Setting the Record Straight on Retaliation at EPA

Published: Mar 17, 2016

Committee releases email from July 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, in response to the release of an email written just yesterday, claiming retaliation against employee Miguel Del Toral did not occur, the Committee released information more accurately depicting the circumstances within U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 as the crisis was unfolding last summer. EPA Region 5 Regulations Manager Miguel Del Toral wrote a memo in June 2015 highlighting the water problems in Flint. EPA dismissed and failed to act on the memo.

In a July 8, 2015 email EPA Region 5 Regulations Manager Miguel Del Toral writes, “It almost sounds like I’m to be stuck in a corner holding up a potted plant because of Flint. One mis-step in 27+ years here and people lose their minds.”

Further, in sworn testimony earlier this week, Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards stated the following:

  • Mr. Edwards.  I do not think Ms. Hedman understands the climate she created at Region 5 EPA. Even before Mr. Del Toral wrote that memo, he told me that he had to protect Flint’s children while minimizing the likelihood he would be retaliated against.
  • Mr. Meadows.  Had he shared with you that he has been retaliated against? Is that your belief?
  • Mr. Edwards.  Well, I mean, obviously he was told not to talk to anyone in Flint or about Flint. A deal of some sort was made between EPA and MDEQ where MDEQ felt emboldened to say that “they had handled Mr. Del Toral.” That Flint residents would not be hearing from Mr. Del Toral again.