News Release

Flint Water Crisis: What Did the EPA Know?

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Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 9.09.18 AMMARSHA COLEMAN-ADEBAYO, nofearcoalition at aol.com, @nofearcoalition
Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is an EPA whistleblower who worked at the agency for 18 years. She is the author of No Fear: A Whistleblower’s Triumph over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA. Her lawsuit led to the No Fear Act. She recently co-wrote the piece “Water crises like Flint’s will continue until the EPA is held accountable,” for The Guardian.

She just wrote for BlackAgendaReport.com: “EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder are scheduled to appear before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday, March 17, to provide testimony on the poisoning of Flint, Michigan’s water. Public outcry has finally empowered Congress to demand that McCarthy and Snyder provide an accounting of their role in the poisoning of thousands of citizens.” Marsha Coleman-Adebayo will be at the hearing and will be available for interviews immediately afterward.

She added: “The essential question for this hearing is the same as that of the Watergate Hearing: what did they know and when did they know it? EPA electronic traffic between the former Region 5 Administrator and McCarthy must be subpoenaed. McCarthy and Snyder had perhaps hoped that the public would be silenced with sending former EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman careening under the bus.

“The ultimate authority for water regulations rests with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act. In fact, the CWA provides for criminal penalties for violations of this Act. Flint, Michigan falls within the federal jurisdiction of Region 5 and, until her resignation in February in disgrace, was under EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman. …

“EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy was aware that there were problems with Hedman’s leadership prior to the Flint crisis. …

“This is a sickeningly familiar story at the EPA, an agency governed by fear, recrimination, retaliation and discrimination. It is likely that EPA Administrator McCarthy will argue that the Flint disaster was the result of ‘a few bad apples’ and that with Administrator Hedman’s resignation the problem has been addressed. Nothing could be further from the truth. The EPA is rife with managers who have been allowed to engage in criminal behavior without fear of accountability. Far from dealing with root causes, McCarthy stands on protocol over the well being of her own employees. She will always side with her in-house group of managers who are in bed with their corporate masters — this is one of the lessons of the Flint poisoning crisis.”