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Gov. Snyder creates task force to investigate actions around the Flint water crisis

Oct 21, 2015

A Flint resident holds a jug of tainted Flint water.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder announced the creation of an “independent advisory task force” that will look into the actions surrounding the management and testing of Flint’s drinking water system.

The goal, according to a press release from the governor’s office, is to investigate what happened and to prevent the kind of problems that occurred with Flint’s drinking water system in other systems in the state.

A state-appointed emergency manager made the decision to switch the city’s water supply in the spring of 2014. The emergency manager switched to Flint River water to save money. Complaints about the quality of the water surfaced soon after. The state didn’t act until independent researchers pointed out that some residents were likely being exposed to unsafe levels of lead because of the way the water was being managed.

The state, the city, and a private foundation recently put up $12 million to switch the city back to water from Lake Huron managed by the Detroit Sewerage & Water Department.

More from the press release:

Snyder said the administration will fully cooperate with task force members, saying he wants an unbiased report focusing on steps taken in the past and recommendations that could improve practices to ensure all residents have access to safe, clean water

The task force will be co-chaired by Ken Sikkema of Public Sector Consultants and Chris Kolb,of the Michigan Environmental Council. Members will include Dr. Matthew Davis of the University of Michigan Health System, Eric Rothstein of the Galardi Rothstein Group, and Dr. Lawrence Reynolds of Mott Children’s Health Center in Flint.