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tv   Hearing on Flint Michigan Water Contamination  CSPAN  March 17, 2016 9:29pm-11:31pm EDT

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rep. chaffetz: i will never mind -- recognize the gentleman from georgia for five minutes. >> mr. mccarthy, i am sure that you either saw or you were briefed on the hearing of is held by this committee the past tuesday, is that correct? gina mccarthy: i was briefed on it. >> then you are aware that susan hedmun testified under oath that
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she acted immediately upon the the high level of lead in the water. in the same hearing, dr. edwards , whom you just referred to ago in the hero and an expert, repeatedly time and andn refuted her testimony thereby obviously the entire region's actions to this entire thing. let me start right here. do you believe susan headman provided this committee with false testimony on tuesday? gina mccarthy: to the best of my knowledge, no she did not. you thenor, let me ask same question. how do you feel about the ? stimony from mr. edmonds in regards to the epa acting immediately on getting information. governor snyder: congressman, i
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appreciate your question. i hope i had that moment when i decided three e-mails in particular, epa e-mails to the deq talking about their partnership to work these issues . and no flag was going up. i am sorry, for a moment i heard this entire discussion about the law and the us issue about saying you could not do things or this or that because of the law. i have a really simple question. why didn't susan hedman just ? ll dan wyatt to didn't administrator mccarthy just call me? this is the culture that got us in the mess to start with. where is common sense? >> let me take you -- continue on. mrs. mccarthy, is it your testimony today under oath that hedmanieve that susan and region five did act immediately and do everything they could upon the hearing information? gina mccarthy: they did, and
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they did reach out. from april on when they found out there was no corrosion. >> we have conflict and info on that, but that is your testimony under oath? we are speaking of e-mails in september last year. you were praising susan hedman and other epa officials for their work on the flint water crisis. do you believe that that phrase of mrs. hedman was warranted? gina mccarthy: yes i do. >> ok. i have here two letters, one from, in fact, mr. hillman, written to you. in september, and it was asking you, begging you, please get involved in this situation. are you familiar with that? gina mccarthy: yes. >> you did not respond, susan man..een did -- susan hed
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and her response fluffed off the entire thing. and mr. chairman, i would like both of these letters to be submitted for the record. rep. chaffetz: no objections. >> and during this time, did you praised el toro? gina mccarthy: i actually did not note me guilt el toro at that point in time. toro. el del >> so you were not aware? gina mccarthy: i was not aware of any report in particular. >> but you were aware of what he brought forth, and he referred to him as a hero, and you were not praising him but susan hedman at the time? gina mccarthy: he was a member of her team, and he was a vital member of her team. >> are you aware of any
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retaliation against del toro? gina mccarthy: no, i am not. >> and yet we have testimony or we have records that would reflect that he certainly was retaliated against and was fearful of greater retaliation, but you are saying you have no knowledge of that whatsoever. gina mccarthy: i do not believe he was retaliated against. i have no information to indicate he was. >> mr. chairman, my time is expired. i will submit these. rep. chaffetz: we now recognize the gentlewoman from illinois, miss kelly. >> think the witnesses for being here. governor, i have a question. are there any arrangements being made for the people of flint to get their money back forgetting -- paying for water that is obviously damaging? congresswoman,:
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that process has been set up. the appropriations had been made. people should not have to pay for that water. it did, we didn't announce to show there is a water and sewer bill, but with respect to the water bill, we try to do a calculation and we roughly said about half the water was for drinking, cooking, those kind of activities. the rest is for flushing or toilets, doing your laundry. we rounded up to 65%. we went back to records of april 2014 through the period -- and again, for the mac used the end of april 2016. i will not say it is done by then. we did calculations and 65% of the water portion of the water and were built amounted to $35 million, roughly. i want to ask for a supplement of appropriation, and the legislators were very supportive . we got put in place, and now we are working with the city which runs utilities to have software programming done so we can apply
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it as a credit on their bill in a way it should work. as we get it set up -- i'm sorry, we are working to get this taken care of. >> as the chair for the congressional black caucus, part of my mission is to look out for health care for underserved communities, low income communities, and communities of color. and i have to tell you, this really reeks of environmental discrimination in my opinion. and mid administrator mccarthy, i want to talk about safety control, which the governor's task force concluded less -- led to the mass poisoning of inhabitants. he made additions to the flint river in april 2014. they told the epa they had corrosion control in place. is that right? gina mccarthy: that is right. >> but that was wrong. they did not have it. they said it was not necessary. epa discovered this on april 24,
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2014, the epa official miguel del toro sent a letter x pressing concern they had not started implementing conversion control. there are only two scenarios for the large system to be optimized without treatment, and flint does not appear to have either of them. gina mccarthy: that is correct. even though the epa told governor snyder's administration to implement corrosion control, they did not do it. months went by with no action by the state. 2015, the august 17, michigan department of environment equality said the city must now recommend a treatment to fully optimize corrosion control treatment within six months. the state response was not until august. the was four months after governor schneiders and ministration said they had to do something. gina mccarthy: that is right. a longmonths see what
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time when lead has been leaking from pipes for over a year and people throughout flint were getting poisoned. you agree? gina mccarthy: i do. >> six months is way too long to waste. the state never implemented corrosion control prices. in december, the governor's own task force, as we have heard concluded that the actions of his ministration led to the contamination of water. do you agree with that? gina mccarthy: yes. >> i know that you have been asked if you have any regrets. it seems like governor snyder was fighting you at every turn. they were completely unable to handle the crisis. looking back, do you regret you did not recognize the other dysfunction in the state sooner so you could step in and take away control from governor snyder and his ministration -- and his administration? gina mccarthy: i think we spent way too long trusting the stage they would do the right thing. we begged them to give
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subsistence in march. we begged him for corrosion control. we begged them at the city level and the state level with personal communications as well as professional. >> at the hearing today, and i have heard accusations the epa was to slow in responding to the flint crisis, i think the epa should have acted more quickly to respond to this. but it is the state that had the primary authority to enforce the safe water tricking act, correct? gina mccarthy: correct. we did not have data until july 21 to discuss a problem, and we did not have an ability then because they kept saying they are going to fix it. that is the way the law requires us to act. >> i think it is michigan that michigan's slogan is pure michigan, because that was not the case. rep. chaffetz: now recognize the gentleman from alabama, mr. palmer, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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>> oh, i am sorry, thank you. >> mr. chairman, i just got my notebook back, can i yield and come back? rep. chaffetz: let's actually recognize the gentleman from arizona. >> thank you, chairman. i think mr. waltman. mccarthy -- administrator mccarthy, how serious do you think poisoning those humans, especially the children? gina mccarthy: it is one of the most serious areas we face. >> let's go back. atjuly 2015, we are e-mailing susan hedman about an elite memo sent by an employee, miguel dell tauro to a flint resident. del toro investigated and intervened. leaked,d not have been
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called a preliminary draft report and did nothing to address the serious threat that had been created for the citizens of flint. when you were made aware of these communications between and mayor mullings, did you ask her to resign? gina mccarthy: i did not believe -- >> the facts are here. knowing this, did you ask her to resign? gina mccarthy: no, sir. ? why not fire her you know the seriousness of this issue, and you still got do it very but i am going to quote you, you praised her when she resigned. she was noty: criticizing miguel's report, she was indicating it was into round, more data needed to be done, and she was giving a heads up because it had gone public. >> you know about the seriousness of lead poisoning, and yet this is the action you take.
