Midwest Food Bank workers and volunteers carry cases of donated water, Jan. 27, 2016, in Indianapolis. All of the water that was collected will be sent to Flint, Mich., where drinking water has been contaminated by lead. 
Photo by Darron Cummings/AP

Flint’s water crisis draws FBI interest

Not only is the crisis in Flint, Michigan, ongoing, the investigation into this catastrophe appears to be expanding. The Detroit Free Press reported today:
The FBI is now investigating the contamination of Flint’s drinking water, a man-made public health catastrophe, which has left an unknown number of Flint children and other residents poisoned by lead and resulted in state and federal emergency declarations.
 
Gina Balaya, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit, told the Free Press Monday that federal prosecutors are “working with a multi-agency investigation team on the Flint water contamination matter, including the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, EPA’s Office of Inspector General, and EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division.”
The report added that Balaya did not specify whether the investigation relates to possible criminal acts.
 
The FBI’s involvement isn’t the only evidence of federal interest in Flint. The Detroit News reports today that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is also in the city today “to meet with researchers and local elected officials to discuss the city’s ongoing problems with lead contamination in its drinking water.”
 
As for Congress, the House Oversight Committee will hold its first hearing on the Flint crisis tomorrow, but the Detroit News added that at least one prominent figure in the scandal has decided to turn down an invitation to testify.
Former Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley is refusing to testify at a U.S. House Oversight hearing Wednesday on the lead contamination of Flint’s water supply, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.
 
Earley, the current emergency manager of financially ailing Detroit Public Schools, oversaw Flint when it temporarily switched the city’s drinking water supply to the Flint River in April 2014.
Some Michigan Democrats have urged Gov. Rick Snyder (R) to require Earley to provide congressional testimony, but there’s nothing to suggest the governor intends to do.
 
Note, Earley was invited to participate in the committee’s hearing, but he was not subpoenaed.
 
Look for more on this story on tonight’s show.
 
 

Flint and Michigan

Flint's water crisis draws FBI interest