Flint Water Task Force Report
The long awaited Flint Water Task Force report has been issued.
The task force members are:
- Ken Sikkema, a senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants and a former GOP Senate majority leader
- Chris Kolb, president of the Michigan Environmental Council and a former Democratic lawmaker
- Dr. Matthew Davis, a pediatrician in the U-M Health System and a professor of public policy at U-M's Gerald R. Ford School
- Eric Rothstein, a national water issues consultant
- Dr. Lawrence Reynolds, a Flint pediatrician and president of the Mott Children's Health Center
The goal of the report was to:
- Clarify and simplify the narrative regarding the roles of the parties involved, and assign accountability clearly and unambiguously.
- Highlight the causes for the failures of government that precipitated the crisis and suggest measures to prevent such failures in the future.
- Prescribe recommendations to care for the Flint community and to use the lessons of Flint’s experience to better safeguard Michigan residents.
The final report spread the blame among many of the actors but they believed the majority of the blame went to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
I will point out that they at least placed some blame on the City of Flint and their Water Division but soft peddled that blame. The report stated the following about the Flint Water Division and the City of Flint:
- Flint Public Works personnel were ill-prepared to assume responsibility for full-time operation of the Flint WTP and distribution system.
- The Flint Water Treatment Plant (WTP) and installed treatment technologies were not adequate to produce safe, clean drinking water at startup of full-time operations. Flint’s lack of reinvestment in its water distribution system contributed to the drinking water crisis and ability to respond to water quality problems.
- Flint Public Works personnel failed to comply with LCR requirements, including the use of optimized corrosion control treatment and monitoring for lead. Flint personnel did not identify residences with LSLs, secure an adequate number of tap water samples from high-risk homes, or use prescribed sampling practices (for example, line and tap flushing methods and sample bottle sizes).
- Flint Public Works acted on inaccurate and improper guidance from MDEQ.
- Many communities similarly rely on MDEQ to provide technical assistance and guidance on how to meet regulatory requirements. In the case of Flint, MDEQ assistance was deeply flawed and lax, which led to myopic enforcement of regulations designed to protect public health.
- The emergency manager structure made it extremely difficult for Flint citizens to alter or check decision-making on preparations for use of Flint River water, or to receive responses to concerns about subsequent water quality issues
For the rest of the report please click on the following link:
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