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