tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 4, 2016 2:26am-7:01am EST
spending. from washington journal, this is 35 minutes. " continues. host: we are going to talk about money and fundraising and spending. our guest is dave levinthal from the center for public integrity. thank you for joining us. as we follow the money, there is this piece you put together. the $1 billion figure. there it is. big-money super pac's have raised almost half of all presidential cash. guest: we got a whole bunch of new numbers that came in and the are good through the end of december. the $1 billion figure represents what the candidates are raising and also the constellation of super pac's which can raise and
spend unlimited amounts of money. in 2016, are forming to do one thing and one thing only. you can view them as parallel campaigns, shadow campaigns. if you are a donor and want to support hillary clinton or ted cruz or any of the other candidates, you can give a limited amount of money to the candidate into their ca mpaign. if you want to spend a lot of money in politics, get involved change the trajectory of the election, you can write a check for $1 million or $10 million
and give it to one of these super pac's. they can put up tv or radio ads that are attacking others. very different eight years ago when hillary clinton was running against barack obama. host: it looks back at 2015. who is getting all of the? guest: jeb bush is getting the lion's share of the money coming in. early on when it seemed he was the front runner, flag waver for the republican side, money was flowing in like crazy. his super pac is sitting on more than $58 million.
jeb bush is making his last stand in new hampshire and south carolina. super pac's alone will not win you a race, even if a candidate has to have one and a good one in order to compete. there are exceptions to that rule. bernie sanders. donald trump. ted cruz. who is getting the money? ted cruz's super pac's -- about six or seven different one. they have been raising a heck of a lot of money. he is saying i am not part of the washington machine. i don't like billionaires or lobbyists. these super pac's are being
funded by a couple of wealthy individuals, including robert mercer, who has pumped in eight figures into a ted cruz super pac. host: here's the headline. jeb bush spent $2800 per vote in iowa. guest: it is incredible. sometimes spending is not going to get you the return that you would want. some of the super pac's have been spending money in traditional clinical way. television, radio advertising. we're not seeing a huge bang for your buck. it is still eating up the most cash, super pac's or nonprofit
organizations, an important storyline in this presidential race. you have to have a candidate see that is resonating with people. you have to have a candidate who is having success on the ground. host: there is a story about marco rubio who finished a strong third in iowa. on the lead page in "the new york times" -- there is momentum in his favor regarding the super pac. guest: some people have gotten on the rubio train. with the success he had in iowa, finishing a strong third-place. we'll see what he does in new
hampshire. some of the establishment donors who want to get involved in the race have been staying on the sideline are going to get behind marco rubio and donating to super pac's. a few have already. another important question is, what is going to happen with super pac's supporting hillary clinton? she talks about hating big-money in politics and would try to change the system. she is being supported by tens of millions of dollars that it did raise by super pac's that are supporting her efforts. bernie sanders doesn't have the same kind of dedicated super pac's that hillary clinton does.
is hillary clinton's super pac all these resources going to bring it to bear against bernie sanders? they want to keep that money until the general election. host: host: he is the single -- political. go ahead dominic. caller: ted cruz was born in canada. yesterday my son googled it. he was born in 1970. i was born in 1979. you know if his father was a veteran or go to canada to dodge the draft? host: completely off-topic so
why don't we moved to marry -- twoo mary. guest: -- caller: it is notmwhy can't these people running for presidency of the united states all the way down to the city commissioners of every city in the united states be audited one year after they leave office. host: and why are you suggesting that? caller: because of the money packs and the deals done underneath the table. to me, aarp, which is part of the insurance industry in the united states. i feel like a lot of times they
feel the pockets up -- bill -- fill these people's pockets up. guest: i think he touches on a lot of people who think there is a lot of money going in and out. is there any thing going on? -- sometimes there are audits conducted on presidential campaigns or political campaigns for congress or any other office at the federal level. there have been times where campaigns have been fine after a result of the findings. so, it does happen. on the flipside to that the
federal election commission is a body that has three republicans appointees, three democratic appointees and you probably don't need to tell me what happens when you have math that works out like that. so it is not necessarily going to come to pass where they are going to be able to agree to set up a better election commission is to whether a certain campaign should get a penalty or hit with or if they should simply go away. host: let's hear from hannah from pennsylvania. caller: i got one thing to say. bernie sanders. this is ridiculous. special interest, part of some of the rules -- pharmaceuticals oil companies.
the thing is, it is a rigged economy. bernie sanders has got it right on the spot. it is time this changes. it is downright ridiculous. thank you c-span. god bless america. host: bernie sanders making news. he raised $3 million in 24 hours after i what. guest: clearly a lot of energy and was really excited for bernie sanders, as are millions of people around the country. bernie sanders has tapped into frustration voters have had. they wanted a different type of candidate. bernie sanders, if anything, is
a different type of presidential candidate. particularly, for people who are looking for a different type of candidate. bernie sanders sort of has a double edge sword working for him right now and it applies to money. on one hand, he has been able to get a number of very small dollar donations in a commence of five dollars, $10 $50, that have added up. in the past two days, he has raged several million dollars by virtue of his finish in iowa. he is done in a different way than many of the candidates. host: as for hillary clinton, she raised the most cash in the beltway region. hillary clinton is backing up
donations from all over the city. she and her backers are trouncing their opponents when it comes to getting donations from washington insiders, and large companies. guest: we like to call them big dollar donors, as opposed to small dollar donors who give less than $200. when you're at it on both sides hillary is leading a little bit. bernie sanders, certainly has a lot of resources. he has been able to use that and poor that money into advertising and things like that, but staffers, and people like i what, new hampshire, and other states. the question right now for bernie sanders is that going to be enough money to sustain him
beyond early states. once we get to super tuesday where there will be about a dozen states, or be on then. it's bernie sanders going to be able to stay financially in this race for the long haul? that is an open question right now and a lot of that is going to depend on whether supporters continue to open their wallets, get out their credit cards and make donations. host: let's go to debbie and north alina. caller: first of all, let me say thank you. i really love c-span. host: thanks for watching. caller: and they guess you have on your show. you're welcome. you have all these candidates who are giving donations to help support their campaign and get them out there and hopefully get them elected. my question is, we just had mike
huckabee. rand paul is dropping out of the race. martin o'malley is dropping out of the race. jeb bush has about $50 million to spend on his campaign, once a candidate drops out what where does the money go? do they give it back to the people who donated it or give it back to the community or in their pocket? guest: that is a great question. we did a long report a couple years ago of this very issue. all right, a candidate drops out. they no longer are in the race for office. what do they do with their money? depending on the type of organization they are without getting too legalistic, they have several options. some of the several noticeable ones are this. they can transfer the money to a national party committee.
if they are republican, they can give it to a republican committee heard they can also make a charitable donation. so if your candidate is sitting on millions of dollars, you could donate it to your mama -- alma mater. these are all death the options. what some candidates choose to do is nothing at all. they sit on the money. that money can generate interest so they can even make money off money that they raised. why would they do that? i want to keep my options open they might say if they are going to run again have say say they will run for senate tomorrow. had that money sitting in an account so they can use that money when they decide to go in a different direction.
another option they have, is not typically common or typically the route people go is give the money back to the people who made the donations. so if you have someone that donated a thousand dollars, here you have it back. the problem is you usually when you give a donation, you expect that donation to be used for something. they mask it's difficult. host: who is ahead right now? guest: we have a couple of different storylines. on the republican side, most of the money is spent towards the ads on television.
you're probably thinking that it is either sponsored by the candidate, hemmer tour -- him or herself. that is not in the case so far in the primary. that is not -- most have been by super pac's. technically it is coming from these organizations that can raise as much money as it wants to in order to attack a candidate. it in that regard, jeb bush has been ahead of the pack of several candidates, including ted cruz, marco rubio. lately, donald trump, his campaign has been more active after doing hardly any
advertising at all. host: take a look.
