LANSING, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – A task force appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder says Michigan’s environmental regulatory agency is primarily responsible for the state’s failure to ensure safe drinking water for Flint residents.

The Flint Water Advisory Task Force says in a letter to Snyder that the state Department of Environmental Quality “must be held accountable for that failure.”

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The letter was made public Tuesday.

Corrosive Flint River water leached lead from service pipes into homes after the city switched last year from Detroit water. Elevated blood-lead levels later were found in some children.

Department of Environmental Quality Director Dan Wyant resigned Tuesday and Snyder said in a statement that more changes in personnel will be made.

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In response to initial findings from the Flint Water Task Force, Gov. Rick Snyder today issued the following statement:

“When I became aware that the city of Flint’s water showed elevated lead levels and that the state’s handling of the situation was being questioned, I requested funding to switch the source back to the Great Lakes Water Authority and appointed an independent task force to identify possible missteps and areas for improvement.

Although, as recently as October the state was still saying that the city’s water is treated and the state says it meets federal safety guidelines,

“The task force has done an exceptional job, reviewing stacks of documents and interviewing scores of Flint, Genesee County, state and federal officials. Although the task force’s final report is not yet completed, members have made me aware of some interim findings and corrective steps that I have decided to take immediately in order to restore trust in how the state keeps its citizens safe and informed,” says Snyder in the statement release by his office.

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Task force co-chair Ken Sikkema says in the letter that “Flint residents were exposed to toxic levels of lead in their water primarily due to a regulatory culture of passive technical compliance.”
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