flint.html