>> ted cruz got delayed his positions for political gain. in the last year, he switched his positions on these things. now, he has changed his tune. to change for ted, he wants your vote. host: one example out there. guest: if you notice at the end of the ad, it does not say sponsored by chris christie, marco rubio, or donald trump, it says sponsored by a super pac. 99% of americans won't know what
that is. even us reporters would have to look it up. -- because it is very difficult for voters to figure out who the sponsor is of many of the ads, again, on the republican side accounting for the majority. on the democratic side, the candidates themselves aren't the ones mainly running the ads. caller: good morning. thanks for taking my call. i just wanted to say that in my opinion, the super pac's should be outlawed. they should not have been allowed in the first place. it is nothing more than a special interest group or lobbying group and i don't think anyone should have the right to
buy their way into the white house. this has been going on for far too long and it needs to be stopped. i think we also need to term limit senators and congressmen. to allow some of to spend their lifetime leads onto the corruption that goes on. host: thank you. guest: there have been many calls from the democratic side that have asked just for that. what is "dark money"? it is money flowing to not super pac's, but nonprofit organizations. there are certain organizations following the citizens united decision in 2010, because of that decision, they had the
ability to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money except because they are nonprofit, they don't have to disclose the sources of that money. so let's use an example here. if i want to give $1 million to a super pac, the super pac is going to have to publicly, and a document filed with the federal election commission, say dave leventhal gave $19 to a super pac. if i give that money to a nonprofit organization that has a right to be politically active to some extent, not as its primary surface the world is never going to know that i'm the one donating. nonprofit has not been the fix or yet, but mutt -- much likely they're going to be a bigger
story. donald trump being a prime example of saying someone that says the whole system needs to change. host: we're going to go to jean. caller: good morning and thank you. i have a question. the limit that you can send to a campaign is very small and a lot of these tax are not just the super rich, but they are individuals contributing to them. the reason they do that is the american voting public is not backed up. they don't follow these people. i went to the superhighway and found that the top seven packs with the most money were in the democrats hands. harry had the largest one. if we don't stop voting with common sense, 321 million people
if you knew how medieval did not actually come to bow. -- two vote t --o -- to vote. if you would start in your local community, you would know what is going on. host: thanks. guest: before the citizens united decision, we just had packs. political action committees. in terms of democrats, who is raising the most money through them, democrats have been very successful in that regard. but the citizens united regarding super pac's, are a whole different breed of animal. they can raise unlimited amounts
of money. where as traditional ones are limited to the amount they can give. you can only give up to $5,000 to a pac. most of them are being funded by not people who are giving unlimited amount of money, but people who are giving six figures, seven figures, eight figures. when you look at super pac's on the republican and the recredit sides, the biggest ones are a very small number of very wealthy individuals who are feeling those operations. host: who are these people? guest: on the democratic side, you have a number of folks.
i'm thinking movie directors all walks of liberal life. on the republican side, and a lot of businessmen. a lot of people who have been very active. going back to democrats, people like to highlight george soros. he came in with about $8 million to democratic super pac's according to hillary clinton's last report. he is someone that is definitely -- stephen silver is another one who has been very active. in order to get involved with those types, you have to have millions of dollars to bear. host: we have robert, an independent from indiana. caller: what i wanted to ask about was, i am kind of
undecided right now. i haven't heard a candidate yet on tv say they are going to get rid of the lobbyist on candidate -- capitol hill. i haven't heard anyone say they're going to get rid of them , so as long as they are around, it is going to be a problem in the government. it needs to be fixed. host: thanks for calling. guest: let's move on to jan from roseville, california. caller: good morning. quick question. actually it is a statement and eight question. if bernie sanders gets elected, the government will only people and why is that? there will be no need for health funds, mutual funds, or 01 k's
-- 401ks. because all the big companies, all you have to do is look at what type of funding to you have in the teachers union or the 401k's? you'll find pharmaceutical companies and all the large corporations. that's how these funds say life because of the companies. you want bernie sanders? the government will only people. thank you. guest: i think both colors -- colors -- callers hit on some points. when barack obama came into the
picture, some say he came in with pretty lofty rhetoric. that speaks to the president's ability, whether it is barack obama, or anyone who may be present after the 2016 election. it really does not work that way. we are not electing an autocrat. we are not electing a dictator. we sit here overlooking capitol hill because of the balance of power of our government, you have to have a congress that is going to work with you as president. oftentimes, you'll either have to compromise or simply be stonewalled. the current president has been very frustrated by congress on some of his initiatives. host:
an ad from hillary clinton , titled incredible.
>> one of these republicans connection be president. >> i think we should repeal of obamacare. they are backward even dangerous. who is the one candidate back and stop them? tested and soft -- top. >> to stop them, elect hillary clinton. guest: the advertising that works, often's
going to be negative advertising. it is not going to be happy, shiny photos of candidates kissing babies were shaking hands. it is going to be the stuff that draws a very stark contrast from one candidate to another. or it is going to be the types of ads that you see right now at least in the primaries, were republicans are not talking
about other republicans. they talk about hillary clinton because she is the ultimate bogeyman when it comes to many of the republicans. and likewise, hilda clinton, in order to show she should be the bearer for the democrats, is not going to go after bernie sanders. she is going to go after ted cruz, marco rubio, or donald trump. host: don from pennsylvania. caller: i just have a few comments to make about people and how they bow. they should realize that whatever the results we get after the end of the election process, is really the voters fault. i have found out a long time ago, after it being a democrat i'm going to go republican. when you talk about hillary clinton. no one ever asked her about her
compliments -- her accomplishments in washington. bernie sanders is making promises he can't keep. when you look at a politician, i'm done with politicians. the democrats are awfully chart of what they used to believe in. i will never vote for a politician again. not since abraham lincoln has politics got better. the people in washington forget who them there. they don't figure it that way. we are supposed to be representing the people in this country. democrat or republican. but they are not looking at it this way. donald trump, say what you want
but ipo on issues. not people who i believe his issues are true because here is a businessman who became successful by hard work and his own two hands. he is not going to take a presidential salary. he is not owned by the establishment. i believe he says -- he'll do what he says he will do. he works with a lot of world leaders that none of these politicians could do. host: john, thank you. i want to squeeze in another call before we wrap up. that color matching donald trump. this headline on cnn comments and use -- trump and sanders using anger against big money to build their movements. guest: the caller did mention
political participation. i think that is an important point to make, not only about iowa, the also new hampshire. you saw some pretty big turnouts in iowa. people have to go to the polls if they want to elect the person they want. in new hampshire, it was my first job out of college. we are a few days away from a primary, not where just republicans are going to vote for republicans and democrats are going to vote for republicans, -- so the big unknown is which way are the independents going to go and also which election of the going to bow in? -- a boat and -- vote in?
