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EPA Inspector General: Flint Water Crisis Should Have Generated Greater Sense Of Urgency

LANSING (WWJ) - Could the EPA have done something sooner to protect the people of Flint?

The Environmental Protection Agency's internal watchdog, Inspector General Arthur Elkin, says the agency should have acted sooner to respond to the lead-contaminated-water crisis in Flint.

The Flint water crisis should have generated a greater sense of urgency says Elkin.

The results of the report [HERE] state that "the EPA Region 5 had the authority and sufficient information to issue an emergency order to protect Flint resident from lead-contaminated water as early as June 2015 ... residents had reported multiple abnormalities in the water, and test results from some home showed lead levels above the federal action level."

Elkin says the EPA had the authority and the information but they did not declare an emergency until seven months later .

Flint's drinking water became tainted with lead when the city switched water sources and began drawing water from the Flint River for residential drinking and bathing in an effort to save money.

In January, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) outlined their plan to begin preliminary research into the Flint drinking water contamination. (Full Statement. pdf)

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