Flint: Attorney General To Bring Criminal Charges Related To Tap Water Debacle


State Attorney General Bill Schuette has been investigating the city of Flint Michigan drinking water crisis. He is getting ready to bring criminal charges in connection with the horrendous devastation of the city’s water system Wednesday, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The state used new laws to take Flint from its elected officials. Then, a state-appointed emergency manager, in an effort to trim the state-run city’s budget by $100 a day and without any thought to the long-term effects, virtually destroyed the city’s water pipes.

The city used fresh water from Lake Huron before the state decided to run water from the Flint River in April of 2014. The river water was corrosive to the water pipes and leached lead into the drinking water, permanently ruining the pipes.

Extraordinarily high levels of lead contamination will cause physical, mental, and behavior problem, especially in young children.

Schuette’s prosecution team interviewed more than two dozen witnesses. He is charging between two and possibly four Flint officials connected with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the City of Flint with felonies and misdemeanors who:

‘…signed a document saying the homes Flint used to test tap water under the federal Lead and Copper Rule all had lead service lines — a statement investigators allege was false.’

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality officials have admitted they made a fatal error when they didn’t require the city to add corrosion-control chemicals as part of the treatment process.

Investigators have built their case on emails and subpoenaed city, state, and federal agency documents. They also used falsified documentation related to the EPA’s federal Lead and Copper Rule. This agency is in charge of acceptable toxin levels in drinking water.

Even after the water contamination was tied to Legionnaires’ disease and 12 related deaths, the governor and other state officials denied the risk.

The state is currently treating the pipes, trying to build up a protective coating to stop the leaching. The more water that flows through the system, the more coating builds up.

State officials say that having more water flowing in the system would help that process, so Governor Rick Snyder and other state officials want Flint Michigan residents to start using their taps again.

Snyder made a show for the cameras of drinking a glass of filtered water from a Flint Michigan home. The recorded levels of lead at that home’s water supply have been consistently low, but occasionally spike to 10 times the allotted levels. Perhaps, the governor tested the water before he drew his glass.

The investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected. However, there is no indication whether or not authorities will charge the governor.

Schuette is expected to run for governor in 2018 on the Republican ticket.

Featured Image: Michael Hamann via Flickr, Creative Commons License.

H/T: Detroit Free Press.

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