EPA establishes task force to help Flint switch water source - WNEM TV 5

EPA establishes task force to help Flint switch water source

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FLINT, Mich. (AP) -

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established a task force to help Flint switch its drinking water source after lead problems prompted officials to declare a public health emergency.

The Flint Safe Drinking Water Task Force announced Friday will provide technical advice.

Task force members will be available to consult with Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Flint on site. The task force will also coordinate as necessary with federal, state and local public health agencies to assist with protection of public health.

Word of the task force comes after Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday approved $9.3 million in aid to address Flint's water crisis.

The city stopped getting its water from Detroit's system last year in a cost-cutting move, but has had trouble with water from the Flint River.

“I welcome the EPA’s announcement today that they’ll be sending technical advisors to Flint to assist the city and MDEQ on site with ensuring the safety of Flint’s water. The task force is a result of letters and phone calls over the past week with Administrator McCarthy and the EPA. In those communications, I repeatedly requested that the EPA send technical advisors to Flint to help with the transition of water sources. I am pleased to see that within a week the EPA has responded positively to my request, and I’m hopeful that this announcement is a step forward for the future of Flint’s water.”     -Dan Kildee

“All Michiganders deserve access to safe and clean drinking water, and the increased lead levels found in the Flint water system are simply unacceptable. I personally raised this issue with EPA Administrator McCarthy and have called on the EPA to provide the necessary resources and technical expertise to help ensure the water system is safe for drinking, cooking and bathing. All levels of government need to work together to prevent this type of situation from ever happening again, and the Flint Safe Drinking Water Task Force is a good first step. I am pleased that the EPA is playing an active role in addressing this situation so Flint residents can be assured that the water they are consuming will not harm them or their children.  

I will continue working with the EPA and state and local officials to help manage the transition to the Detroit water system, as well as anticipate and address the challenges of future transitions.  I will also be fighting in Congress to boost funding for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to help communities across Michigan protect their water systems.” - U.S. Senator Gary Peters

“The EPA plays an important role in managing Flint’s crisis recovery. We should work closely with them and consider whether they may be able to offer additional support."I also hope the EPA will be able to help us determine what happened and provide us with a solid oversight framework going forward. It’s crucial that we take steps to ensure this never happens again.” - Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich

Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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