Flint representative: ‘This administration operates in the dark’

Flint representative: ‘This administration operates in the dark’
© Greg Nash

Rep. Dan KildeeDaniel (Dan) Timothy KildeeOvernight Energy: Senate eyes nixing 'forever chemicals' fix from defense bill | Former Obama EPA chief named CEO of green group | Senate reviews Interior, FERC nominees criticized on ethics Senate eyes nixing 'forever chemicals' from major defense policy bill EPA touts Great Lakes funding after Trump tried to ax the program MORE (D-Mich.), whose district includes Flint, criticized the Trump administration on Saturday for barring journalists and congressional staffers from parts of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) summit.

“This administration operates in the dark and when it comes to something as basic as clean drinking water, which in part this discussion was all about, we need to be far more transparent,” Kildee told CNN’s "Reliable Sources" after being asked about access to the Trump administration.

“One of the big casualties of the Flint water crisis is that the people there lost trust in institutions of government because information about something as vital as drinking water was kept from them,” Kildee added.  

ADVERTISEMENT

The congressman sent a letter to the EPA inspector general asking him to investigate the EPA blocking journalists and members of Congress from attending parts of an EPA summit on toxic chemicals last week.

Kildee’s chief of staff, Mitchell Rivard, told The Hill that the staffer who handles Flint’s water contamination issue was barred from the meeting.

“Congressman Kildee was never invited to the EPA’s [per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances] summit,” Rivard said in a statement. “After our office asked to attend, the EPA would only allow our office to attend select parts of the summit, and one of the congressman’s staff was actually turned away at the door during Wednesday’s sessions.”

Peter Grevatt, the EPA’s director of ground water and drinking water, said that the second day of the EPA summit was not meant for congressional staff and Kildee's staff was informed as far as a week in advance.

The city of Flint has been battling a water crisis since 2014, when the water supply was switched from Lake Huron to the Flint River, leading to lead poisoning from the city’s water pipe delivery system.

Last month, the state of Michigan declared that the water in Flint was safe to drink, and that it would no longer deliver bottled water to residents.