ICYMI: Flint Investigation Quietly Ends Without New Findings, Policy

By Yessenia Funes Dec 19, 2016

The investigation Congress launched into the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, is over one year since the city issued a state of emergency over the lead-tainted water that left nearly 100,000 residents relying on bottled or filtered water to cook, clean and drink.

Nothing new came out of the investigation, which concluded December 16, according to The Associated Press. The investigation emphasized the faults of state officials and the EPA, but this was already made clear through several cases throughout 2016: the firing of the state’s Department of Environmental Quality’s former head, Liane Shekter Smith; criminal charges Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette put forth against Smith and five other state employees; and through the EPA’s Office of Inspector General finding in October 2016 that the agency could have issued an emergency order to protect Flint residents as early as June 2015.

The panel’s senior Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, was unsatisfied with the results. He “insisted the investigation should continue and accused Michigan’s Republican governor of stonewalling the committee over documents related to the crisis,” the AP writes.

Cummings is calling on Gov. Rick Snyder to provide the necessary documents within 30 days, which the governor has failed to produce or search for, Cummings says. The governor’s office denied Cummings’ claims, calling them “partisan political attacks from out-of-state politicians,” reports Mic.

The city of Flint received $170 million from the House on December 8 to fund its much-needed water line replacement to speed up residents’ access to clean drinking water. On December 16, a federal appeals court ruled that the state would have to begin water bottle deliveries, which the state tried to argue is “unnecessary and too costly,” according to the Detroit Free Press. This marks the third time that U.S. District Judge David Lawson has ordered the state to fulfill its responsibility and deliver bottled water to all households.

(H/t Mic, The Associated Press)