Monday, March 21, 2016

MICHIGAN - Flint Water Crisis

"Congress grills Michigan governor, EPA head over Flint water crisis" PBS NewsHour 3/17/2016

COMMENT:  Rep. Cummings comment below is absolutely correct, a CEO of a business WOULD be held criminally responsible.  He should have done a comparison between treatment under to old system to the new system.


SUMMARY:  Flint, Michigan, earned a place in the spotlight again Thursday, as Congressional hearings on the city’s water crisis continued.  Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and EPA administrator Gina McCarthy both faced strict scrutiny for their apparent failure to respond to the dire situation quickly enough. John Yang reports.

MAN:  Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will come to order.

JOHN YANG (NewsHour):  Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy took the oath, settled into their seats, and the grilling began.

Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings started with Republican Snyder.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), Maryland:  Governor Snyder has been described as running the state of Michigan like a business.  There’s no doubt in my mind that, if a corporate CEO did what Governor Snyder’s administration has done, he would be hauled up on criminal charges.

JOHN YANG:  An emergency manager appointed by Snyder’s administration switched Flint’s water supply to the Flint River in April 2014, in a bid to save money.  But no corrosion control was added.  That allowed lead from aging pipes to leach into drinking water for more than a year.

Snyder said today that Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality repeatedly assured him the water was safe, until last fall.

GOV. RICK SNYDER (R), Michigan:  It was on October 1, 2015, that I learned that our state experts were wrong.  Flint’s water had dangerous levels of lead.  On that date, I took immediate action.  Not a day or night goes by that this tragedy doesn’t weigh on my mind, the questions I should have asked, the answers I should have demanded, how I could have prevented this.

JOHN YANG:  That wasn’t nearly enough to satisfy some on the committee.

REP. MATT CARTWRIGHT (D), Pennsylvania:  Plausible deniability only works when it’s plausible, and I’m not buying that you didn’t know about any of this until October 2015.  You weren’t in a medically induced coma for a year.  And I have had about enough of your false contrition and your phony apologies.

JOHN YANG:  Republican Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz laid blame mostly with the Environmental Protection Agency and its boss, Gina McCarthy.

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