WSW: A Long Wait On A Federal Investigation Of Flint Water
Great Lakes Echo Commentator Gary Wilson says there are federal investigations into the Flint water crisis, but he says not much is known beyond that.
Wilson wrote about the Flint investigation recently in his Chicago View column for Great Lakes Echo. He asked the EPA’s inspector general about the investigation, and didn’t get a response.
At the state level, a task force appointed by Governor Rick Snyder was critical of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the governor himself. Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed criminal charges in connection with the contamination of drinking water in Flint, and says more could come. Wilson says even if you don’t like the outcome of the investigations, the state has done a credible job of investigating.
Wilson says it’s fair to ask in an election year whether federal regulators are dragging their feet. He says the EPA has an obligation to the people of Flint, many of whom are still using bottled water. Wilson says “Justice delayed is justice denied.”
Asked if making sure that the federal investigation “gets it right” justifies the wait, Wilson says the federal government has gong past what’s reasonable. He says of course accuracy is important, but he says a lot of what was happening in Flint was known before formal investigations were started.
Wilson says he’s not sure that federal criminal charges are warranted. He says the most important thing is accountability. Wilson says employees and their successors need to know that people counting on them to get it right. He says there has been a lack of urgency at the EPA in finding out what went wrong in Flint.