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you made another comment here earlier that it is insulting to us. congress is specific on this about safe rights and not stepping on them. i want you to go back and start in termst your at it of waters of the u.s.. let's keep going. is that a serious response, really, with your response to mrs. hedman. a response for somebody to understand the complexity of seriousness of lead poisoning? that is an appropriate response? gina mccarthy: she did nothing -- >> that is my point. you know better, she knows better. this is not my first rodeo with you. all over and over. southwest colorado and then the ineptitude you had there to? determined was taken responsibility. i look at somebody else, i want to see responsibility.
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american demands it. policy is the chairman over and over again, you so don't get it. member after member, you still don't get it. you have bred a culture at epa that has built on fraud, denial, incompetence, bureaucratic nepotism. gina mccarthy: i'm not try to shift responsibility -- >> this whole hearing that is all you have done. you have never taken accountability for any of the problems at epa. maybe we could have done something a little faster. fluid andnes are very very ineffectual. let me ask you something else. multiplettee has made requests for epa documents relating to flint. gina mccarthy: we are working with all of the recasts -- requests. >> you are professional at slow
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walking and delaying informational that is pertinent to investigation. over and over again. have beenent redacted. you provide us with a full, productive -- on redacted company documents? gina mccarthy: we will keep releasing those. >> are you going to release on redacted forms of these e-mails? gina mccarthy: of course we will respond to congress and allow you to do your job as well. >> that is the same old trap we hear over and over again, and that is the not with the president promised us. the most transparent administration, period. that includes you. i am sick of this, and you should be also. america is sick of this, and you are the culture of the problem. interesting us as governor of michigan, but i
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don't see anything coming from your part of the problem. it does not condone that. to bely am i asking you fired, if you are not going to be resigned, you should impeach. rep. chaffetz: now that gentlewoman from michigan, mrs. lawrence. >> thank you, mr. chair. as a member of congress representing a part of michigan, this is very personal. it is a sad day for me. governor snyder, you have stated that state officials did not tell you about these problems as a matter of fact, in your statement, yusor and note is that it was not until october that you were aware of the problem. but governor, despite the huge numbers of new stories that were reported far and wide, let me show you some of those headlines. on june 2, 2014 only months after switching to the flint water mdc 25 stated flint
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residents avoiding the cap, tricking bottled water instead. red headlinedc 25 stuff released to the flint river due to pump failure. it continues. concerned over the color of water. it continues. on september 7, 2014, michigan live ran flint expands boil water advisory after more withive tests were to bacteria. and then it continues. january 2, 2015, she can live reported city warns of health risk after flint water tests revealed to much bacteria. it continues. march 2015, detroit news says flint council votes for detroit em or opposed.
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our do any of these reports ever get reported to you, did you ever observe them? according to your statement over both, it was not until -- under oath, it was not until october that you became aware. governor snyder: i was aware of water problems, and i was involved in heavy discussions to address those in terms of resources we had currently available to us. in terms of going back to your list, the color and odor of the water was not good. you don't want to see people drink that if you can help that. we didn't have all the resources we needed to do that, and they were working on these issues. in terms of e. coli and other issues, we would continually go through my administration -- articlet to add another . the national journal, which i hold right here. it says michigan to honor -- governor snyder conceded monday
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that hit his administration handling of the flint water ,risis is a stain on his legacy and i quote, i am not sure of the specific dates in terms of stain. if there is any lead in the water, sometime during 2015. again, they presented some of the information about having to do with a second set of tests. knownor snyder, we all that when we are elected to an office we take an oath. and we are empowered by the electorate to hire staff. do you have regular staff meeting for those report to you? governor snyder: i'm rigler discussions -- i have regular discussions. >> are you saying people you entrusted, and you pay your salary with taxpayer money, they failed to inform you of a health
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crisis in your state? governor snyder: i will actually share the document with you, congresswoman. this is my briefing of september 28, 2015. >> before that time, all the time these headlines are going, you had a member, mr. much more your chief of staff, this is dated july 22, telling other members of your circle, sir, that i really don't think people are getting the benefit of the doubt. now they are concerned and rightfully so about the lead studies. sir, this was january 22. the 22nd. and you are saying under oath it was not until october. he was not until october. governor, you are my governor. this could have been my city. and governor for the life of me i cannot understand that you as
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thevernor, who led on purpose of operating as a business, you are going to operate as governor of the government, that you met with your staff and they refused to bring you up-to-date, or bring you in, or get you engaged. this is a sad day in this just sad aboutam this, governor. i am very sad about this. accountability for those you held accountable. you said you fired or the resigned, what does accountability look like for you? rep. chaffetz: the gentlewoman's time is expired but you may answer. governor snyder: it is a tragedy that never should have happened. i understand why people in flint should be angry. , iterms of looking at this kick myself every day asking what more questions can i ask, what can we have done? we have a lot of discussions about water during the entire
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period. and over go back over again, we were told the water was safe. that was wrong. it was not just one department. as a continued on, we got information not only from the deq but also the health and human services deducted -- they did not see elevated levels in blood. dr. ramona spoke up. so we took outside extra experts. beingled in terms of bureaucrats, being experts. i get mad i never should have believed them. it came down to finally saying, after reports came out in september, and dr. ramona and from professor edwards, we have to have a talk. --t call was on center 28 september 28. it is tragic to have it in the
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records. here is my briefing from the night before, and this information from both those departments is missing people, not talking about the real issue. when we got on that call, no, that was enough, but it was later than it should have been. i wish it had been far earlier. so the issue was they took immediate action. the eq start talking about there could be a lead problem. we had to confirm the data on the blood level. they came back and said that the doctors work was correct. in the we went into action in terms of opportunities to do things, and that was not enough. every day i get up -- rep. chaffetz: the gentlewoman -- the gentlewoman will suspend. i appreciate the connection to michigan, but the gentlewoman's time is misfired -- expired.
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the dental woman yields back. governor, did you finish that question, or can we -- ok, we will go now to mr. palmer of alabama for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to follow up on questions you asked, how did this escape your attention? i would to point out your executive response abilities include fiscal management and administrative oversight over most of all agencies. there are 18 in michigan. health and human services, education, that sort of thing. this is in no way excusing you from the failure to protect the people of the flint, michigan. but what i want to ask, and what i want to know, mr. mccarthy, you have one agency, one agency tasked with protecting the public in terms of admin our mental issues. had this is get your attention? gina mccarthy: the issue was
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called to my attention on september 3. prior to that was called to susan hedman's attention. , susan took action prior to that, the agency was directly involved. i do want anyone to think that january of this year was the beginning of our involvement. we asked the heard from people back when the switch was made. we rely too heavily on the judgment of mdeq and they were acting as a partner with -- you just want to point out were, you sent an e-mail if you are 26, two days before mr. snyder made his call taking immediate action. it appears he took immediate action, and you wrote and said these e-mails raise my level of concern. and then you suggested that they take options to intervene, but
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it was not until january 21 that you issued an order demanding action. gina mccarthy: there is different levels of engagement and intervention. we aggressively intervene from day one. >> that is not information we got, and not what we are hearing from other folks. gina mccarthy: that is a failsafe that is a very high hurdle for the agency to take. we did take that we thought that all of the other steps weren't working, and we took the steps that were available to us in january. it wasn't as though we didn't intervene in a way -- >> there wasn't a sense of urgency here. you had a paper mr. mica brought that up. you had a research document, a report from mr. dell torah. and you denied that he was treated like a whistleblower, and we believe that happened. you've also seen e-mails from epaofficials, to a be --
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officials. you use personal e-mails and texting. it also went to deq governor snyder, saying the epa was going to provide cover because they say they did not get the report. we have got the e-mail. it appears to me not only did you take action, there was a cover-up going on that involved both the state of michigan and the epa. i think fundamentally the problems are with the epa and not taking adequate action on revising the lead and copper rule. you guys have a history of covering up. at taxe it covered up relief in georgia, a toxic group in colorado. the pattern here. i cannot understand why the
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federal government has the public trust to protect the people of this country, and we failed time and time again. and again, the state of michigan is culpable in this, and i appreciate the time you have a whole lothere was more here. i am going to ask one question. this is yes or no, so don't tell us the answer. had not hedman resigned, would you have fired her? gina mccarthy: i didn't need to face that. >> no, it is yes or no. gina mccarthy: is the best i can give. >> would you have fired her? are you incapable -- gina mccarthy: the failure identified that i understand were a failure on our part because the region -- >> you are filibustering.