polls, even right before the election, even before i what did not capture the results that happened. polls are different than the system. host: let me squeeze and one more call. if you could be brief that would be great. caller: good morning. i wanted to ask if you have investigated the megacorporations mega banking institutions that give to both parties in order to get access to the wind the office. -- wins the office. guest: we have written about many special interest and other corporations. it is something that when we do
our message nations, where consulate doing them in the context of political influence. in the context of money and politics, both on the right and left. i would encourage the viewer to go and read many of these reports read host: -- these reports. i think it is going to be a big storyline for the next couple of weeks as to whether the super pac's supporting hilda clinton are going to come up the sideline and go after bernie sanders. also, looking for marco rubio to see if the so-called republican establishment who have not been active will get behind him because they are afraid donald trump or ted cruz is going to have a path to the nomination. also, is donald trump going to have enough momentum to win races. that is the big question now. is ted cruz going to be able to
sustain that momentum? host: remind us very briefly how folks can navigate your website. guest: republican -- >> a michigan resident whose tap water was tested at more than 21 times the legal limit for led testified on capitol hill about water contamination in her town. that is. -- that is next. "washington journal" is live at 7:00 a.m. >> republican presidential candidate ted cruz, who is campaigning in new hampshire will talk about drug addiction and recovery today. he will be at the immanuel
baptist church, live at 1:15 eastern on c-span3. later, former florida governor jeb bush campaigns in derry in hampshire with his mother. we will have that live at 7:00 a.m. eastern, here on c-span. >> next, a house panel investigates the contaminated water crisis in flint, michigan. we will hear from a flint residents along with epa and michigan state officials. congressman chaffetz chairs the house reform committee. chairs the house reform committee.
the courtroom --preserve decorum. this is a congressional hearing and there is a certain decorum that we would wish everybody's participation in. i believe there are people in the overflow room. we are glad to do this and have everybody here today. prior to our opening statements, i want to address some people who probably should be here, that were invited to be here, and others that members on both sides wanted to be here. we have two panels today. this will be a good first step moving forward. some people have wanted the governor to be here. some people wanted the epa administrator to be here. we will have this hearing today. we have documents provided by the epa and others. we will move forward from there. with the address - -- let me address a few people that were anticipated to be here.
the program manager for regent 5 water division at the epa. this by all appearances, is a good percentson who is doing good work and made the right moves at the right time. ms. leeann walters who we will your testimony from, contacted the epa in february 2015. keep the timeline in mind. a representative came to the house and tested the water that same month. she was sent an invitation to appear as a witness before the committee. we did that last week. in further discussions with the epa, and given his excessive and appropriate responsiveness to the committee, we have come to understand he is very active in the cleanup efforts as we speak. we therefore have excused him today, and have communicated to
the epa after a good discussion that they would provide all of his e-mails by the end of this week. we think that is a good and productive step forward. we did not compel or push to have mr. del toro come before us today. in consultation with the democrats, i think this is the right move. susan hedman is the former region 5 administrator for the epa. she is no stranger to the committee. july 2015, we held a hearing about mismanagement and retaliation at the epa in region 5, which is based in chicago. this has been a problem for the committee. again, she is the former epa administrator for region5. i have a few documents i would
like to enter into the record. i would like unanimous consent to enter a june 24th, 2015 e-mail memo, from del toro to the chief groundwater -- drinking water branch. part of this e-mail says, recent drinking water sample results indicate the presence of high lead results in the drinking water. without objection, that will be entered into the record. i also have an april 27 e-mail from miguel del toro to thomas. flint has not been operating in a corrosive controlled treatment, which is very concerning, giving the likelihood of lead service lines in the city. without objection, i will enter that into the record. we have another e-mail here that is dated july 1, from susan
hedman, to dane, the mayor of flint. the preliminary draft report should not have been released outside of the agency. without objection, we wonder that into the record. another one from susan hedman to dane walling. "i'm not inclined to have any more medication with the aclu representative. in the meantime i have no objection to the city letting them know that the report he was given was a preliminary draft and that he would be premature to draw any conclusions based on that draft." again, this is july. you will see this has been redacted. the epa has agreed by the end of the week to get these non-redacted versions of these e-mails. without objection, we will enter these four documents into the record. the committee requests that i transcribed interview with ms.
hedman and a letter sent to the epa last week. shortly after the extent of the crisis that when speaking public -- that flint became public, ms. hedman reside in january. resignation became effective monday. the epa has agreed to provide all of her e-mails by the end of the week. today, we are issuing a subpoena for susan hedman to come up here before the committee and participate in a deposition. this will happen later this month. darnell early is the former emergency manager for the city of flint. he is the former emergency manager for clint, michigan. appointed the position in 2013, tasked with overseeing went's finances. -- flint's finances. he left the position in it january 2015. they voted 7 to 1 in the city
council to make the transition to city water. it is vital to understanding how these decisions were made. the committee sent mr. early a live item last week. he knew this was happening, and knew that he was invited to appear before the committee. most of the people that appear before the committee, we do not need to compel them to attend. participation, though, before this committee, is not optional. when you get invited to come to the oversight committee, you are going to show up. we were told, and i believe 7:50 p.m. on monday night, that he would not attend. on tuesday, i issued a subpoena. normally these are done electronically with the counsel of record. his attorney refused to service. we are calling on the u.s. marshals to hunt him down and
give him that subpoena. [applause] today, we are issuing a new subpoena. he will appear, and he will be here to do a deposition later this month. this subpoena will also be issued today. but we need the help of the u.s. marshals. i want to issue one other document. i ask unanimous consent to enter into this document -- for the record -- this is from susan hedman. this is a december 10 2015 email. natural resources defense council position back in october to get the epa to do its job. again, further delaying it, let the members of the public look at this. iraq -- i ask unanimous consent to enter that into the record. with that business in mind, i
don't know if mr. cummings has any business he wants to enter into the record. with that, let us now transition/ i appreciate the indulgence of the committee. it's important that members understand where we are with subpoenas, participation, and the intent of the committee to participate in these depositions. now let's go to the opening statements. i would like to yield to the gentleman from michigan, mr. walberg, for his comments. >> i thank you for taking this issue, this hearing and subsequent hearings very seriously. it is a serious issue. i recognized representative, the gentleman from flint. the efforts that you have carried on is important. for michigan, it's important. i would mention to my other colleagues, this is important for the united states. we have infrastructure needs challenge with government at all levels all around this country.
