An interesting piece of information about the Flint water crisis emerged yesterday at an open hearing where members of the Flint community could testify before a Joint Committee. A water treatment plant official, Mike Glasgow, testified that he had tried to increase his staff number and the protection measures being taken as the switch to the Flint River occurred. However, he was blocked from doing so by officials at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). Glasgow became well known during the investigation into the Flint water crisis due to his correspondence with the MDEQ in April of 2014 in which he explicitly said that the water treatment center he operated was not ready to service the water from the Flint River. However, orders were given to begin treatment, so Glasgow obeyed to save his job. Though he did write to the MDEQ saying that the operations were “against my direction”.
Based on Glasgow’s testimony and the mounting evidence, it is clear that the negligence shown by the MDEQ was not circumstantial, but instead deliberate. This means that the MDEQ officials and possibly Governor Snyder knew that the switch could potentially cause harm to citizens, but chose not to rectify the situation. As time goes on, it will become clearer who is really culpable in this matter, but for now it is good that the people of Flint have the opportunity to speak publicly about how it has affected their lives.
For more details about the hearing, please see the Detroit Free Press article located: Here