A top EPA official is meeting with a top critic of its handling of Flint's water woes

Nov 9, 2015

A meeting this week may help produce an update into a possible federal probe of Flint’s water problems.

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-FLint)
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Congressman Dan Kildee says he plans to meet this week with Regional EPA director Susan Hedman to discuss the status of an investigation into Flint’s drinking water problems.

Kildee says the investigation has to look beyond just assessing blame.

“So that whoever's responsible for the decisions or neglect that led to Flint water being laced with lead will have to step up and be responsible for correcting whatever short or long term implications came with those decisions,” says Kildee. 

Documents obtained by Michigan Radio have raised questions about testing that failed to show rising lead levels in Flint’s drinking water, after the city started using the Flint River as its tap water source. 

Tests by Virginia Tech researchers suggest the corrosive nature of the Flint River has done significant damage to pipes in the city, both in people’s homes and the city’s transmission lines.  It’s estimated the cost of repairing and replacing damaged pipes can range from the tens to the hundreds of millions of dollars.

After 18 months drawing water from the Flint River, the city returned to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, after receiving $6 million dollars from the state government and $4 million dollars from a local foundation.

Next year, Flint will switch water sources again. The new Karegnondi water pipeline is expected to start flowing water from Lake Huron to Flint next summer.   

Meanwhile, Rep. Dan Kildee’s not entirely confident the EPA investigation will be thorough enough.