we need to take it seriously. thank you for raising this. the flint water crisis is indeed a human tragedy. it's not a natural disaster. it is a human disaster. brought on by failures of humans. but i think as well, brought on by failures of government at all levels. we are here on an oversight committee to do the very thing necessary -- to oversight, and reform. to make it right where we can. sadly, and i think of as a grandfather and father, i would not want my kids or grandkids to have to drink this type of water. [applause] it's not the thing we should expect in america, especially. but it has happened. now the issue is, how do we make it right? how do we move forward? the lives of young children will
be impacted for years to come, sadly. the dreams and aspirations coming from their parents will be impacted. we are here today to find answers, to get answers help for the people of flint but also for the people of the united states. we must get the facts right. there must be accountability. these children and families deserve nothing less. mr. chairman, i want to be clear -- again, this was a failure of government. a key failure of government. just as this crisis was a failure at every level, the effort to make things right must be a cooperative effort at every level as well. the safety and well-being of our citizens is not a republican or democrat or independent issue. it is a human issue, an american issue that affects american's lives. politicizing this tragedy won't solve the problem, and it won't
help the children of flint. i make my commitment, mr. chairman, to you, that this will be an effort that is bipartisan. see our delegation step up. i hope today's hearing will begin to shine the light on how this tragedy happened, who was involved, how we can make it right, and how we can never let it happen again. so we can move forward together to fix and ensure that this american ideal that allows people to be free, safe, secure, and upwardly mobile happens to a great the great. -- to a great degree. i yield back. mr. beauvais: thank you. rep. chaffetz: i would remind the audience, displays of approval clapping or not, are not appropriate for this meeting. this is the united states of
america. this isn't supposed to happen here. we are not some third world country where you get 100,000 people that get poisoned -- poisoned, overlong periods of time. i can't even begin to express -- i don't know how and my wife would you with our kids being poisoned for so long. i just, i physically cannot even understand or comprehend what the parents and loved ones, in the individuals who have been drinking that water have been going through. i am disappointed in the response at the local level, at the state level, and at the federal level. this is a feeling at every level. -- failing at every level. is fundamentally and totally wrong. the public has a right to be outraged. outrage does not even begin to cover it. i don't know how we fix this, but it has to be fixed. we are going to hear from one of our witnesses today.
i chatted with her for a moment before. ms. walter. i appreciate you coming before the committee and doing what you did early on in the process. i really do. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses. we can't let this happen. it should never have happened in the first place. i am going to yield back. i will turn the time to our ranking member, mr. cummings, for his opening comments. rep. cummings: mr. chairman, i really appreciate you for your efforts, for requesting this hearing and making it happen. mr. chairman, i want to yield three minutes to my distinguished colleague mrs. lawrence from michigan.
rep. lawrence: in a letter, i asked that this hearing examined actions of key decision-makers involved in the development of this drinking water contamination crisis. i never thought this could happen in america, in this day and age. in our great country and our great home of michigan, where we are surrounded by freshwater and the great lakes. every american has the right to three basic needs from their government -- clean air to breathe, seat food to eat -- safe food to eat and air they can breathe that will not harm the bodies. we have built -- have failed them in providing these basic needs. we have also failed their trust. i am pleased that ms. walters is here, because she puts a face on this tragedy. she like so many mothers of the residents of flint, deserve to be heard.
they are putting their trust in the government to fully investigate belongs that this -- investigate the wrongs that these people have suffered. today we have a chance to start rebuilding that trust. i submit to you that while we are doing the right thing in holding this hearing, and i appreciate your script reaction -- swift reaction, it is difficult to correct the mistakes of the past moments we call the decision-makers in this man-made disaster and ask them what happened why it happened, when heyou knowew. i want to publicly were new my request for another hearing. i am so encouraged to hear that there will be. i strongly believe that governor rick snyder, mr. early, and other michigan state officials directly related to this devastating event before this body, should come and answer questions. the people of went -- of flint
congressman lidee i stand with you in this fight. --congressman kildee. i walked through flint, mental with so many people. the heart and courage you have in this crisis -- i want you to know that i'm standing with you. mr. kildee, i will be right there with you. my objective is to never again in america -- we can fix this, but we have to have those who made the decision, forward and give --decision come forward and get answers. i yield back the remainder of my time. >> mr. chairman, we are the last line of defense. i do thank you for: this hearing, because -- calling this hearing, because there are some german that wouldn't have called it. i mean that, you wouldn't have called it. but you did.
finally i want to say a special thank you to the many residents of flint, michigan who traveled all the way here to washington, d.c. to attend today's hearing. to you, we thank you. reverend sharpton, i thank you for being here. i welcome you all and thank you so much. i believe that we have a moral obligation to to conduct a comprehensive investigation of this crisis. let us be abundantly clear, it is a crisis. we need to determine how children in the united states of america, in the year of 2016 have been exposed to drinking water, poisoned with lead. and not by accident. by the actions of their own
government. ia sk ask every member of this committee to take a moment and imagine what your reaction would be if this happened in your district instead of flint. would i tolerate it? of course you wouldn't. you would demand answers. you would demand that we examine the actions of everyone. and when i say everyone, i mean everyone. you would hear testimony from everyone involved. and you would obtain documents from everyone involved. the problem is that today, we are missing the most critical witness of all. the governor of the state of michigan, rick snyder. he is not here. governor synder was the driving force behind michigan's emergency manager, which he
signed in 2011, and invoked to take over the city of flint from its local elected leaders. the governor handpicked appointees to run the city. and they decided to use water from the flint river. he also led the michigan department of environmental quality, which failed to protect the people of flint. according to the governor's own task force, charged with investigating this crisis. obviously, governor snyder should have to answer for his decisions. we ask the chairman to invite him to date, but he would not. we asked the chairman to give us a date for a future in a hearing with governor snyder, but he would not. we ask the chairman to send the
same kind of document request to governor snyder that he sent to the epa, but he would not do that either. we want answers from everybody. from the epa, straight on it down to the local officials. that is the weight we -- the way gewe get to the bottom of this prices. the problem with this approach is that it undermines the credibility of congress. our committee and this investigation. that is totally unacceptable to the people of flint. it should be totally unacceptable to the people of this congress. and totally unacceptable to the people of of the united states of america. as i said before, we are the last line of defense. certainly we want to hear from the epa. i want to hear from the epa. based on what i have seen, epa officials have moved much more aggressively after they detected
the heightened levels of lead. but states are the primary enforcement agency for the safe drinking water act, not the epa. the chairman argues that we should let the state continue its own investigation. i disagree. the state has failed the people of flint. now it's up to us, all of us. let me be clear -- if we act selectively for political reasons, then we become a part of the problem. the information has been brought to us and we now have a duty to investigate all aspects of the crisis. we simply do not have the right to remain silent. we do not have the right not to act. government must fix it. today every democrat on the committee has joined together to
sign this letter to the chairman. it invokes our right under the house rules to demand a hearing with witnesses of our choosing. in this letter, we officially request testimony from governor snyder, and the 3 key emergency managers that he appointed to govern flint. ia sk ask that are b inserted to the official record. rep. chaffetz: without objection. rep. cummings: our ultimate goal is to serve the interests of the children and families of flint. we do not know the full extent of the damage that was caused. but we know it is grave. today, the committee received a letter from the american academy of pediatrics. the letter warned that thousands
of children under the age of six have now been potentially exposed to lead through the flint drinking water. the letter says this "as you know the city of flint has long been an impoverished community beset by a host of economic and infrastructure purchase. -- infrastructure hardships. coupled with widespread lead exposure means that flint's children will require significant help to cope with the impact of lead on their physical and behavioral health and development, they are schooling, and much more." as i close, mr. chairman, it is our job here on this committee and on this congress to make sure this help is provided to these kids. mr. cameron -- mr. chairman, not only to the kids, but to the adults and every citizen of
flint. to make sure they are not forgotten after these hearings end. that is why i say this is not a political issue, this is a moral issue. we have to investigate what happened at all levels, including the state. we have to turn to accountability and reform. lastly, there is a fellow who had a song that i used to love. he never had any hits in my district. but he sang a song,'s name was cat stevens. cat stevens said, "oh very young, what will you bring us this time? you are dancing on this earth only for a short time. what will you leave us this time?" children or the living messengers of a future that we will not see. the question is, what will we leave them? will we send them strong, hopeful?
