Michigan’s attorney general filed charges Wednesday against three middling Flint environmental employees for their role in allowing lead to leach into the city’s water supply.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, alongside a number of prosecutors and investigators, charged one Flint water department employee, as well as two mid-level Michigan Department of Environmental Quality regulators with felonies and misdemeanors for allowing people to continue drinking Flint’s lead-tainted water, reports The New York Times. One of the employees is charged with tampering with government documents.
Schuette told reporters Tuesday they should expect more charges coming down the pike over the next few months.
Flint officials switched the city’s water source from Detroit to the Flint River in 2014, which resulted in lead-infused water coursing through non-treated water pipes. The water subsequently poisoned scores of Flint residents, including several children. Local officials, state regulators, and nearly every governmental entity associated with Flint, have blamed each other for the lead crisis.
The formal regional director Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Susan Hedman argued during a Congressional hearing in March that local officials were responsible for the lead-poisoning, while the Flint’s emergency manager, Darnell Earley, pointed the finger at Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) for not notifying him about the city’s water problems sooner.
“Unthinkable errors all underscore that Flint’s crisis resulted from improper treatment of the water, an issue that fell squarely in the bailiwick of (the MDEQ) and EPA,” Earley said in the testimony released by the committee.
“We relied on the experts to verify that the water would not pose any threat to the community – the experts failed all of us,” he added, referring to the EPA and MDEQ.
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