For Immediate Release
Flint Hearing Reinforces Need for Federal Court to Restore Safe Drinking Water
WASHINGTON - The second Congressional hearing of the week on the Flint water crisis today showcased Michigan Governor Snyder and EPA Administrator McCarthy laying blame for the disaster at each other’s feet today.
On October 1 of last year, NRDC and its partners petitioned the EPA to take emergency action to intervene in Flint to secure safe drinking water. The agency failed to respond until January 2016.
Following is reaction to today’s hearing from NRDC Midwest Director Henry Henderson:
“Everything I heard today reinforces our call for federal court oversight to restore clean, safe drinking water for the people of Flint, as both the state and EPA have proved they cannot solve the contaminated water problem alone. Trashed lead pipes are still delivering poisoned water. Access to bottled water and services are limited and unreliable, especially for those with limited means and limited access to transportation.
“The untold story is that Congress is responsible in significant part for the mess in Michigan. Congress’s incessant attacks on the EPA have created an environment that chills the agency from taking necessary action to protect the public, while Congressional unwillingness to properly fund infrastructure abetted the rise of this situation. Many on the House Oversight Committee have made a career of pillorying the agency. Despite assuming the moral high ground today, those Members who exalted in ongoing attacks on EPA have contributed to the agency becoming inappropriately hesitant in utilizing its power and authority to protect people from environmental harms. These antics show that government isn’t the problem, BAD government is the problem.
“It is an utter shame that petty politics have delayed passage of the aid bill for Flint. Instead of devoting another minute to petty squabbling over the assignment of blame which attaches indelibly to officials at every level of government, Congress should act immediately to provide the funding needed to overhaul the City’s woeful infrastructure and serve the people who have been harmed.”
The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.