will we rob them of their destiny? will we rob them of their dreams? no, we will not do that. and i am proud of this committee for holding this hearing. we will get to the bottom of this. we will do it in a bipartisan way. thank you mr. chairman, and i yield back. rep. chaffetz: i thank the gentlemen. you should have applauded that, but i appreciate you listening. [applause] alright, thank you. so we're good now. thank you. and that is what i love about mr. cummings and this committee. we have passionate people on both life that care deeply about their country. nobody, nobody wants to see this thing happen. we are going to have a good hearing today. i hold the record open for five legislative days for any number that would like to submit a written statement. the chair the present of the
former chairman, mr. conyers of michigan. we would ask unanimous consent to allow him to participate in today's hearing. we are also pleased to note the presence of congressman morgan griffith of virginia. we appreciate him joining us today. we ask that he too be allowed to join the panel. >> without objection so ordered. rep. chaffetz: we will have two panels today. it has been the practice of the house in a situation like this to allow a member who represent district, mr. kildee, who represents the fifth district of michigan, which includes flint. we asked him to participate today to give his perspective. we will now recognize him for 5 minutes. mr. kildee: first of all thank you for holding his hearing and allowing me to make some
comments on what's happening in my hometown. to the ranking member, mr. cummings, thank you for your support and guidance and your allegiance to the people of the city of flint. and to my colleague congresswoman lawrence, i want to say thanks for having my back and the backs of the people of flint. i know we have people that i am anxious to. flint is my hometown. i raise my children in flint. when we leave here at the end of every week, i fly home to flint. i am a son of this town. it breaks my heart to see what is happening. it breaks my heart not just because of what has been inflicted upon the people of flint, but because it was an entirely avoidable set of circumstances. better action by people in
government could have protected the people of flint. and those players failed. and i appreciate the outrage that members of congress have expressed. that a great has come from the -- that outrage has come from both sides my hope is that that outrage. translates into something more than just sharing the misery of the people of flint, or empathy. we need to provide help for the folks in flint. filint is a strong community. we have been through really tough time. we will get through this. we have to have resources from the people who did this to rep. chaffetz: in order to have a path forward. especially for the children of my hometown. -- did this to flint in order to have a path forward. right now the water is not safe to drink. high levels of lead show up in testing. the reason i am here is that i
want to make sure that as this committee pursues its responsibility, that we focus on the facts of this case. we make sure those guys the conclusions that we make. it was mentioned in flint we have had an emergency manager. that is not just a small anecdote here. emerging --emergency managers in michigan have absolute authori over local governmentyty. when we talk about failure of government at every level, let us be clear about one very important point. every decision that was made for the city of flint that relates to this crisis was made by a state appointed emergency manager. so when we refer to local decisions there are some who are trying to obfuscate responsibility for this crisis by saying these were local decision. they were local decisions made
by a state emergency manager. the mayor of the city has no authority. the city council in flint -- zero authority to make any decisions. that is an important point. making matters worse, the reason an emergency manager was requested in the first place was because the loss of our manufacturing base, but at the same time, the state of michigan cut and essential element of city resources. it cut the money that goes to support cities. the city has a $50 million general fund. over the last decade, $50 million of direct revenue-sharing from the state to the city was eliminated, through the city into a financial crisis, precipitating the appointment -- by the state -- of an emergency manager to take over the city. the state that helped bankrupt the city that is now sending them to take it over to get it
right. it was the state emergency manager that made the decision to switch the city of flint to the flint river water source. it was the emergency manager that had 100% control of all departments of city government, including the department responsible for making sure that the water was properly treated. that is emerging -- that emergency manager failed. these are facts. this is the order by the emergency manager to switch to the flint river. and again, there is a public relations campaign underway right now to try and say these were local decisions, or not the epa, to deflect responsibility from the state of michigan. is with the decision by emergency manager in flint to go to the flint river water source. a critical decision that was made that precipitated this entire crisis.
after that switch was made, citizens began to speak up. one of them, leanne walters is here, and will be on the next panel. she is one of the heroes of this story. let me be clear -- the heroes are those that brought to light. they are not public officials. they are citizens, activists, people that would not be quiet. we and walters is one of them. -- leann walters is one of them. she ultimately had to go to the epa, as the chairman indicated to raise this question. what was the response from the munchkin department of -- the michigan department of environmental quality? to try and discredit all the voices calling this problem to their attention. whether it was dr. mark edwards from virginia tech, you will hear from. the state of michigan tried to discredit his research, a guy that spent his career on clean water. tried to discredit the citizens
as if they were just unhappy citizens. they had lead in their water. it was going to their children. again, there is an effort to create some false equivalency of responsibility. i'm critical of the epa industry's, don't get me wrong. -- critical of the epa in this case, don't get me wrong. i am introducing legislation soon that will require much more transparency by the epa. as soon as they discover problems with the water in flint that they would've shouted from the mountaintop. instead, they kept insisting that the michigan department of environmental quality do its job. which it failed to do. one of the questions that has come up -- why didn't the epa insist that the michigan department of environmental only require erosion control to be
used in flint? there is a document that i have in my ha which i am submitting to yound,. it is a memo from the department of environmental quality to the epa, saying-- this is 2015, almost a year ago indicating that flint has an optimized corrosion control program. they did not. so to hold the epa comfortable, i want to hold them accountable for transparency. we need to get the facts right. it was the michigan department of environmental quality telling the epa that they had it under control, that they were using corrosion control when they were not. i would prefer the epa that they had this data and let us force the deq to do its job.
they didn't, and that is their failure. but it is not their failure to insist that corrosion control process implemented. a continued to ask. -- they continued to ask. they were told it was under control when it was not. when this became public, another one of the heroes of this story a pediatrician in flint. she began to look at blood levels in children. it showed elevated blood-lead levels of children and flint. she released her data, and what was the response of the state of michigan? to try and discredit this pediatrician who has devoted her entire life to the health of children just trying to do her job for the kids of flint. there was a continuous effort to try and minimize this problem as if it did not exist. there are a lot of questions about who knew what, and when.