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governor snyder, michigan has a $6 million surplus. you have the resources to fix this problem. gina mccarthy: we are devoting -- governor snyder: we are devoting $238 million. we've already gotten 60 million of that approved to the legislature, and i am putting -- i am asking for $135 million to go in a statewide infrastructure funds to deal with not only flinch but also others as a catalyst for discussion. i am on the grounds taking action for the great team of people. they deserve a fix. and i appreciate this committee hearing them. and focus is, what can i do to make flint a better place, to help make up for this tragedy? rep. chaffetz: we now recognize the gentlewoman from new jersey, mrs. watson coleman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. one quick statement to mr.
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mccarthy -- administrator mccarthy. even in the state of new jersey we have issues with high lead content, and children are being exposed. i don't know what you are doing, but i hope that when i called back to new jersey, you all are doing something there. thank you. governor, how long have you worked with chief of staff? how long has he been your chief of staff? governor snyder: i have a relatively new chief of staff. >> the chief of staff that was in this position when this occurred? governor snyder: since january 2011. >> and before that did you have any relationship with this chief of staff? governor snyder: no. >> did you have any knowledge of the serious water problems in flint, michigan, the first time he knew? governor snyder: i can't answer that question, i don't know a specific date. >> d relay on your chief of us rely on hours most of our lives
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to give us heads up and make sure nothing confronts us that would embarrass us or put us in a bad position? did you have that kind of relationship with your chief of staff? governor snyder: governor snyder: chiefs of staff are critical people that are a part of the team. they are a key part of the team. >> would you believe your chief of staff never colder coattail in conversation in office or on the phone about what was andening in flint, michigan the complaints arising from both the residents, from other officials, as well as being reported in the media? governor snyder: we ask we had discussions on water issues in flint. in terms of issues on topics, none of these issues dealt with the lead issue until much later in the process. >> even if you were to dealing with the lead issue, did you really do with the other issues that prevented health conditions for the present -- people treaty
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that water? governor snyder: there are multiple concerns. m. one that arose was th we had to address that issue. we had to get to the city of flint. >> there is a lot of discussion, but not a lot of work being done. let me go to something else. you campaigned and said the government should be run like a business. your administration and the emergency managers were pointing and gambling with the welfare of flint in order to save money. and now people are paying the price. know, didi want to that emergency management system fail under your leadership in this instance? governor snyder: in this instance, it would be much the case that they have. >> is that i guess orono?
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governor snyder: in this case with the water, that would be a fair conclusion. >> that is very important because it negatively impacts the health and well-being of into theiraybe even adult lives, their ability to learn and be successful in life. the formal advisor dennis learned the lesson because he said government is not a business. it cannot be run like one. the people of flint got stuck on the losing end of the decision of spreadsheets and put -- public health. were you wrong to run the government like a business? governor snyder: in terms of rubbing it like a business, -- >> why would you say so then? governor snyder: in terms of real results, and the state of michigan, we are proud like helping michigan, bringing medicaid expansion, -- >> just go right on and talk about all the things you want to
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talk about. i'm going to ask the questions i want to ask. when they want to switch back to , we talked funded about -- it would be uncomfortable. would be ine it comprehensible, or do you agree that was a mistake? i wish it would have been a change back. the challenge for funding the cost -- >> let's talk about the cost. you had the money. you amassed a budget surplus. why wouldn't you think that it was worthy to apply those resources in this situation? governor snyder: i am sure you are quite familiar, being in congress, we do not simply spend money. we need authorization from the legislature. >> did you ask for the authority at that time? governor snyder: we got $2
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million, the maximum grant we could for helping with infrastructure and water. rep. chaffetz: the gentlewoman's time is expired. governor snyder: thank you, mr. chairman. rep. chaffetz: the gentlewoman -- [speaking simultaneously] rep. chaffetz: the gentlewoman will suspend. we now recognize the gentleman from north carolina, mr. meadows, for five minutes. >> to both of you, i am troubled today because of the testimony had a couple of days ago which will indicate that even though there is enough blame to go around, there were a number of times people acted like it was not their fault. governor, your emergency from thet testimony witness year, is troubling because he acted like, i did not know, and so -- governor, do you believe there were people who made mistakes within your agency
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at multiple levels in terms of addressing the health and welfare of the people of flint? governor snyder: yes. >> administrator mccarthy, i am going to ask you the same question, because the witness that resigned indicated that there was nothing they could have done differently, and the --t note fault on her part there was no fault on her part or the epa that related to this unbelievable, horrific event. you believe the epa is partially at fault? gina mccarthy: i believe we could have taken better action. >> that is not the question. are you partially at fault? gina mccarthy: i am not playing a blame shifting game. >> so what do you believe? gina mccarthy: the system failed. >> both of you indicated the rules of copper and lead are
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somewhat ambiguous, that they needed a little more clarity. we have heard that. would you agree with that, governor? governor snyder: i would go further and say it is a dumb and dangerous rule. >> administrator mccarthy, would you say they are ambiguous? gina mccarthy: they definitely need clarification and need to be strengthened. >> let me stop you there. if you are taking a look at it, here is my concern. when nobody says there is anything a fall, which are doing research, clean water safety act of 1991, required rules to be .pdated every six years do you know how many times it has been updated fully since 1991? gina mccarthy: i don't know. is zero.swer the answer for fully updated, it is zero. it was modified it slightly in 2007.
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and so here we have the same drinking water standards that needed to be updated, and yet the epa did nothing about it. and i could go further to say maybe the epa didn't know, but we did research on that too, and 2006, itthe gao, in said, indeed you needed to update your rules. are you aware they had a problem with the copper and lead rules? gina mccarthy: i am aware they were last updated in 2007 under the prior administration. that is what i am aware of. >> let me ask you even further. i went to your documents, which are actually regulation documents saying when you are going to update the rules. in 2010, you said you are going to have a proposed rule in 2012 and a final rule in 2013. long before this problem would have happened if you just had stuck with your original
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timeframe. the problem is, i can go through multiple papers here, and i can find, use get changing the goalpost in terms of the rules. in fact, even as recent as this last fall, you changed it again to say that not only are you going to do a rule sometime in the future in 2018, you don't even talk about a final rule. do not see a problem with the fact that the law requires you to do a new rule every six years, at least revisited, and you haven't revisited in 10 years, and you keep changing the goalpost? do you not see some fault? gina mccarthy: the revision started in earnest in 2013. >> according to your own document, you said you would have it done in 2013. gina mccarthy: we have a stakeholder group.
