EPA head says water in Flint 'safe to drink'

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Andrew WheelerAndrew WheelerOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump administration denies permit for controversial Pebble Mine | Progressives see red flags in regulatory official on Biden transition team | EPA won't require industry to guarantee funding for toxic waste cleanups EPA won't require industry to guarantee funding for toxic waste cleanups OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Kerry says Paris climate deal alone 'is not enough' | EPA halts planned Taiwan trip for Wheeler| EPA sued over rule extending life of toxic coal ash ponds MORE on Monday said that the water in Flint, Mich., is safe to drink, years after a lead contamination crisis.

"Right now, Flint, Mich., is attaining the water quality standards," Wheeler said at the National Press Club.


"We test their water on a regular basis. We're working with the local city as well as the state," he continued. "We’re still providing bottled drinking water to people if they need it, but at this point the water quality in Flint, Mich., is safe to drink."

The city gained national attention after its source of drinking water was changed in 2014, resulting in contaminated water with dangerous levels of lead and other toxic chemicals.

The contamination continued for years as local and state officials provided inaccurate information about the safety of city water. Residents and advocates also blamed federal officials, who they said were slow to react once the problem was detected.

Criminal and civil cases have accused state and local officials of being responsible for the crisis. Broader suits against other officials and agencies have also been moving through the courts.