Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder
At the congressional hearing, Environmental Protection Agency Chief Gina McCarthy was defiant against challenges that her agency did not do enough, and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, while apologetic, said the blame doesn’t fall completely on him.
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency conceded Thursday that her agency was too slow to intervene in the Flint, Mich., water-contamination crisis and less forceful than it should have been when federal officials told a recalcitrant state bureaucracy to act. Despite learning last June that three homes had lead-tainted water and expressing her concern over the situation in a September email to top staffers, Administrator Gina McCarthy did not use her emergency powers until late January. Assuming the state would make good on promises to take decisive measures, the EPA did not push Michigan’s environmental quality agency hard enough to begin treating the water, McCarthy acknowledged. (Bernstein, 3/17)
Lawmakers from both parties called on the top officials at the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Michigan to resign Thursday over their respective roles in the lead-tainted water crisis in Flint, Mich. Republicans began by calling for EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s resignation, and Democrats shot back that Michigan’s GOP Gov. Rick Snyder should resign. Thursday’s hearing in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform was the first such appearance for both Ms. McCarthy and Mr. Snyder on this issue, which has captured the nation’s attention for the past few months. (Harder and Maher, 3/17)
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder again apologized for the Flint drinking water disaster when he opened his testimony Thursday before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Snyder and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy appeared before the committee during its third day of hearings into what caused the Flint drinking water public health crisis and how to prevent a recurrence. Reading from prepared remarks, Snyder called the Flint catastrophe a failure at all three levels of government, but he also accepted personal responsibility. (Egan, 3/17)
“Let me be blunt,” Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said in his opening statement to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “This was a failure of government at all levels. Local, state and federal officials — we all failed the families of Flint.” He was answering questions at a Congressional hearing this morning that is investigating the lead-laced water crisis in Flint, Mich. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy also testified at the hearing, which frequently became heated with multiple calls for their resignations. Once such call came from Democratic Congressman Matt Cartwright. “Governor, 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 were not in a medically induced coma for a year,” he said. “And I’ve had about enough of your false contrition and phony apologies.” (Wagner and Kennedy, 3/17)
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. (3/17)