WASHINGTON (WWJ) -Amid a flurry of finger-pointing and shifting of blame a Congressional hearing was held Tuesday on the Flint Water Crisis.
Former Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley deflected blame for the city’s water crisis. Earley, testified that he was grossly misled by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and the EPA about lead contamination.READ MORE: Michigan Matters: Impacting Health & Well-Being Across Metro Region
“The issues we were addressing however, I must make this very clear, were related to the treatment and the chemistry of the river but those impacts had nothing to do with lead leaching into the pipes. We were not told of that as an issue. The lead issue surfaced after I completed my term as emergency manager in January of 2015.
But Maryland Congressman Elijiah Cummings said when the water began rusting out GM auto parts “even a five-year old” could have figured out that there was something wrong with the water.
Meanwhile, the former head of EPA’s regional office that covers Flint defended her actions at the hearing.
Susan Hedman say that when she first found out that Flint was not using the required corrosion control in June of 2015, she took several actions.
“We issued our first statement encouraging Flint residents to contact their water utility for lead testing and providing information about limiting expose to lead in tap water,” said Hedman.READ MORE: Detroit Police Department To Host Drive-Up Candy Stations On Oct. 31 At All Precincts
But Virginia Tech lead expert and whistle-blower Dr. Marc Edwards denied that, saying no resident received a warning about the water. Headman said she resigned because she was the head of the office and “it was the right thing to do.”
“Willful blindness in this case to the pain and suffering of Flint residents, un-remorseful for their role in causing this man-made disaster,” said Edwards.
Dayne Walling, the former mayor of Flint, testified that he was constantly being assured the city’s water was safe. “Flint residents have fought so hard, our families have endured so much, we simply deserve the same safety and opportunities for our families and children in Flint as anywhere in America,” said Walling.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will testify on Thursday regarding his role in the Flint water contamination – and defend actions , such as, the Snyder administration trucking in clean water to state buildings in Flint – 10 months prior to the governor publicly admitting there was reason for concern.
A series of emails obtained by the watchdog group “Progress Michigan” show that the Department of Technology, Management & Budget sent a memo — dated Jan. 7, 2015 — advising that water coolers were being installed on each occupied floor so that state workers could choose to continue to drink Flint water, or a possibly safer alternative.MORE NEWS: Metro Detroit Woman Files Lawsuit Against Walmart, Says Discriminated Against By Managers
The city’s water became undrinkable after it became contaminated when Flint switched from the Detroit water system to the Flint River as a cost-cutting move under the emergency manager the Snyder administration put in place. The corrosive water lacked adequate treatment and caused lead to leach from old pipes — and there has since been much discussion about who is to blame.