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actively told us we cannot make tweaks to this. we have to make substantive changes. things that would be helpful in this case. that does take more time than making small tweaks, and that is what we are working on now, and i am glad we know even more today than we did before. we are going to take a look at it. >> let me tell you why i am concerned with that. in the same timeframe, the epa has passed 3571 rules in that timeframe while the people of flint and maybe washington, d.c. are waiting on a final rule. you have your own priorities. gina mccarthy: if they properly implement the law as it currently exists, we would not be sitting here today. as it currently exists, we would not be sitting here today. >> but you are in charge, you are the administrator. gina mccarthy: the state is actually -- you are in charge of the lead
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and copper rule. you think the governor is? gina mccarthy: i am telling you we did not meet any change in the rules to prevent it. it was the way in which mdeq actually interpreted it and in limited it that was the problem. mdeq has said it, the government task force has said it. rep. chaffetz: we are going to come back to this. let's recognize the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. boyle, for five minutes. >> and you, mr. chairman. governor snyder, over the past five years, the individual you handpicked to carry out met so manyon opportunities along the way to protect the people of flint. when the water changed color to brown and orange, europe ministration said the water was safe. -- your administration said the water was safe. when people reported hair loss,
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rash, and even sewage, you said the water was safe. when e. coli and fecal bacteria were found in the water, and boil water alerts were distributed, your administration said the water was safe. when a harmful byproduct of disinfection in the water began to spike after the switch, your administration said the water was safe. when legionnaires disease began to infect and later kill numerous citizens, your attrition said the water was safe. said the wateron was safe. don't you have a moral responsibility to resign? governor snyder: my commitment is to fix the problem. this is the case or we should have demanded more answers. i said that in my opening statement >>. and don't you have a responsibility as the governor of an administration that failed and poisoned its own people,
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don't you have the more responsibility to resign? governor snyder: what i would say is, when you have experts you relied on, they failed. they work for me, so you have a response ability for that. i kick myself every day wishing i would have demanded more answers and asked more questions . but to put it in context, when some thing that happens, and this is a terrible tragedy, this has been a humbling experience of my life -- [speaking simultaneously] >> it is more than just a humbling experience. governor snyder: i am making a commitment to solving this. >> people deserve better. think that answer speaks for itself. ultimately when people are at the head of a government, they have to take this possibility for their administration failures. dent administrator mccarthy, i want to switch to you. this has been the largest and failure since
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hurricane katrina, i am concerned about the extent to which this could be a canary in a coal mine. let me ask you specifically about my own home state of pennsylvania. in 2014, the pennsylvania department of health identified 18 cities in my state that have higher let x user then flint exposure then flint does. what is the epa doing to make sure other localities don't end up in the same situation? gina mccarthy: thank you for raising that. we should try to make something good happen of this. i have written to every governor and to every primacy agency responsible for implementing and enforcing safe drinking water act to look at all the protocols, look at what their guidance is, to explain to them what we know they should be doing, to actually post their protocols, to relook and confirm to us that they are implementing
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the law as it has been intended. we even went further to suggest that every step they take to be posted on the web. they should post every web line on the web. i know people have lost faith in government as a result of this, but that is a way to help us and them is have everything so transparent that individuals can hold us accountable. with the challenges we face here, he could not get a straight answer anywhere. people don't deserve that. i will take responsibility for not pushing hard enough, but i will not take responsibility for causing this problem. it was not epa at the helm when this happened. >> thank you, and i yield back. rep. chaffetz: we now recognize the gentleman from wisconsin for five minutes. >> i know it is difficult to get government to work for a variety of reasons. that is why some of us left
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government, because it is hard to get it to work. my first question is for governor snyder. over 40,000 employees. you did not take them. for equally because of the political clout, even if you have one over a period of time, it is difficult to get rid of them. you have gotten rid of several of them. i missed a couple comments, but in general, if you go through five or six employees, you feel almost callous or uncaring. whether they were civil service you inherited or appointees. quotes,e the word in experts in the waters -- governor snyder: you will find their experiences between 20 some years to 30 of government experience. >> you can be an expert, but if you do not care, doesn't matter how many classes you taken. so largely the people that you
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got rid of were people that had been around for 20 years, solicitors, that sort of thing -- civil service, that sort of thing. governor snyder: yes. >> it is difficult for the government to close the house on civil servants. it is hard to bring their incompetence to light. the question for gina mccarthy. it seems to me before this hearing, a most callous government employee we had was susan hedman. we found it yesterday she had been reached out and grabbed by your predecessor secretary jackson. i wish secretary jackson would be here to describe what in the world she was doing hiring her. but if you go through people in your agency that has made huge mistakes, and you cannot deny that, can you would rattle off the people you feel are most responsible for this mess? dell tauro, he was not an appointee, he was a good civil servant fighting to get answers out here.
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as far as i can see, when susan hedman was try to keep them in the dark. when you rattle off the people you feel most at fault in the epa. , that would beno one of the easiest things i could do to find a couple of career bureaucrats and pound the problem on. i am not going to do that. >> i don't like it was career bureaucrats., was susan hedman. gina mccarthy: susan hedman did not know on this issue until late in june. she took immediate action. she worked, was in june or july, i forget, i apologize. she took immediate action to reach out. she took out a death statement about the lead concerns. we did every according to the numbers. the reason why i am so impressed with susan is that she immediately came and resigned because she could have waited to try to find somebody to blame it on.
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full attention on flint and the epa to resolve that situation, and she resigned. >> when did she resigned? gina mccarthy: she resigned in late january. >> that is not immediate, that is after six months gina mccarthy:. she was working the issue every day. the question was, did we have too much interaction with the state, trusting individuals to get information? but it was susan forced our way onto the task force so we could be helpful in designing the strategy moving forward. it was susan who suggested not to go back to the detroit water. it was susan who suggested that bottled water would be necessary. she was taking the steps he needed to try to resolve the problem. >> it seems to me the del toro made public, that would have raised the fence of crisis. -- sense of crisis or in gina mccarthy: it was public.
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>> so rather than saying that the memo was downplaying the memo -- gina mccarthy: if you look at the entire chain of e-mails, you will see that miguel was the first person in the region turned to for advice on how to handle this. it was out of our task force. he was out of the decision every step of the way. we had no way sidelined him. mdeq started by saying he was a rogue employee. it was susan hedman that caused mdeq to do that, and said it is not the case. >> i think it is incredible, all these people went through, you can not still identify people that did a bad job. asked thethy: i have officer of the a sector general to keep their eyes on it. i can't possibly know everything that happened. driving the system failed, yes.
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do i think apa could have been more aggressive if we knew we were not getting more ever -- more information, yes. we could talk to the states, but too long. it should have been elevated. i would have loved to have an opportunity to intervene in a more aggressive way. >> wow. rep. chaffetz: mr. maloney of new york is now recognized. mccarthy, would you check on the level of lead in new york city's water and get back to me, and i am grateful that there are professional employees working for the health and protect the health of the american people. i want to thank you for the job you are doing. gina mccarthy: thank you. >> the people in flint are s of lead inh-level
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their water. and governor snyder, you utterly failed in your responsibility to protect them. earlier you testified that we needed action, we needed action by the epa, we needed action by the city council. but even after you found out that there were problems, that it was in paper in front of you, it was your staff, once you knew even when you knew, you delayed and you put people's lives in danger. 25, 2015, miguel dell mdeq send an e-mail to the expressing concern with no corrosion control being used in flint, and he wrote, i am worried. i am worried that the whole town may have much higher lead levels than the compliant results indicated, and i would like to note it the record, please.
