Flint appeals to EPA over canceled state meeting

Leonard N. Fleming
The Detroit News

Flint officials are appealing to the Environmental Protection Agency to solve a battle with state officials over their cancellation of a meeting with state and local officials for discussing the city’s water recovery issues.

Mayor Karen Weaver said Monday that she sent a letter to EPA Region 5 Director Chris Korleski over the cancellation of the last Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee meeting. The committee deals with issues resulting from the state-caused lead-contaminated water crisis.

The Snyder administration said it called off the meeting on the advice of legal counsel because the mayor intended to pursue legal options after the state stopped subsidized bottled water distribution.

In her letter, Weaver said the she is “requesting that the EPA intervene as a result of the state’s actions” as well as possible future cancellations of coordinating committee meetings.

“It is unconscionable for the state to wield its power against the city of Flint and its residents by preventing these important meetings from taking place, which could detrimentally impact the progress already made by the city,” according to the letter.

Weaver said it’s important for these meetings to go forward.

“We can’t just move on,” Weaver said in a statement, referencing what she said Gov. Rick Snyder told her about the bottled water distribution stoppage. “Not when the medical community and environmental experts tell us we still need to be on filtered water because of the ongoing work to replace all of the lead-tainted pipes in Flint. And we cant move on when people’s in-home plumbing and water heaters have been damaged through no fault of their own and nothing has been done to help them fix it.”

Snyder spokeswoman Anna Heaton said “it was a cancellation of one meeting date, not plural.”

“The meeting cancellation stated that once the city’s intentions are established, protocol will be developed regarding future meetings,” Heaton said.

EPA officials could not be reached for comment.

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