In response to the public outrage over the extreme health risks in the on-going water crisis in Flint, Michigan, the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has called for a congressional hearing.
Shockingly, Governor of Michigan Rick Snyder will not be required to testify before the committee. This is an outrage to many, as Governor Snyder has become the number one person under attack for the current situation in Flint, with politicians calling for his resignation. This week information was released that strongly supports the idea that the Snyder administration was aware of the contaminated water well before any actions were taken.
U.S. Representative Brenda Lawrence of Michigan says she is “Deeply disappointed at the Majority’s lack of commitment to a thorough and meaningful hearing.” Lawrence had Governor Snyder at the top of her witness list, stating that “The only way that we can hope to earn back the shattered trust of the American public is for our government leaders to put the needs and interests of the people we serve above all else.”
Hundreds of people, many of them children, have become sick from the lead-contaminated water in Flint. The water has over 900 times the EPA limit for lead particles. At least 10 people have died from Legionnaires’ disease, which experts have linked to the contaminated water. A State of Emergency has been declared and the National Guard has been brought in to distribute bottle water and water filters as the current water is undrinkable.
It is unknown who will be called to testify at the hearing, or why the Governor of the State, whose administration and appointees were responsible for the decisions that led to the public being forced to drink and bathe in contaminated water for so long, isn’t being called to the hearing.
The hearing has been scheduled for February 3rd.