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notgovernor snyder, you did add corrosion control in april. you did not added in may. you did not add it all summer long, and you did not add it in october and even when you switch to back to the detroit water, you did not add it then. you never added corrosion control the entire time that your citizens were drinking out of the flint river. and isn't that true, but yes or no? governor snyder: in terms of -- to me in no, get back writing if you can't answer yes or no right now. governor snyder: there should have been controls. >> excuse me, i am asking the question. yes or no. it back to me in writing and i can give you a paper trail that for six months you knew and did not do anything about it. that warned it was epa that warned the
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state, and i find that unconscionable. i am asking you to warn me if there is anything wrong in his state of new york, please. i am grateful we have professionals who can do this, who can act, and they did act. let me turn to another delay. you can were 2016, you unveiled -- october 2015 you unveiled the action plan to address water crisis, but you did not declare a state of emergency until january 5, 2016. isn't that right? was -- dori 16, and that january 16, three months later, and i find that unconscionable. you did not call the national guard in untold even later, january 12. 12, there was an e-mail to one of your legal
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the subject line declaration questions. he wrote, as you know, the governor can declare at any time for any reason a state of emergency. that e-mail was sent on november, and yet you still waited two more months before you declared to give emergency, and how can you explain that to the people of flint who are now incredibly sick? the truth is that you drag your feet because you did not want to take responsibility. in fact, that there is an e-mail from last november lays out clearly it states, and i quote, the state will formally owned the event if we put a governor declaration in place. this could be viewed as the state hasn't owned up to how the enders issue was caused, quote. and people knew in april you
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should be using corrosion control, but you did not for six months. you drag your feet in declaring emergency based on political and financial concerns and said whatever you want, whatever you want about being in the dark, the warning signs. even when you didn't know even when you did know, you did nothing. is in untold number of additional people. this is a national disgrace and a national scandal. i think we all should learn from this. rep. chaffetz: the gentlewoman's time is expired. we now recognize that intimate mr. carter -- the gentleman mr. carter. >> i am a freshman, i have been here 16 months now. i struggle with acronyms. epa, what does that stand for? gina mccarthy: protection. >> protection.
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i thought that was the case. so i looked up the case for protection. preventing someone or something from suffering harm or injury. we you would agree with that? gina mccarthy: yes. >> environmental protection agency. and i am correct when i say the epa has the authority to warn the public when there is contamination in the drinking water that poses an immediate threat to human health. is that correct? gina mccarthy: yes. >> so you are aware of the in the guildg june el toro. have. dell tauro, who we established a few days ago, he is a drinking water specialist. he was a member, a team member of the region five drinking water task force. and when he reported high levels of lead in flint drinking water, the epa, the environmental
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protection agency, they did not do that. they didn't protect the public, they didn't warn the public. hedman, she had a bunch of excuses. she had a lot of excuses as to why the epa, the environmental protection agency, didn't take any action. none of them would have from standing up and saying hey, don't drink that water. it got lead in it. stop, don't drink it. none of the excuses she had represented epa from doing it -- prevented epa from doing it. they did not protect, they did not invent someone or something from suffering harm. rep. chaffetz: does the government -- gentleman yield? >> i do not yield. you stated the epa urgently told the state of michigan to act
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with a sense of urgency and inform the public, is that correct? gina mccarthy: it is correct. >> yet, as i understand it, you mean to say you repeatedly told the state of michigan to warn the public about toxic levels in the waters, is that correct? gina mccarthy: we repeatedly told them they had to begin corrosion -- >> a little while ago you said i wish we could've done something different, whether it be by the law were common sense. common sense would have told you, hey, stop taking the water. gina mccarthy: not at that point in time. >> at what point in time? gina mccarthy: you are referencing a report that if you look at the final, clearly shows it was a localized issue. >> so what she did, she sought legal opinion. that makes us all feel better. she sought legal opinion on
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this. everybody here feels much better about that, because the environmental protection agency, we are going to make sure we have legal opinion first before we to lead people to stop tricking the water. this report was done after we have been working with the state to tell them consistently they have to start corrosion control. corrosion control. >> i said corrosion control? >> you did. at this point we know there is led in the water. >> we were concerned about it. quite this came from a junking water specialists. his advice was needed. everything that you have
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available to you. -- only thing he knew >> i am not with you on this. environmental protection agency. why don't we change the anachronism. come on. let us change it to something else. let take "prevention" out there. the log snyderadministrator mc: a primary authority. >> the law? >> digital man's time is expired. -- the gentle man's time is expire. >> thank you.
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this is a really tough hearing for all of us. sides tried to tackle the problem, our real issue is china to figure out how we prevent it from happening again and what we can do about restoring face to our constituents who do not believe either of you. right? reasons notenty of to believe any of you. i worked for three governors. they were as lucky as i was. different parties. 17 years. i got plenty of e-mails and calls from governors who told me to light a fire in my to hartman and move quickly. -- department and move quickly. when there was a veterans waitlist, my hospital said "we do not have that." i did not believe that. our social security office had millions of complaint.
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that may be an exaggeration. thousands. they told them everything was fine. it was not fine. they were harming. you have an obligation to both of you. governor, particularly you. these constituents are in your control. when i was secretary, it when we had any alert--you said you were the common sense governor -- you knew you had equal fecal chloroform. what caused you with everything else you saw in the press not to have a common sense approach and just fix it? i do not understand? if you getyder: solved in terms of the e. coli issue. this is where you look back in hindsight we wish we would have asked harder questions. >> what are we going to do with
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governors in your situation? if they say i wish i had done more, there were warning signs. the same with the federal government. what do we do so that everybody sitting here is clear that when there is a warning signal, no , but these were not small they were huge, what do we do to make sure my constituents and people all over the country who have similar issues are going to believe their state officials and elected officials and appointees? that is what i want to do going forward. i stood up and: sent these are failure. i demand that people ring me these issues. in terms of issues like when 00 --
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>> how many retraining have you had? i have a problem in my district and everyone was working on it. to the pentagon. now they are pulling it out of the water in treating it. out of the aquifer. i am not a jet fuel expert but i in pretty sure it should not be in my drinking supply. for 15 years, if your craft and other leaders let it sit there while they studied it. give me a list of things you are doing right now to address these constituents who have been actually harmed, who could be harmed. how much money have you identified to make sure you are dealing with this productively? exernor snyder: one is an cerpt from that report. it talks about every active water customer.
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without constituency responded to? thernor snyder: constituents? we were out to talk to every person in flint. >> your response today is to know who is affected by your report and then to talk to them? >> not maybe. it is go to ask would you like a filter or water test? not hit every home but we are tracking it. >> let me ask a question. opinion.y we would just fix the water system. what do you do with someone like my mom who has the cognitive impairment? what about that constituent. governor snyder: we asked them 11 soubt 211 -- to dial 2 we can bring water to them. governor snyder, i think
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everyone should respect the apology you have offered. realizes that everyone there were mistakes made at state,evel here, local, federal level. you have accepted far more blame for this publicly then you deserve. i can tell you that several years ago in another committee i resource.e water i traveled all over the country. this is a problem that has been building up for many years. many of these systems in the northeast are 75 or 100 years old. where it is especially acute is high tax states to the low tax states.
