LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Environmentalists say Gov. Rick Snyder should appoint a state environmental chief whose top priority is protecting human health and natural resources.

In a letter to Snyder, 11 organizations say the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s image was tarnished by the Flint water crisis. The DEQ acknowledges its failure to require anti-corrosion measures after the city began using the Flint River in 2014 enabled lead to contaminate the water supply.

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Former Director Dan Wyant resigned in December. Keith Creagh, former director of the Department of Natural Resources, is leading the DEQ on an interim basis.

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Environmental advocates say the next boss should have the expertise to make the DEQ do its job.

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Snyder’s office says a permanent director will be chosen but the immediate focus is providing safe water for Flint.
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