The panel ... said what happened in Flint is "a story of government failure, intransigence, unpreparedness, delay, inaction, and environmental injustice." It also cited "intransigence and belligerence that has no place in government." "Flint water customers were needlessly and tragically exposed to toxic levels of lead and other hazards through the mismanagement of their drinking water supply," investigators said. Moreover, the 116-page report described as "inappropriate" a frequent claim of Snyder and his representatives that the Flint water crisis represents a failure of the local, state and federal governments. That suggests "that blame is attributable equally to all three levels of government," the report said.
The panel made 44 recommendations, including that the governor's office review the state's emergency manager law, that environmental regulations be clarified, and that the governor's office improve its method of assessing information. It chastised government officials for inadequate funding of government services, urging that all levels of government establish "budgets for public health activities at federal, state and local levels to ensure that highly skilled personnel and adequate resources are available." "The consequences of underfunding," it said, "include insufficient and inefficient responses to public health concerns, which have been evident in the Flint water crisis." It also urged Mr. Snyder to "issue an executive order mandating guidance and training on environmental justice across all state agencies in Michigan, highlighting the Flint water crisis as an example of environmental injustice." The report added: "The state should reinvigorate and update implementation of an environmental justice plan for the State of Michigan."