that is an important part of this. we have an e-mail from the chief of staff and governor's office in july 2015, raising this question. saying he thought that basically the people in flint were getting blown off by the state. they knew about this back then, and filled to --failed to act. let me conclude by saying a couple of things. i am really concerned that we get to the facts on this, not just because i want to know who should be fired, who should be subpoenaed, who should be blamed, who should be prosecuted -- justice comes in those forms, for sure. but justice for the people of flint comes by making it right for the people of flint. the only way we can make it right is to make sure we know who did this. for anybody who has been paying
attention to this case back home in michigan, there is really no doubt about who was responsible. the state of michigan was responsible, as the ranking member said, has primacy for the enforcement of the lead rule. the state of michigan was running the city of flint itself the time that these decisions were made. and the state of michigan denied to the citizens of the state and went that -- state and flint that this was a problem.at one point a state official, after the lead data had been made known to them, told people in flint that they should adjust relax. -- that they should just relax. 9000 children in flint with water with elevated lead levels going into their bodies -- relax? yes, this is a failure of government. but this false equivalency that
somehow local officials who had no power, and the epa, who i agree, should have done more, should be held accountable for this -- misses the point. this was a state failure. you will hear hear from folks today. the current head of the michigan department of environmental quality, whom i know, is a good man. he was not any position at the time these decisions were maded and can't really testify to what happened then in real-time. we were there. leann walters was there. the people of flint knew what was happening. from my perspective the state has a moral responsibility not to just apologize. the governor has already apologized. in his state of the state, he says he acknowledged
responsibility. the way i was raised is that when you do something wrong to someone, something that has consequence, you do apologize, for sure. but also, if you have it in your power to make it right for that person you have to stand up and do that. so far we have not seen that. we need to the pipes fixed in flint. the governor should write a check tomorrow for the $60 million that the mayor of flint has asked for to replace the lead service lines. he is sitting on a $1 billion surplus. he should ask for that money tomorrow. and then should commit to not just fixed the infrastructure -- not just fix the infrastructure, but to make it right for these kids. give them the kind of help that any child with a developmental hurdle to overcome should get. early childhood education, good nutrition, lots of support behavioral support. not just now, not just next
year, but the entire trajectory of their developmental cycle. this is a tragedy. it cannot be fixed but those who did this to flint can stand up and make it right. i would ask this committee to do everything in your power to find the facts. if you with those lead you to the conclusion that they should, we will find that the state of michigan bears the responsibility to the greatest extent and they should be held to account. they should also be held to make it right. i yield back. rep. chaffetz: thank you for your legislation and passion. all those documents you refer to will be entered into the record. what we will do now is recess for approximately 4 minutes. so don't go anywhere. the clerks need to reset for panel number 2. the committee stands in recess.
witnesses will be sworn before they testify. if you will please rise and raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear or from that the testimony give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? thank you, you may be seated. let the record reflect that all witnesses answered in the affirmative. and over to allow time for further discussion and questioning, we would appreciate you limiting your opening comments to no more than five minutes. and your entire submission will be made part of the record. mr. beauvais: you are now recognized for 5 minutes. mr. beauvais: good morning mr. chairman distinguished members of the committee. my name is joel >> and i serve as
the epa director of water. thank you for the opportunity to testify about the response to the drinking water crisis in flint. i spent yesterday with members of the epa response team on the ground. we met with mayor weaver and other community leaders and members. the situation in flint is critical, and demands urgent and sustained action at all levels of government to protect the public and help us to recover. epa is intensely engaged in work to restore saved drinking water in flint in coordination with the broader federal response. what happened in flint was avoidable and should never have happened. under the safe drinking water act, congress directed epa to set national standards but assigned primary responsibility to the state to implement and enforce the law. epa maintains federal oversight of state programs. that system, while imperfect
has achieved major gains in drinking water safety nationwide . the situation that gave rise to the current crisis in flint of a large public water system switching from a treated water to using an untreated water source is highly unusual. under federal regulations, the city was required to obtain prior approval for the switch from the michigan department of environmental quality. they advised the city of flint that corrosion control treatment was not necessary. failure to implement such treatment resulted in leeching o f lead into the city's drinking water. city staff urged the department for control, but met resistance. delays in action treating flint 's water and in informing the public of ongoing health risks have had serious consequences. all parties involved needed to take steps to understand how this happened and to ensure that it never happens again.
several reviews and investigations, including a u.s. department of justice investigation, are underweight michigan. administrator mccarthy has asked epa's inspector general to undertake an independent review of epa's response and oversight of mdeq. we look forward to acting upon that review. administrator mccarthy issued an policy directing epa's leadership to encourage prompt and decisive action to address critical public health concerns. further, we are committed to engaging with states system operators and other stakeholders to identify and address of the potential drinking water risk. epa is working hard to address the public health emergency in flint. since last october, our flint safe water tracking task force has provided expert technical assistance to the city on corrosion control treatment and
proper lead testing. in november ep announced we are conducting an audit ofa mdeq;'drinking water program to assess its performance and identify needed changes.on june 21, the epa issued an emergency order under the safeway -- the safety rigging what are act. -- the safe the drinking water act. that the city establishes the commodity-- following president obama's emergency declaration in january, the in ministries and deployed a multi agency response effort in flint. epa has established a significant presence on the ground, including scientist water quality scientist, and community engagement coordinators. epa has launched a multipronged drinking water sampling effort to restore flint's systems.
we are sharing information with the public in a transparent and timely way and will continue to work with the city state, and community to get flint's system back on track. in addition to our work and flint, epa is committed to strengthening the lead and copper rule. we are working on revisions to the rule. last december, we received extensive recordation's from our national drinking water advisory council and other concerned stakeholders. we will consider this input and the national experience in implement the role, including the events in flint as we develop proposed improvements. in the nearer term, we will work with state and other stakeholders to take near-term action to strengthen implementation of existing rule. thank you for the opportunity to testify today. i welcome any questions. mr. creagh: thank you rep. chaffetz: and other ranking members. thank you for the opportunity to be here to discuss the flint water crisis. since january 4 2016, i have
served as director of the michigan permit of environmental quality. i want to start by apologizing to the residence of flint. in retrospect, government at all levels should have done more. we must fully investigate what happened in order to make sure it will never happen again. in addition, and most urgently, we must fix the problem with people of flint. this is a complex issue, due in part to the multiple levels of government oversight. the city of flint is responsible for daily operations of the water plant and the distribution system, including identifying sample locations, collecting samples, and certifying that they criteria of thee lead and comparable. michigan is possible for ensuring compliance, with the lead and copper rule. the epa provides oversight to make sure those standards are met. in flint, the implementation of the federal lead and copper rule was ineffective protecting
public health. in the first round of lead sampling can back it six parts per billion, corrosion treatment was not implemented. regardless of the testing schedule allowed by the epa rules, in hindsight, when the lead levels begin to write corrosion treatment should have been required by the epa. as a michigan auditor general pointed out mdeq's drinking water relied on it technical compliance instead of ensuring safe drinking water. the lead and copper rule would allow up to 24 month to begin these treatments. it has now become clear that the federal lead and comparable is outdated and inadequate to protect public from exposure to lead especially in communities with each introduction such as flint. -- communities with aging infrastructure such as flint. i am confident these reviews across the board will address in-depth the policy and decision-making corrections needed to assure that government at all levels can provide safe,
clean, drinking water to citizens. while we could spend the whole morning trying to assign blame i would first like to acknowledge the ongoing advocacy of leanne walter, dr. mark edward in helping to bring this problem to light. i would like to spend the final few minutes discussing the state responses undertaken to fix this problem. the state has been working hard to develop effective and responsive steps to address issues relating to the drinking water of flint. on october 2, governor rick snyder announced a 10 step planet to address the floodwater emergency. the state emergency operations center was operated. since then we have handed out 100,000 water filters 32,000 one existing sampling gets. i also want to highlight the state's five pound simply plan. -- five-pronged sampling plan.
although this is not a scientific sampling pool, initial results have shown lead in water with 93% of sampling below the federal action level of 15 parts per billion. testing of additional schools and figures is underway. home screening and additional follow-up for children with elevated lead levels in the blood are being coordinated by the michigan department of health and human services. identities and of several sites is occurring to allow for long-term monitoring and testing of water in conjunction the epa and city.the state will achieve these deliverables identified in the epa order, sent on january 31. since the issuance of the order the state and ep have had productive and constructive conversationsa on a unified path forward. while we certainly appreciate the dialogue that has occurred, consultation with the state before the order was issued would have provided clarity to the many issues the state was already under way in addressing.
indeed, it is puzzling that the order was issued so long after the state response began without mentioning the steps already underway. to be successful, we, stathe state, need a stressed based partnership with the epa, the city of flint and other agencies at the local and county levels. i appreciate the relationships that have been established between myself, mayor weaver, through our weekly calls and meetings. in closing, we know the task ahead is important, as is the restoration of the public's trust. governor snyder is dedicated to provide the resources to find solutions. we look to our congressional and federal partners to provide leadership on federal resources that can be leveraged to address problems related to the flint water crisis. we will not rest until this problem is solved and the people of flint our assured they again have water that is safe for them and their families. i thank you again for the
opportunity to come before you. i look forward to answering any questions you may have. rep. chaffetz: mr. edwards. mr. edwards: thank you. this is the third time, unfortunately, that i have testified before conference -- before congress about the epa lea d and copper rule. when we met on this in 2004, we talked about the deficiencies of epa, the loopholes in regulation, and all of we could have learned from washington dc was derailed. the only thing that we learned in washington dc was that these agencies pay to protect us from a lead and drinking water can get away with anything. i am really thanking you to do what -- begging you to do what we did not do the last two times. to fix the epa lead and copper
rule and to fix the u.s. epa. the agencies involved in protecting children from leade ned drinking water, including the cdc, epa, privacy entities have proven themselves time and time again unworthy of the public trust. they cannot be trusted to fix this problem. they have repeatedly engaged in scientific misconduct. in the written testimony i submitted, i outline over the last 10 years 5 examples of falsified reports from these agencies that ahve conclusions directly endangering children in this country, that have caused children to be lead poisoned. they refuse to correct the scientific record, even in the case of an epa that they now
acknowledge has no data, no data after 9 years. i i have tried to get this report corrected. they refused to retract this report. their callous disregard for the most vulnerable among us has played out most recently in flint michigan. residents there have been living a surreal experience. it is part 1984. part and of the people. i am ashamed to the profession i belong to has allowed this to occur. in closing, i am begging you please these agencies, do what
these agencies have refused to do. protect kids in this country from lead in the drinking water. let's make them live up to their noble mission and once again be worthy of the public trust. i will yield my time. ms. walters: my home used to be a place of comfort and safety for my family. a place of peace and protection from the outside world. that was taken from us. and from every citizen in flint. now my home is known as ground zero. we stand with the people in washington who suffered their own lead crisis a decade ago because we now know the horror of poison running through attacks. our taps.
the decision was made to switch the water source without the proper testing and enforcement of regulations. the agency claims it misinterpreted federal law. they were allowed to tell epa they were following the law without any verifications. the citizens in flint were short for 18 months that the water was safe. my home was being tested because of the discoloration of my water. we fought the city in the state and we were dismissed. i decided we needed to get to the science. i started researching and educating myself about water. i had three tests done by the city of flint. using extra steps that tends to minimize land and water. led in water.
ad in water. i told mr. del toro i do not believe there was corrosion control in the water. he verified my findings and he was furious. he questioned the agency and at first they lied and then later admitted the truth. i figured out that she was aiding the agency with her lies. and mr. dilts oro was the only one willing to address the problem. i requested a copy of the report and i made public because people had a right to know. susan headman of epa apologized to the mayor flint because of policy. no one but mr. dell tauro was willing to do their job. he was told by the ethics attorney to forward all media requests including those during his personal time. he was also advised not to talk about flint or to anybody from
flint. leanne schecter smith breaks to me about how mr. dilts oro had been handled. this report was flawed. and there would be no final report. this was the ultimate betrayal for the citizens. she cared more about policy and the welfare of an entire community while punishing and silencing the one person who is trying to help us. i started doing independent testing. my average was 2500 parts per billion. hazardous waste is 5000. my son had lead poisoning. the city and the agency continued to tell everyone that the water was safe as the epa sat back and watched in silence. he is the state and federal governments failed us, we
conducted citizen-based sampling. we distributed 300 samples throughout the city. all of this was done in a three-week turnaround. after the tragedy in d.c., epa should have immediately closed the loopholes to co protect all citizens. epa has failed to protect people by refusing to dan led service lining replacements. the national report from 2006 says the lack of system response for led is especially true to inform the public. it is done less than one third of the time. from my research i found that this is not a flint problem. this is a national problem. only 10 states test accurately and according to the lcr.
19 states have testing with loopholes similar to michigan's. there is no justifiable reason. these loopholes need to be eliminated pre-flush smallmouth battles and stagnation. i spoke against the recommendations that are under advisement by the epa. this will weaken and already broken system. i'm outraged that the epa continues to allow this to happen. the citizens in flint are relying on each of you because we have no choice. we trust no one but virginia tech. there are people in flint still not being assisted. illegal and immigrants, disabled, and shut-ins. the entire community is suffering. i refuse to help restore some of the trusts lost and protect all the citizens of the united
states i never allowing this to happen again. we needed to happen now. this to happen now. mr. wahlberg: thank you mr. chairman. you're a good panel to have to start this investigation. in his testimony the director noted an e-mail from the epa to the michigan agency in response to mr. del toro's memo stating this is the epa e-mail. i want to remind you that his report had the agency copied.
you can truthfully respond that it was epa's response that the agency report not be sent. consequently you never received the report from miguel. who sent that e-mail and why would epa tell the michigan agency that they never received a report which identified the lack of corrosive controls? >> my understanding is that the e-mail was from a staffer in region five. i do not know why that e-mail was sent. we are looking into that and the administrator has asked the inspector general to undertake an assessment and an independent review. we need to get to the bottom of it.
i am not aware of any punishment of mr. del toro. he is a valued member of the epa's team. he is a nationally recognized expert in this field. he has spoken recently to the media and i think he has briefed the staff of this committee. >> the way epa operates in general is that people who are causing trouble by doing their job are just not allowed to do their job. he was told by the ethics officer at epa not speak to anyone from flint or about flint. he told himseld me that himself.
>> do you believe the epa is aware of local minis holidays not following the testing requirements? dr. edwards: i think the epa in general cast a blind eye on these ms. pawleys that were not following. for example in durham north carolina in 2008 children with lead poisoning as a result of a sampling protocol where you clean the lead out so it looks lower than it normally is. epa wrote a memo that band that protocol. but they know water utilities still use that protocol. even after it was banned and caused lead poisoning of
children. >> their response is because of a lack of clarity in the regulations or a lack of enforcement or both? dr. edwards: i said the only thing i can conclude is that they don't care about children lead poisoned from drinking water. >> that's a pretty strong statement. what is epa have this problem? dr. edwards: you have to ask them. i believe they are not enforcing the law and not enforcing their own policies. they have created this environment in which basically anything goes. it has manifested itself in flint. the unique circumstances
outsiders in spite of the system showing that this problem occurred. had it not been for people outside the system those children in flint would still be drinking that water to this day. that is a fact. >> my time has expired. the chairman: we had a hearing here in july about region five. three whistleblowers said people were being retaliated against. it is so frustrating that that was not dealt with when it was brought up which should never have happened in the first place. it obviously continued. mr. cummings: we made it clear
that we would not tolerate retaliation, nobody on either side of these panels. as we look at these depositions that the chairman is taking we may well look to make sure we get to the bottom of that. i know the attorney general was looking at it. the fbi is looking at it. the chairman: i would concur. if they feel retaliated against for telling the truth come talk to us. both sides of the aisle. there is no way we are going to stand for that. we will have your back. we will make sure that the truth gets out there. there are whistleblower protections in place for sharing information with congress. past that order along.
