Task Force: Michigan Govt ‘Fundamentally Accountable’ For Flint Crisis

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The state of Michigan is “fundamentally accountable” for Flint’s lead-contaminated water crisis because of decisions made by its environmental regulators and state-appointed emergency managers who controlled the city, an investigatory task force concluded Wednesday.

The panel, appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to review the disaster, said in a withering report that what happened in Flint is “a story of government failure, intransigence, unpreparedness, delay, inaction, and environmental injustice.”

“One of the biggest lessons we hope to impart in our report is the need for government leaders to listen to their constituents; in Flint that didn’t happen,” said Chris Kolb, co-chairman of the Flint Water Advisory Task Force.

Flint’s 2014 switch in drinking water sources led the supply to become contaminated when lead leached from old pipes into some homes.

While the investigators primarily blamed the state Department of Environmental Quality for the disaster — it initially did so in preliminary findings that led the agency’s director to resign in December — it also faulted a host of other government offices and officials for contributing to the fiasco or delaying action to fix it.

Those include the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Genesee County Health Department, the city of Flint and financial managers that Snyder named to run the city of nearly 100,000 people.

The five-member task force interviewed 66 people during its months-long investigation and made a number of recommendations, including considering alternatives to the emergency manager system.

___

Eggert reported from Lansing, Michigan.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Sincerely,
TPM Staff
Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: