Moolenaar Supports Flint Water Legislation Passed by the House

February 10, 2016
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Moolenaar Supports Flint Water Legislation Passed by the House

I want to join my Michigan colleagues as a co-sponsor of this legislation and thank Representative Kildee and Chairman Upton for bringing this legislation forward. 

Our hearts go out to the people of Flint who are enduring so much and persevering during this time. It's heartwarming to see the way people across the country have come together and supported the people of Flint. 

The sad thing is that this situation could have been prevented, and should have been prevented. 

The legislation we're discussing today here in the House of Representatives is because of failures in local, state and federal government. 

And the fact is that the officials at the EPA knew last April, 10 months ago, that the Flint Utilities Department was not using corrosion controls, putting water safety at risk. 

Instead of alerting the public, the EPA stayed silent. 

When an EPA employee tried to speak out, he was silenced. 

The EPA deferred to a state agency – the MDEQ – which also failed to tell the public. 

Last month, the EPA administrator sent a memo creating a formal policy on the importance of assessing and responding to critical public health issues. 

That the administrator had to remind employees of the importance of public health speaks to the misplaced priority of the EPA and its officials. 

So today, we have to pass a law requiring the agency to notify the public when water quality is unsafe and constitutes a public health threat. 

This legislation is a reminder to the EPA that it needs to focus on its core responsibility with safe drinking water using its authority, rather than overreaching outside of its jurisdiction. 

This is an example of one community who has been adversely affected. Flint is not alone in this challenge and this has ramifications all across our country.

I urge my colleagues to support this bill and I yield back.