U.S. committee holds congressional hearing regarding Flint water - WNEM TV 5

U.S. committee holds congressional hearing regarding Flint water crisis

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Rep. Jason Chaffetz speaks at the congressional hearing in Washington D.C. (Source: CBS) Rep. Jason Chaffetz speaks at the congressional hearing in Washington D.C. (Source: CBS)
WASHINGTON (WNEM/AP) -

The congressional hearing in Washington D.C. regarding the Flint water crisis was underway on Feb. 3.

Darnell Earley, former emergency financial manager for Flint, was invited to testify, but he refused. The committee issued a subpoena for Earley to testify.

Earley was in charge when Flint switched water sources. That decision resulted in thousands of residents being poisoned by lead-tainted water.

Witnesses who testified included Dr. Marc Edwards, professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Edwards had tested the water in Flint for lead and helped bring the problem to light.

“Had it not been for people outside the [government] system, those children would’ve still been drinking that water,” Edwards said at the hearing.

The acting chief of the Environmental Protection Agency's water office has told Congress that the crisis in Flint caused by lead in drinking water was "avoidable" and that state officials resisted calls to deal with it.

Joel Beauvais said Wednesday that EPA's regional staff urged Michigan officials "to address the lack of corrosion control" but that state officials delayed responding. 

Congressman Dan Kildee also testified. Saying in part: 

“So when we talk about failure of government at every level, let’s just be clear about one point – one very important point: every decision that was made for the city of Flint that relates to this crisis was made by a state-appointed emergency manager. So when referring to local decisions, there are some who are trying to obfuscate responsibility for this crisis by saying they were local decisions. They were local decision made by a state emergency manager. The mayor of the city has no authority; the city council in Flint had zero authority to make any decisions. That is an important point."

Read his full testimony here.

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