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Interviews with news makers and discussion of topics important to Southwest Michigan. Subscribe to the podcast through Apple itunes and Google. Segments of interview are heard in WestSouthwest Brief during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

WSW: Looking for Accountability in the Response to Flint's Water Crisis

Paul Sancya, The Associated Press

Great Lakes Commentator Gary Wilson was highly critical of state government when he joined us in November. But he says federal officials should also be held accountable for the water crisis in Flint. 

Wilson says the state is now on a path to taking the right steps, but it has come after a long time. He says the Snyder administration’s response was way late and there should have been action before Flint’s water became a crisis and a national story.

Wilson says the Environmental Protection Agency is also guilty of a late response to problems in Flint. He says both state and federal agencies have been too reliant on “technical compliance,” rather than making sure that people have safe drinking water. Wilson says there needs to be accountability at the EPA, as well as among state regulators.

Flint is not the first city in the Midwest to have a drinking water crisis. In 2014, Toledo residents could not drink city water because of algae blooms. Wilson says there have been problems in other places in Ohio. He says that’s “two strikes” against the EPA, which has responsibility for safe drinking water.

Wilson says the response to the water crisis likely would have been quicker if the problem was in a wealthier city like Ann Arbor. But he says the state deserves some credit for working on the broader issue of water infrastructure. Wilson says aging pipes is a national problem that needs to be tackled.

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
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