Head of EPA to Flint: 'This will be fixed, won't happen again'

After being sharply criticized for her agency's actions in Flint, the head of the EPA was back to commit to making sure the city gets a fix and it doesn't happen again.

- A member of the Environmental Protection Agency was in Flint on Tuesday with encouraging news but still telling people that bottled water is still the only safe option.

EPA administrator Gina McCarthy met with Mayor Karen Weaver and other community leaders during her visit to Flint and she also stopped by a food bank where she gave some good news.

"We are over the hump. We are now no longer seeing lead leaching from the water mains," McCarthy said.

However, McCarthy, the head of the EPA urged that bottled water is still the only safe option.

"Unfiltered water is still not safe to drink. Everyone, including pets, should only be drinking bottled or filtered water," McCarthy said.

This is her second trip to Flint in as many months. The EPA has been sharply criticized for its failure to intervene when one of its own scientists was the first to conclude flint's drinking water was full of lead. Last month, the House Oversight Committee held hearings on the water crisis where McCarthy and the agency's actions were brought to the forefront of the discussion.

"It's important for the EPA to tell the public that they're poisoning their kids if they drink the water," Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz said.

"Regardless of this information and the fact that my son had lead poisoning - the city and the MDEQ still continued to tell everyone the water was safe as the EPA sat by and watched in silence," Flint mother Lee Anne Walter said.

One month later and just two weeks before she testifies in front of that same House Oversight Committee, McCarthy was making a commitment to the people of Flint and the country: a fix needs to be in place now and this should never happen again.

"We need to fix Flint and to look beyond Flint to make sure the lead and copper rule is being implemented,"

The EPA sent letters Monday to the governors of every state that requires them to implement the lead and copper rule and post lead sample results and the locations of lead service lines for the public to see. It's an important first step in making sure what happened in Flint, never happens anywhere else.

"We are going to make sure that this community gets the clean drinking what that they deserve,"

McCarthy says the EPA will have results from comprehensive testing in April.


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