Activists protest over closed-door EPA meeting - WNEM TV 5

Activists protest over closed-door EPA meeting

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Protest at Chicago EPA summit on Flint Water (Source: Melissa Mays) Protest at Chicago EPA summit on Flint Water (Source: Melissa Mays)

Protestors hit the streets Tuesday to express their outrage over the Flint water crisis.

The group Flint Rising marched in protest over an EPA summit in Chicago.

They marched because the meeting is closed to the public.

Scientists were expected to share their notes on the water system’s recovery and talk about efforts to reduce lead in Flint’s water system.

While the public was not allowed in, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and several City of Flint employees were there. TV5 was also the only local news crew there.

Weaver, Flint’s water plant supervisor, public health advisor and city engineer were in attendance and planned to share the information they learned at the summit.

“The citizens of Flint should be informed,” said Mayor Weaver. “We don’t know what exactly will be revealed at this summit. But whatever information we learn, we’re going to share it with the residents and we’re also going to take it into consideration as we make important decisions related to water in the days, weeks and months ahead.”

Weaver said the EPA is covering the cost for city of Flint employees to attend the meeting.

She also said she was encouraged by the information she received at the meeting.

Below is video of the protest in Chicago.

A protest was also held in Flint. See video from that demonstration below.

The group chanted "We don't pay for poison water," as they marched to City Hall.

"We don't care if you coated the pipes with some chemicals and reduced the lead a little bit. There is no safe level of lead," said Aaron Kottke, canvas coordinator for Flint Rising.

Kottke said the rally is important because of the closed meeting in Chicago.

"It's a shame. The same decision making process that led to the mess we are in right now," Kottke said.

The EPA said the summit was to go over data and it was not a decision meeting at all. Kottke said he doesn't believe it.

"Officials meeting behind closed doors making decisions that affect the citizens of a large city," Kottke said.

The data from the meeting is expected to be shared with the public on Wednesday. Activists said they plan to be there to fight for Flint and demand transparency.

State Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich released the following statement in regards to the Chicago summit:

Regardless of what any current water tests may show, the government still has a lot of work to do to regain the trust of Flint residents. It’s going to take a complete overhaul of our water system before we have any confidence that state and federal water agencies have our best interest at heart. 

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