Investigatory Task Force Finds Mich. Government ‘Fundamentally Accountable’ for Flint’s Water-Contamination Crisis

The task force, which was appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, blasted the crisis as “a story of government failure, intransigence, unpreparedness, delay, inaction and environmental injustice.”

Demonstrators demand action from the Republican presidential candidates about the water crisis in Flint, Mich., outside the historic Fox Theater before the GOP presidential debate March 3, 2016, in Detroit.
Demonstrators demand action from the Republican presidential candidates about the water crisis in Flint, Mich., outside the historic Fox Theater before the GOP presidential debate March 3, 2016, in Detroit. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

An investigatory task force has found the state of Michigan “fundamentally accountable” for Flint’s water-contamination crisis, pointing to the decisions made by the state’s environmental regulators and state-appointed emergency managers who controlled the city, the Associated Press reports

The Flint Water Advisory Task Force, which was appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to look into the lead contamination, condemned what happened in Flint as “a story of government failure, intransigence, unpreparedness, delay, inaction and environmental injustice.”

“One of the biggest lessons we hope to impart in our report is the need for government leaders to listen to their constituents; in Flint that didn’t happen,” Chris Kolb, task force co-chairman, said, according to AP.

According to the report, investigators primarily blamed the state Department of Environmental Quality for the disaster but also blamed other government agencies and officials for directly contributing to the crisis or delaying action to fix it. These include the Michigan Department of Helath and Human Services, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Genesee County Health Department, the city of Flint and financial managers whom Snyder put in charge of the city. 

AP notes that the task force, consisting of five members, interviewed some 66 people during its investigation.

Read more at Talking Points Memo

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