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they have been moving, i understand flint's population i now 99,000. what is happenings in many cities is that the higher income people have been the first ones to move. it has left the city's not enough money to do all of the things they need to do. i personally have hated to see and have spoken out against the fact that we spend trillions over the last 15 years in a failed effort to rebuild the middle east. we have not done enough for our own country. problemealize this is a that was there long before you took office? governor snyder: we have a number of urban and rural areas that have major challenges. i have tried to work hard to improve those places. getting health care to people,
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bringing dental care, a program where we put caseworkers and local schools. a program were we put over 400 people in permanent jobs in flint in terms of people that were structurally on them point because federal programs were not doing enough. that going to add to program early on to help kids when they are born to get an assessment of where they are at. these are the programs. some of these are in response to lead. but do things here that cannot only help mitigate it, we cannot take it back, but we can do every mitigation we can. >> look. you mentioned 267 million or something -- [indiscernible]
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governor snyder: 232 million. there are not many cities around the size of flint that are getting that kind of money. out, i intime runs the chair of the clean water caucus. everybody has been trying to bend over backwards to place or another.ace there are many people who should be accepting responsibility for this other than you. hr 49 which is the sustainable water infrastructure investment act. the infrastructure trust fund act to set up a trust on for wastewater systems. if people want to do more than just place blame, if they want to try to do something cities
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all over this country. i would appreciate it if they would talk to me about these bills. i think we will go to the next speaker unless you have something else. yields back. >> i thank you governor for being here. you are witnessing the usual seeing here in washington where we are trying to figure out who to blame the most. we have a real problem. we have a real problem. you have major responsibility. i want to focus on the solution. a lot of governors if they had this problem they would be digging trenches and replacing pipes. thehave requested from michigan legislature over to an million dollars. is that correct? yes. 60 million has already been appropriated. >> is in the intention in using this money in addition to
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dealing with infrastructure issues to address the health needs of these children who have been permanently injured as a result of ingesting lead in the water? governor snyder: absolutely. >> explained to me what the land is for mental health is. to me what the plan is for cognitive disabilities. explain to me what the plan is for day care. explain to me what the plan is to assist these parents whose kids are in their arms, are not whole like they would be, whose future is compromise, and these parents have to figure out how to go to work when their kids need them at home. my question is, do you acknowledge those are real issues as a result of ingesting lead?
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the two to $38 million is going to address those ongoing needs? governor snyder: what i would say is it is worse than you stated in my view. doing,s of what we are in terms of physical, social, theeducational well-being programs breakdown as follows. there is a program to help kids from birth to have assessment a couple of times a year and have follow up services. we are talking about adding developmental childcare. >> i only have five minutes. governor snyder: i'm sorry, you asked me that. >> i did. you can submit that in writing. i am a parent. you have these programs you just announced. i am trying to figure out today what i do tomorrow.
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who does a parent call? it is a parent call when they are late for work because their child is having an episode? will there be somebody answering the phone? governor snyder: my commitment is to get a long-term solution to this. >> let me ask you this. you have about a million dollars in michigan partly from a rainy day fund. governor snyder: it is about $600 billion. >> in the rainy day fund and then you have some from your surplus. governor snyder: it is being identified for a state water infrastructure fund. >> have always say when your own assessment reaches the conclusion that to meet those needs you have acknowledged, this did not actually fully state how bad it really is. requiredw revenue is to meet the obligations to these
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young children years from now that your assessment shows today that the money will be needed. it requires you to promote revenue raising measures in order to get it. would you do that? governor snyder: we have identified dollars that are appropriate to cover the cost of those programs. one of the things i have particular is a $50 million reserve. it is too soon to tell all. >> we do not know what is going to cost. let us really know. i know you wish this did not happen. problem an open ended where we are going to be hemorrhaging lie in the unless we really double down now. aat assurance what i have as parent that these needs will be
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met if i do not have a state saying whatever it takes we're going to be there. that is why ir: made a commitment to start these reserves. one other question. that anto the argument lot of republican parties make about local control. the more things than at the local level the better. -- the requestow now is the $750 million. i appreciate the indulgence. there is a vote on the floor but it is the intention of the chair to continue the hearing until its conclusion. both of these people have a lot aims to do whether -- rather than wait around for us to vote. mental have to make a choice -- members will have to make a choice and we will continue until we have run through the
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question. he will now recognize the gentleman from california. >> think you. one of my favorite quotes from justice brandeis is "the cure for what ails government is sunshine." if you could be brief i would appreciate that. the committee has requested copies of all of your records relating to the went water crisis. -- the flint water crisis. you told staff that you deleted many of your e-mails. you also said you only started preserving e-mails in april 2013 when litigation hold was placed on your account. is that true? have you ever of knowledge that? governor snyder: i hope that would have been corrected. that is not accurate. you committed only from 2014 and 15. have you committed since them?
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governor snyder: i releasing my personal e-mails going back to 2011. we are going through the process of departmental e-mails. ofhave 23,120 pages documents. >> in terms of the timeline, the switch was march 2013, a month before you stop deleting your e-mails. have you directed any of your staff to search back for any flint related e-mails prior to 2013? governor snyder: i thought i communicated that you believe you had about the deletion was inaccurate. i just wanted to see if you were consistent. i'm not an attorney. somewherer said were blacked out for a variety of reasons. there are a lot of reductions. we have a copy of what you sent us.
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there was a document telling governor rick snyder that includes a line about flint water and then a 49 page reduction. is there a reason why there were 49 pages of reductions? governor snyder: i do not review the specific ones. these would've been issues other than flint. >> would you release the information or the reductions? to the degreer: you have that request i'm happy to go through the process of reviewing it. of the challenges is there is personal and confidential information that if we release it would create liability for the states. governor snyder: you will make a commitment to release the things that are not personal viable. i will be happy to have the discussion. there is an issue about
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campaign related e-mails. are you willing to share those e-mails with us? concernedem were about what you were doing in in you have your e-mail in yourt. governor's office and then campaign related. i do somenyder: personal e-mails. we are to close in the information on the web. as long as you are able to share and you can as explain on both accounts, that would be helpful. we ask your staff to search their personal e-mails. their relationship to their issue, are you willing to share that with our staff? governor snyder: we have already done a lot of work on the government e-mails. >> texting.
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are you equally willing to share that with the staff? governor snyder: i believe people are already making those reviews. >> just to comment. in california, with all due respect to them, it is sort of hard when we look at epa, california is a threshold. we go beyond that. this is decades of democratic and republican administrations. whoeems as if for people believe in states rights and local control you would be more willing to accept both responsibility when you slipped up. , i know in california we would be very embarrassed. you have acknowledged that. our threshold would be the california threshold, not the epa threshold.
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governor snyder: again -- >> it seems as though we are looking for state right but when you failed the responsibility is the federal government. when you do well it is because the state has done well. it seems to be a disconnect from my perspective. governor snyder: i would be happy to give you a copy of my state of the state address where i stood in front of michigan where i apologize very i have been very clear about accepting responsibility for the people that worked for me and for the so-called experts that created the crisis in the tragedy that never should have happened. i want to take care of the people of flint. >> i will now recognize myself. i will not close this hearing until mr. cummings has equal time as well. let me go to administrator mccarthy.
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the lead and copper rule requires you to update every six years. you did not do that, correct? administrator mccarthy: it requires us to review it every six years. >> if you do not believe it is required under law to update it, you're just supposed to look at it? administrator mccarthy: we are actively looking at this rule. if you want to do a substantive revision to it, just tweak it a bit. >> don't blame the bush administration. have been in office for more than seven years. you said you would have a 2013. correct? administrator mccarthy: i am not sure. the schedule i am aware of is the 2017 schedule. >> you mean the 2018. administrator mccarthy: the draft will be a 2017.
