EPA memo: Flint not ‘community we want to go out on a limb for’

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Republican chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Republican chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker

An internal Environmental Protection Agency memo suggested federal officials didn’t think Flint was worth helping.

“I’m not so sure Flint is the community we want to go out on a limb for,” the memo from EPA Division Branch Chief Debbie Baltazar wrote to the associate director of the agency’s water division. “At least without a better understanding of where all that money went.”

Baltazar was responding to questions about whether the federal government should buy water filters for Flint residents.

The memo was presented at the beginning of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which is investigating the local, state and federal response to the Flint water crisis.

“Of all the communities out there, the one having the toughest time needs the most protection,”Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz told Susan Hedman, the former director of EPA’s Region 5, which oversees environmental issues in Michigan.

CdmHepxWoAAJjE2Hedman didn’t directly address the memo but insisted the EPA was not to blame for the water crisis.

“The EPA had nothing to do with that,” Hedman said.

The hearing began at 10 a.m. and included testimony from Hedman, former Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley, former Flint Mayor Dayne Walling and lead expert Marc Edwards.

The hearing was ongoing at 1:10 p.m.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • Charles R. Rice

    Where did all that money go? This was in reference to supplying water filters after the poisoning correct? Its being replayed on C-SPAN as i comment if anyone cares to watch.

  • Chrissy Cat

    What f**king arrogance!

    • Klann Killa

      IKR!!! In-f**king-credible!!!! The level, and extent of “total human disregard” is mind boggling. They should ALL be thrown in a Michigan State Correctional Facility. Not “camp cupcake”. Pure Michigan baby!!!!!

    • Klann Killa

      IKR!!! In-f**king-credible!!!! The level, and extent of “total human disregard” is mind boggling. They should ALL be thrown in a Michigan State Correctional Facility. Not “camp cupcake”. Pure Michigan baby!!!!!

      • javierjuanmanuel

        What should happen to the operators, managers, mayors, city managers in areas with water worse than flint, or any town where the kids test for higher lead levels in their body than flint ?

        Even if no one did anything wrong, do they go to jail ?

        • Klann Killa

          If the water is as brown as I am, and the officials KNOW the water is toxic, yes. If the officials say the water is fine, and it isn’t, yes. If the officials truck in bottled water to their EMPLOYEES ONLY, yes. I could go on and on, but I’m not, because I am THOROUGHLY convinced that you are mentally retarded, and wouldn’t understand anyway. You are a plethora of ignorance, and you’re living in a fools paradise ??. Your logic is insane, and it perplexes me how you lived this long without you doing something INCREDIBLY STUPID to end your ignorant ass life, but then again, the night is still young. Here’s hoping.

          • SnowStormsinDetroit

            Ohhh myyy gaaawwwdd!!!!!!

            I just laughed so hard my damn tooth came loose.

          • Tom

            I have seen many of Javier’s post and understand the frustration.
            Valid criticism and debate is great, although your reply is right out of a Trump rally.
            Venomous and subjective

      • javierjuanmanuel

        What should happen to the operators, managers, mayors, city managers in areas with water worse than flint, or any town where the kids test for higher lead levels in their body than flint ?

        Even if no one did anything wrong, do they go to jail ?

  • Donald E. Hodge

    Could this perhaps be the smoking Gun?

  • Donald E. Hodge

    Could this perhaps be the smoking Gun?

    • Klann Killa

      Yeah, and hopefully the jury will have the SAME mindset when it comes down to their verdict. These assholes, and those that support them are just as bad as pedophiles. Notice how that Early cat no longer has that “shit eating grin” on his face, although the shit is still there. ?

      • Donald E. Hodge

        He tends to leave that smell where ever he go’s.

  • JuliaWardHowe

    From this Politico article, it sounds as though this had more to do with how Flint water money was being spent, not whether Flint as a community of people was worth helping. Not to parse this too much, but I think it makes some difference.

    “The Sept. 24 email from Region 5 Water Division Branch Chief Debbie Baltazar came as Regional Administrator Susan Hedman was considering asking state officials to spend federal drinking water funds on water filters for Flint residents.

    The email shows EPA officials were concerned about the city’s practice of transferring water and sewer payments to its general fund. The move drove water rates sky-high, but depleted water funds before the city decided it could no longer afford to purchase pricy water from Detroit.”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/flint-water-crisis-epa-official-220774#ixzz42zcVkV8a

  • Third World Detroit

    This is evidence of the federal selection process in writing. It would be good to examine Detroit’s.