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The state is “fundamentally accountable” for the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, an investigatory task force, appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder last year, said Wednesday.
A final report released today described a “story of government failure, intransigence, unpreparedness, delay, inaction, and environmental injustice,” adding that the nearly two-year public health emergency was aggravated by key decisions made by Michigan’s environmental regulators and its state-appointed emergency managers.
The report also condemned regulators, who responded with evidence of high lead levels in the city’s drinking water, with “a degree of intransigence and belligerence that has no place in government.”
Flint’s water became toxic when local officials decided to switched the city’s water source from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River in April 2014, in an effort to save money. Snyder didn’t declare a state of emergency for the city until January of this year.
The report further countered an oft-repeated claim by Snyder that the water crisis was failure on a local, state and federal level.
“[That statement]” implies that blame is attributable equally to all three levels of government,” the report said, adding that primary responsibility for the water contamination lied with the state.
Read the full report below:
Flint Water Report
Joshua Barajas is a senior editor for the PBS NewsHour's Communities Initiative. He also the senior editor and manager of newsletters.
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