Examining Federal Administration of the Safe Drinking Water Act in Flint, Michigan, Part 2

Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Hearing Date: March 15, 2016 10:00 am 2154 Rayburn House Office Building


  • The Flint water crisis is a failure at every level of government.
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 was aware of dangerously high levels of lead in Flint drinking water in April 2015, yet failed to act until January 2016 when they were forced to intervene.
  • EPA Region 5 Regulations Manager Miguel Del Toral was discredited, silenced and retaliated against within Region 5 for strongly advocating for EPA to take action in Flint.
  • In September 2015 EPA Region 5 discussed internally whether “Flint is the community we want to go out on a limb for.”
  • EPA refuses to take responsibility or hold people accountable for the tragedy in Flint.
  • For more than ten years, EPA has failed to meet important deadlines for finalizing regulationsassociated with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
    • EPA has prioritized finalizing ideologically driven rules like Waters of the United States and the Clean Power Plan over protecting drinking water.


  • To examine the ongoing situation in Flint, Michigan.
  • To review the EPA’s administration of SDWA in Flint, Michigan.




Witness Mr. Marc Edwards: “They [EPA] never apologized for what they did in Washington, D.C. and incredibly to this day, they have not apologized for what they did in Flint, Michigan. No apology from EPA. Completely unrepentant and unable to learn from their mistakes. I guess being a government agency means you never have to say you’re sorry.”

Representative Justin Amash (R-MI):“I think responsibility involves paying attention to unintended consequences, thinking about what might happen.”

Transportation and Public Assets Subcommittee Chairman John Mica (R-FL): “The reason we put EPA together was to protect people, right? In cities and communities and states where they did not act to protect the water of the people.”

Representative Buddy Carter (R-GA): “Instead of protecting the citizens, that’s what the EPA is about, the Environmental Protection Agency, protecting the public. Instead of saying, ‘we’ve got an expert here, one of my team members who is an expert in this field. is telling us we got lead in this water. Stop drinking the water. Stop drinking the water right now’. But you didn’t do that, you sought a legal opinion instead.”

Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
Ms. Susan Hedman Former Region 5 Administrator U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Document
Mr. Darnell Earley Former Emergency Manager City of Flint, MI Document
Mr. Dayne Walling Former Mayor City of Flint, MI Document
Mr. Marc Edwards Charles P. Lundsford Professor of Environmental and Water Engineering Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Document

Related Documents

Name Document
Documents for the record Document
Internal EPA Memo Document