The EPA’s Silent, Guilty Role in the Flint Water Crisis


Flint, Michigan. (photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Flint, Michigan. (photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

 

Rebecca Leber | New Republic | Reader Supported News | January 24, 2016

Michigan’s governor has borne the brunt of the blame, but there’s plenty to go around.

 

ichigan Governor Rick Snyder in recent weeks has come under intense pressure over the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, which was precipitated two years ago when his administration, in an effort to cut costs, changed the city’s water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River. The move led to a dangerous increase in lead in the water supply; just 5 parts per billion is cause for concern, especially for children, but Flint’s tap water has had five times that amount. And yet, officials insisted until late last fall that the water was safe for its 100,000 residents to drink.

In response to a public outcry, Snyder has released nearly 300 pages of emails that reveal how poorly state agencies responded to the slow-moving crisis. But while Snyder, a Republican, and his appointees have borne the brunt of the outrage, it turns out the Environmental Protection Agency fell down on the job, too.

Donald Trump, who’s promised a “tremendous cutting” of EPA funds if elected president, said this week the agency is “really guilty of” the Flint “horror show.” For once, Trump is not entirely wrong.

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