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--castle elected expert come you have an expert column and tell us they are so much confusion. do you believe there's any confusion about the lead and copper rule? administrator mccarthy: i do believe it should be strengthened. >> do you think there's any confusion? administrator mccarthy: i believe there probably is confusion. i am not the one on the seething and of it. -- on the receiving end of it. >> you are the administrator. administrator mccarthy: they do reinforcements. in this case we were very clear what the reason possibility was under the existing law. we should strengthen the law, i agree. >> really? why did it happen? administrator mccarthy: because
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the state did not implement and enforce appropriately. tauro tont miguel dell go to the testing. administrator mccarthy: that was not for a lead angle copper roof. it was for an individual in their home. there were three houses were there was a localized problem. i did not have information until july 21 of there was a systemic problem with that system. as soon as we knew there was any problem in three houses, we told them to start doing proper treatment. >> know you did not. he timeline is such that does the testing. the report is leaked. he feels he was reprimanded for it. the mayor calls the epa and says "is this report true?" you haver is "no, nothing to worry about."
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the mayor went on television and said it is safe to drink the water. administrator mccarthy: i tried to explain that susan did not dismiss the substance of the report. the data have not been quality controlled. it was not leaked. it have been sent out. the know it was in newspaper. it was out there. testing if you're just going to simply blame the state? there is no doubt. thatovernment has admitted they got it wrong. let me read you this. you said they did everything. administrator mccarthy: i said by starting april 24 we realized that they were not doing corrosion control.
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we told them under the current law they should do it. >> i'm going to enter into the record and e-mail, who is jennifer? administrator mccarthy: she is one of our staff managers in the water program. confident a mpetent? said you told them to energies corrosion in april. she said the idea to ask flint to add phosphate may be premature. there are many other factors that may be taken into account that require a comprehensive look at the system before any treatment recommendations should be made. administrator mccarthy: let me explain that he would not mind. that actual advice came from a
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miguel. that is not mean i have a switch to turn on. he indicated that the agency did not have the whole water quality data. that is when we dead to be on their technical advisory. begged to be on their technical advisory. >> republican look at this for themselves. administrator mccarthy: it was not as easy as flipping a switch. wereuestion was whether we went to be premature and how best to get it done. >> no. you came here and blamed solely the state. the state has a big part of this blame. i'm not trying to excuse them. no.are trying to excuse -- wait until i'm done asking you the session. the documentation said you have a conference call from the epa telling the eq not to do it yet.
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administrator mccarthy: we were telling them that they had to do corrosion control. they actually never even set us up on them until september. we enter this into november 3. he was peter? administrator mccarthy: he is the manager on drinking water. x it.washington, d.c. here's what he wrote -- he is the washington, and d.c. expert. he is what he wrote. he said how does it apply to this situation which may have a lead to some uncertainty. you have a safety he was begging for help. they know they are in trouble. they are asking for the hell.
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p. maybe there is confusion. maybe we are supposed to do six months of testing. i'm not excusing them. you need to take responsibility because you mess of 100,000 people's lives. those people are six years old or younger. you take no reason possibility. you don't think you did anything wrong, right? administrator mccarthy: i already indicated that we could have worked more aggressively and i wish we had. can i explain the memo? would you like me to? >> i would like you to have an understanding why people are confused by the direction by the epa. administrator mccarthy: there is no confusing signal sent from the agency? >> what should they have done? administrator mccarthy: not something in and connecting with the x hurts. -- with the experts.
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that is not the task. >> let's go through the list. richard, chris --lip, dana administrator mccarthy: i don't know those individuals. >> they all work for you. here is what it said. epa, below are my draft note from the call last week. i apologize for the delay in getting out this draft for you to review. not simply add the phosphate. i want you to acknowledge it. administrator mccarthy: it would have created more damage than a
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cured. >> exactly. administrator mccarthy: they did not have technical expert available. we did. a semi annual call we have with the department where we share information. if you look through the record, we consistently said we have experts, we want to help. we were never expected at the table nor were we invited. >> you said you did not have the authority. i want to read you part of this. this is section 1431 part d. you, uponstrator, receipt of information that a contaminant which is likely to amer a public water them--i skipping ahead-- it may present
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endangerment to the health of persons and state and local parties have not acted in may take such actions as they deem necessary in order to protect the health of such persons. they were not doing what you wanted them to do. why did you not take action? administrator mccarthy: the second part is about state's rights. the second issue is we need to make sure the state are already taking appropriate action. administrator mccarthy: when did you know that they did not do it? all they did was slow walk it. we had to do with the way we did. i wished we had gone further and further. i wish we had yelled from the treetops. there is no way my agency
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created this problem. just because we could not figure out that in our guidance we never talk that anybody with you from a treated system to an untreated system and not treat it. would have tover say it. i never thought anyone would. >> you cannot have it both ways. you cannot have people on the ground testing it, setting up warning flags. i will recognize the gentleman from missouri. >> thank you. you know i have to hand it to my republican colleagues. they are actually making their argument with a straight face. clear, republicans here today are claiming that the epa
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should have been more aggressive overruling the republican-controlled state of michigan. they are just outraged that the epa was not more assertive with did not god immediately public with the state's failure to comply with the law. the irony is almost overwhelming, isn't it? administrator mccarthy: yes. >> republicans have been absolutely slamming the epa for overreaching at every possible term. now to criticize the epa for not doing more when governor snyder fell down on the job. let's go through some of these ridiculous republican statements. forld trump has called entirely eliminating the epa and handing power over to the state. he said open vote environmental
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protection will bring it back to the state. we are going to cut many of the agencies. we will now in our budget and we will be dynamic again." step in -- didme ultimately step in because michigan was not doing their job. have been for the not another in sooner, republicans candidate ted cruz agrees with donald trump. i think states should press pack using every tool they have available." were you aware of the statement? administrator mccarthy: yes. marco rubio has vowed to scale back clean water act. regulations in this country are out of control, especially
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epa." that was a dig at you saying clean water costs too many jobs. there are many more republicans statements. "an umbrellasaid organization that is limited to mediating interstate conflict." "let's shut down the epa and focus on those issues were at statehow to protect resources." what about the state protecting people? the state and michigan did not know best in this case.
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poisoned thousands of their own people. is that correct? administrator mccarthy: they do not their job. correct. that votedpublicans at every turn to gut the epa's authority to enforce the clean air act, clean water act, the national environmental policy act in the list goes on. despite all of these republican statements that epa should be eliminated and that it overreaches, the main criticism of republicans here today is aggressiveh not more o michigan. int what do you think? is the epa aggressive enough? governor snyder: i do not want to get into finger-pointing and blame. the people that worked or me made a huge tragic mistake.
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in terms of going over to the flint river. they called for two six-month determine optimizing corrosion controls. that was not a good answer. they believed they were doing the right ring. -- saying. where's the urgency? detroit had corrosion controls and it. isn't it, sensation also have in the water? >> what do we do now? i know they are talking about pipes and thetyp lead but what do we do for the people that have been impacted? do you have a plan as the state of michigan? governor snyder: yes or. >> what is it? have $60snyder: we
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million in appropriation so far and are resting to it or $32 million total involving water physical ande, social well-being and social programs. >> does that include early childhood environment? those are the ones impacted the most. governor snyder: under six critically important. reserve fund. as we go through this, we're going to find new needs. >> that includes the adult, too. they probably need special attention. governor snyder: especially those with suppressed immune systems. one of the things that we took immediate action on is that there is no requirement to test the schools. not only have we gone into schools to test them, we found
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that they had problems with fixtures. we said enough of the testing. let's just start replacing fixtures in the schools. >> thank you for your response. i recognize the ranking member. >> thank you and i want to our witnesses for being with us. based on the record, many of your top advisers and he state key state officials say they knew there are problems with water vcu not aware. let me ask you about one of your top legal advisors. you wrote an e-mail on october 14, 2014 "the notion that i would be getting my drinking
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water from the flint river is downright scary. bad the emergency manager did not ask you what i thought. i am sure he heard it from plenty of others. my mom is a city resident. nice to know she's drinking ater with elevated fecalne levels and chloroform. we should stop this before this thing gets too far out of control." that was written in america. top advisers. would you consider him a top legal adviser? governor snyder: yes. >> do you take your legal
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advisors advise? governor snyder: on legal matters. >> do you remember any of this? governor snyder: i do not believe i was on the e-mail. i do not remember this discussion. topid you know that your legal adviser raise these kind of concerns? i do notsnyder: recall. the issue was not led at the time. it was e. coli. >> i keep hearing that. i swear to god, if somebody gave me water that looks like you're urine and have a smell, i am sorry. your standards are different. i would not want my family drinking it. i would not want to drink it.
