Mich. governor to focus on recovery at Flint hearing

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) is planning to use a Thursday congressional hearing to reduce finger-pointing over the Flint drinking water crisis and highlight what he’s done to help the city.

“This is not about politics or partisanship,” Snyder will tell the House Oversight Committee Thursday, according to his prepared remarks. “I am not going to point fingers or shift blame; there is plenty of that to share, and neither will help the people of Flint.”

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Snyder will call the lead contamination “a failure of government at all levels,” and tell lawmakers that he’s been working since Oct. 1 — the day he found out about the high lead levels — to fix the problem, get clean water to Flint residents and get the health support they need after lead poisoning.

But his testimony won’t be completely clear of accusations. He’ll blame employees at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for their incorrect conclusions that Flint’s water is safe, and he’ll say that “inefficient, ineffective, and unaccountable bureaucrats at the EPA allowed this disaster to continue unnecessarily.”

He’ll talk about the $165 million in funding he’s trying to get to the city, and ask Congress to pass legislation now stalled in the Senate to increase access to infrastructure loans for cities with drinking water contamination.

“We are also holding those who failed accountable,” he wrote. “And we are being open with the public about how these failures came about — including releasing my emails and my staff’s emails relating to this water crisis.”

Snyder has been largely at the center of the Flint crisis. He supervised the emergency managers for Flint that oversaw the city’s switch in water supply that brought about the contamination. He also oversaw the water experts who downplayed concerns and resisted calls to implement corrosion controls that could have prevented the crisis.

Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyConvention shows Democrats support fracking, activists on the fringe Overnight Energy: Officials close in on new global emissions deal EPA chief: US, negotiators nearing new emissions deal MORE, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, will also testify Thursday at the hearing. The panel said it did not have her prepared remarks as of Wednesday evening.