Oversight Lapses Lack Of Clear Roles Hobbled EPAs Response To Flints Water

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Wall Street Journal: EPA Report Faults Response To Flint Water Crisis A spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality said the water crisis “highlighted the fragile nature of the aging infrastructure throughout the country, as well as a number of ways the federal lead and copper rule needs improvement and/or clarification.” She said that Michigan has “taken a lead role” in updating its lead and copper rule. (Barrett and Maher, 7/19) The Environmental Protection Agency’s failure to intervene earlier and stop the water crisis in Flint, Mich., exposed a need for wholesale changes to how federal officials monitor drinking water systems, a government watchdog said Thursday. A report from the E.P.A.’s Office of Inspector General said management weaknesses hobbled the agency’s response to the lead and other contaminants that poisoned Flint’s drinking water for more than a year and that federal officials should have taken stronger action to correct repeated blunders by state regulators. (Smith and Friedman, 7/19) “While oversight authority is vital, its absence can contribute to a catastrophic situation,” EPA Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins Jr. said in releasing the findings, which stated that “while Flint residents were being exposed to lead in drinking water, the federal response was delayed, in part, because the EPA did not establish clear roles and responsibilities, risk assessment procedures, effective communication and proactive oversight tools.” (Dennis, 7/19) The Washington Post: After Flint Debacle, EPA Must Strengthen Oversight Of Mich. Drinking Water Programs, Watchdog Says center_img In a 74-page report released Thursday, the EPA’s inspector general report pointed to “oversight lapses” at the federal, state and local levels in the response to Flint’s contaminated drinking water. ” While oversight authority is vital, its absence can contribute to a catastrophic situation,” the inspector general, Arthur A. Elkins, said in a statement. His office has concluded the EPA was too slow and passive in responding to the Flint crisis. (7/19) The New York Times: After Flint, Watchdog Urges E.P.A. To Monitor Drinking Water More Closely ‘Oversight Lapses,’ Lack Of Clear Roles Hobbled EPA’s Response To Flint’s Water Crisis, Watchdog Report Finds The EPA’s inspector general report also urged the agency to now do more to monitor drinking water across the country. The Associated Press: Flint Water Crisis Prompts Call For More Federal Oversight last_img

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