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my standard is i want for my constituents what i want for my own family. let's go on. let me turn to your top in april at the mdeq 2014. water quarry supervisor sent mdeqmail to three top officials. let me tell you what he wrote. " if water is distributed in the next couple of weeks, it will be against my direction. i need time to adequately train tafftional's and update -- s and update until i feel we are
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ready. i will reiterate this to management of blood me but they seem to have their own agenda." did you know the water quality supervisor warned top officials for them not to go forward? governor snyder: to m y knowledge, i was not aware. question.s not my were you aware there were concerns? governor snyder: i do not recall. let me turn to urban initiatives. mr. holland received an e-mail warning him that there had been in"significant ouptick" legionnaires disease cases. were you aware of that? governor snyder: not to my knowledge. >> your former chief of.
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somebody wase sure asking you about the structure of the way things are situated in your office. in congressional offices for the most part you are chief of staff answers to no one but the congressman. is there anybody in between you and himk? governor snyder: no. >> he would answer to wrigley to you? governor snyder: yes. concerns, doesn't seem logical that it would come to you? governor snyder: i do not recall specific conversations. we had conversations about water quality in flint. i was working with the chief of staff to get a donation of filters to deal with the odor
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and color issues. he sent an e-mail warning residents "our concern about the lead level studies are basically getting blown off by us." governor snyder: you are not on the e-mail either, were you? governor snyder: i do not believe so. >> he did not forward it to you? governor snyder: i do not believe so. >> is a bother you that he said they were blown off? your constituents that you asked to vote for you and that you are in the business of improving their lives were saying they were being blown off. does that bother you? governor snyder: in terms of looking at the record, he went
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experts if the water was safe or not and they told him it was. that was wrong. it looks like almost everyone knew about these problems except you. you were completely missing in action. that is not leadership. do you think? governor snyder: i was not missing in action. i was having ongoing discussions about a number of water issues in flint. the continuing response from the when you look at the record, safe. >> you can understand why the flin wouldt be skeptical about what you are saying, right? they are not like us. chief of staff sounds of somebody very important and somebody that would answer
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directly to the governor. you have to understand that. governor snyder: i absolutely do. i'm going to have to live with this my entire life. website, i have heard you say that. i've got to tell you. there are children that have to live with the damage that has been done for the rest of their lives here and it is inful to think a child can be damaged until the day they die. destiny hasir been cut off and messed up. so, you have to live with it. be what godver intended them to be when they were born and conceived. on your website you say to the people of michigan "you will
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learn from this experience but --" what are the children supposed to learn from your utter lack of this incident? governor snyder: the terrible part of all of this is there is issue with their educational issues. trust ina question of government. there is good reason for them to ask that question. that is going to take a huge amount of time to earn back if it can be earned back. that includes third-party experts to be part of the process. people can have confidence in people they trust. >> i would like to talk but your priorities. you have shown over and over again money is a high priority despite the fact that michigan had a budget surplus.
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you are not asking them to provide the money necessary to move flint back. did notue that flint seem to be a priority because on january 24 you sent an e-mail to your staff where you list the priorities for 2015. most of the document is redacted. we can see that number 36 on the ater system. flint w it was not your first priority. it was not in the top 10 or even the top 20. not even in the top 30. was number 36. should the children have been higher on your priority list? governor snyder: in retrospect with becoming a true safety issue with the lead issue, it should have an higher. that was not the issue at the time. >> we also know what you do prioritize. when things got rough for your
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registration, you that the people of michigan to pay your legal fees. do you estimate here today that you have asked television for more than 1 -- of michigan for more than $1 million? governor snyder: yes. >> it makes me sick to think he found a way to have the state of michigan pay over $1 million in legal fees yet you thought so little of the people in flint that you cannot be bothered to ask the legislator for money to switch them over to clean water. you cannot be trusted. i have got to tell you. you need to resign. [applause] i know we are at the end of the hearing. i just want to thank both of you for being here. we have got to do better than this.
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we all deserve better. title the chairman from the very beginning, no matter who is on simple, we need to address this issue. governor, youple, talk about transparency. 15 other people refused to talk to us. refused topeople talk to us. i read something that you urge them to talk. we need to hear from them. thank you, sir. >> i want to thank all of those -- have dissipated in the participated in the three sets of hearings that we have had. that there doubt mistakes, mistakes is an understatement. i want to take those who have stepped up to be part of the
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solution and have recognized .here wrong has been done they really do need to take care of these children and the will of the city of flint. everybody'sis where heart is. our daughter is getting married soon. and moving to michigan. it is important and it reaches real people's lives. we get pretty heated and animated. we want accountability. if you do not step up and understand the problems and understand where the mistakes were made, if you do not take accountability, you do not solve it going forward. that is my problem with the orsroach the administrat had taken. i know you are working hard. i also believe in my heart that it is just offensive to suggest there's nothing wrong done and to not apologize is just wrong.
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that is just my own personal opinion. we all have our own personal opinions. we will continue to work together. i appreciate mr. cummings. >> i want to be clear. i thank you. i really do. i thank you for holding these hearings. i can tell you a lot of chairman would never have done it. i will thank you on behalf of all of us. he set a shining example of what leadership is all about. >> thank you. you're very kind to me. [applause] with that, the committee stands adjourned. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]
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>> susan rice on u.s. policy in latin america followed by jeff sessions on the role of populism in the 2000 dean campaign. later, another chance to see administrator epa you know mccarthy testifying on the water contamination. ♪ coming up friday morning, melanie campbell of the national
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coalition on black civic participation will be with us to discuss the black women's roundtable summit. the report include views of the 2016 presidential campaign. former u.s. attorney for the district of columbia will talk about the investigation into the e-mails sent to and from hillary clinton's and whate-mail developments he thinks we can expect in coming weeks. be sure to watch "washington journal" friday morning. join the discussion. brooks askednell about the criminal justice system and demonstrations in flint michigan. we will bring you his remarks live at 10:00 a.m. eastern here to spend. -- on c-span. on thursday, john kerry
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issued a former declaration of genocidal by isis in iraq and syria. friday we will hear from the director of the huts then institutes -- hudson institute. >> with that power comes greater responsibility and individual sitting on the court unfettered or 35 years. it is not passed the smell test. roth talks about changes he would like to see in the supreme or including opening of oral arguments in requiring justices to adhere to the same code of ethics. >> the supreme court decisions
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affect all americans. they are all aware of the third branch of government. it has become so powerful. issues on voting in marriage and health care and immigration and women's rights. i could go on and on. 30 years ago congress and the executive branch would get together in compromise on a bill. that does not happen anymore. given that the supreme court is making these areas packed full decisions, the lease the public do is to impress upon them transparency. present oh, will visit cuba and argentina next week.


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