EPA chief: Michigan officials 'misled' us about Flint water crisis

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyAs oral arguments approach, Clean Power Plan remains a threat to our most vulnerable EPA blasted over lack of protection of minorities U.S. and Puerto Rico must cooperate on Zika MORE said Michigan state officials misled her agency in the run-up to Flint’s lead contamination crisis.

McCarthy refused to say whether the EPA made mistakes leading to the water emergency, but said Michigan should take some blame for it.

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“Did EPA do everything we could? I will find out,” McCarthy told reporters at a Flint news conference Tuesday, according to NBC News.

“But I do know we were misled, we were rebuffed and we were ignored. Does that mean we did everything we could? No,” she continued.

Pressed about how the agency was misled, McCarthy said the problem centers on whether Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality implemented corrosion controls in Flint to prevent the corrosive water from breaking down lead pipes.

“We were told that it was and a few weeks later we were told it wasn’t,” she said.

EPA officials based in Chicago pressed Michigan early last year on whether Flint had the proper corrosion controls when it switched its water source.

Initially, Michigan told the EPA that the controls were in place. But later, it said no such controls were used.

McCarthy’s comments came before a Wednesday hearing of the House Oversight Committee on the matter, at which representatives of the EPA and Michigan are expected to try to lay blame for the problem on each other.