Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Interior, was notified today that the hearing she requested regarding the ongoing public health crisis in Flint, Michigan will be convened on Feb. 3, as previously stated. In the notice, Ranking Member Lawrence learned the hearing will not include Gov. Rick Snyder, despite her formal request to include the governor along with other officials from all levels of government involved in the crisis and the subsequent response.
“Gov. Rick Snyder was at the top of my list of witnesses due to the central role that he has played in this manmade crisis; from the decision to shift from Flint’s original water source for cost-savings to the appalling delay in response to months of complaints by lead-poisoned residents and their children,” Ranking Member Lawrence said. “I am deeply disappointed at the Majority’s lack of commitment to a thorough and meaningful hearing. A sincere search for truth and justice requires a full review by the entire Committee of the decisions and policies of all those involved. The nearly 100,000 people of Flint who have been permanently impacted by this crisis, either directly or indirectly, demands that Congress set aside party politics if we are to ensure that this never again occurs in Flint or any city in America.”
Included in Ranking Member Lawrence’s January 12, 2016 request for the hearing was a list of local, state, and federal witnesses:
* Michigan Governor Rick Snyder;
* Dan Wyant, former director of MDEQ;
* Susan Hedman, region 5 director, EPA;
* Dr. Mona Hanna-Atissha, director of Pediatric Residency Program, Hurley Medical Center;
* Flint Mayor Karen Weaver; and
* Virginia Tech Professor Mark Edwards.
In her request for the hearing, Ranking Member Lawrence cited concerns over evidence that shows local, state and federal government officials knew, or should have known, about the risks to human health as a result of their decision to end a 50 year contract with Detroit for drinking water and enter into a new contract to receive water from the Flint River. Within a year of the new contract, multiple researchers – including MDEQ and EPA – found carcinogens and lead in the water.
“I am continuing in my fight for all those involved, including Gov. Snyder, to come to the Capitol and provide the people of Flint, and the American public, with the full disclosure and explanation that they need and deserve,” Ranking Member Lawrence added. “The only way that we can hope to earn back the shattered trust of the American public is for our government leaders to put the needs and interests of the people we serve above all else.”