April 30, 2018 (FLINT, Mich) — Mayor Karen Weaver has sent a letter to United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director, Chris Korleski, to alert the agency of the decision made by Michigan state officials to cancel the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee (FWICC) meeting. The meeting attended by City and State officials, along with experts and community leaders, was established to help with Flint’s recovery after the man-made water disaster. State officials abruptly canceled the meeting a day after Mayor Weaver said City officials would be exploring legal options following a meeting she had with the governor where he said he was no longer interested in discussing the water situation in Flint, and felt City officials needed to move on to other issues.
“We have to explore all possibilities and this is one of those,” explained Angela Wheeler, Chief Legal Officer for the City of Flint. “As a result of the state and their employees we are here, and these are things that we have to look at as far as their negligence and gross negligence.”
Mayor Weaver maintains that resources still are needed from the state as the City of Flint works to recover from the water crisis. Regarding the state’s role, she also says it is an issue of safety and ensuring public health and helping to restore residents’ trust.
“We can’t just move on,” said Weaver. “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 can’t 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.”
Weaver informed Mr. Korleski that the State’s retaliatory actions are preventing the City’s compliance with the USEPA Emergency Administrative Order. She also noted that City officials put the state on notice that legal options may be explored when it filed a Notice of Intent in March of 2016. Weaver feels 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 be detrimental to the progress being made in the City.
“I asked that Mr. Korleski and the USEPA intervene due to State officials’ actions, in hopes of preventing other meeting cancellations and any similar actions in the future,” stated Weaver.