ms. lawrence: on january 29 mr. cummings and myself said to governor snyder a detailed request. as of this morning we had not received any response from the governor. since this request covers your agency can you tell the committee what steps have been taken to collect these documents and when will we get them? >> i am aware of the letter and i believe there is a february 11 date. ms. lawrence: can you explain in the state of michigan what exactly is the role of the michigan department of
environmental quality? once advised by epa which did happen in this situation what is the responsibility of michigan? >> michigan has enacted statutes that mirror the safe drinking water act that allow us to enforce laws in the state of michigan. we have primacy for enforcing the lead and copper rule in the safe drinking water act. the epa sets the standards and oversees the program and conducts yearly audits. ms. lawrence: what failed in an actin enacting the law and why a response to epa advising the
state of michigan that there was high levels of corrosion in the floodwater? >> it is the question of the day. that is what many of the auditors and reviews will have conclusions on. we need to have a thorough investigation. the city runs the plants. they certify that the samples are consistent with the rule. we oversee that. we work with epa on standards and conversations. ms. lawrence: are you saying the city is responsible for not responding? it came from epa directly to the michigan department of environmental quality advising you about the floodwater.
>> if i could i would say it differently. we all share responsibility for the flint water crisis,. . we all let the citizens of flint and down. we have a commitment to solve that problem. the citizens of flint should not have to worry about the lead and copper rule. they should just have fresh safe drinking water. ms. lawrence: you are new in this position. we have heard some issues. what are you doing in michigan to respond to this? what are the improvements? >> there is epa's water task force. i have weekly calls with the interim regional administrator for the epa.
there is no difference of opinion on regulations or implementation. we meet weekly with mayor weaver and the water treatment facility operator. to make sure we are in lockstep for any implementation. we have implemented the and i have visited with miguel talking about the epa water task force. to make sure we get it right. it is a very complex issue. ms. lawrence: when you say it is the question of the day the state is perplexed by edwards results as it seems to be by the cities test results. this group specializes in looking for high lead levels. we keep saying it is the question of the day. as anybody been held accountable?
>> there is accountability throughout the system. there have been some changes at the deq and suspensions. everyone deserves to process. ms. lawrence: you are holding some people accountable. you should know what happened. it should move from being a question's actually documenting these problems. how can you discipline someone if you do not have clear information about the failure of their jobs? >> we have clear standards and clear accountability. a clear path forward. we are working in conjunction with both the city and the state and the federal government to resolve this. ms. lawrence: thank you to ms.
walters. your passion going above and beyond the amazing job you have is apparent. as a parent. i want to thank you. >> is outrageous that this sort of government made catastrophe could happen anywhere in the united states. i agree with my colleagues that we needed independent nonpartisan investigation. state of michigan needs to provide conference of assistance to the people of flint. the state has the resources.
i'm a former state legislator. the state spends $33 million on the michigan ad campaign and yet has provided only $28 million to make sure the people of flint have pure water. the state has the resources and needs to make it right. i have never liked the emergency manager law. it takes power away from the people in the community. it is disappointing. a former emergency manager had his attorney tell us when he received the subpoena for his attendance here that it borders on nonsensical. what is nonsensical, which disappointing is that one of the people who is most culpable for this situation will take responsibility for it.
he needs to appear here and i would like to have some more people here. it is unfortunate that we only have the four of you. what role does the michigan deq have in implementing and enforcing safe drinking water standards? i want to get to the bottom of it. mr.creigh: we have the primary role to ensure compliance with the safe drinking water act. mr. amash: the flint a
treatment plant was off-line for a long. of time. mr. creigh: it was a primary source before 1967. it has been a backup. it has been tested on quarterly basis to ensure it meets say drinking water standards. it is gone from a backup to a primary. state law does not require additional permits for that to go through. they would apply to us to get permits for modifications to the plant. mr. aamash: twin city decides to change its water source how involved is the deq? mr.creigh: is highly unusual to
go from one water source to another so the rigor should of been greater. mr. amash: not enough phosphates british the water to make it less corrosive. what is the cost of treating that water? dr. edwards: there was no fast state met at phosphates added at all. had they done the minimum allowable under the law, it would've cost $8,200 a day. it is the law. you have to have a corrosion control plant. that is why we have the law.
this disaster would not occurred if the phosphate had been added. that includes the legionella outbreak. the leaks of the plumbing system. corrosion control, for every dollar you spend, you save $10. in the flint situation they were saved thousand dollars. my only explanation was that it probably did start in the chaos of the turnover. someone simply forgot to follow the law. you have to use phosphates. there are other approaches you can use. the key point is that you have to have a plan and you have to be optimizing it to make sure you are protecting the pipes and protecting the people. mr. amash: if you started to
send these chemicals through the water how long will it take? dr. edwards: it is likely that the coding has been largely restored. if a federally approved lead in congress am playing there is a pretty good chance that flint would pass. i can't say. until they actually do that testing i have to tear on the side of caution and assume the water is not safe to drink. flint has never done the testing according to federal regulations. they never did the first step that is required in 1997 which is to identify high-risk homes from which you have to sample. it has become clear in flint that they never followed that first step and frankly all of their prior sampling has not
been done. ms. norton: thank you very much mr. chairman. thank you for probably convening this hearing. ms. walters you are a hero in this episode. it turns out to be a citizen. on behalf of those of us on this panel i'm sure the citizens of flint i can only thank you. in our case it was the washington post and i should indicate what the point of my questions are. this really should be a problem-solving exercise. blame is pretty clear. the verdict is in. the responsibility of epa going back to the crisis in the nation's capital and now in
flint and heaven knows in the states. it has to be admitted. i want to alert my colleagues of the national implications of this hearing. if a high profile lead episode in the nation's capital didn't alert people in 2000 surely this is the time for each of us to inquire of proper authorities. if they are engaging in some of the tests that we had just heard about. in the district there were late-term miscarriages and spontaneous abortions and an unusually high rate of lead was found in the water between 2000
and 2003. when a corrosion control substance was added to the water miscarriages and spontaneous abortions reverted to the normal rate. ours was somewhat different. we've heard about pre-flushing. there is a rule that says you can't pre-flush. the epa doesn't know if people are doing that at all. and they were. in flint you are flushing away the lead and then you test. why? that is a close to a criminal act. is there monitoring of
pre-flushing? i don't mean you going to every jurisdiction. i mean the kind of scientific monitoring that will let you know whether pre-flushing is going on. >> the epa task force in flint has provided clear guidance. ms. norton: do you monitor whether it is going on? >> is a concern that dr. edwards and others have brought to our attention. we are looking closely at it. ms. norton: so the answer is no. watch out everybody. when you are told there is no lead in your water they could be pre-flushing because nobody is looking to see whether pre-flushing is going on. mr.creigh, you do concede false.
you talk about epa and its urgency. the only official who has been cited here for understanding that there was a problem was mr. del toro. of the epa. i can understand there is no consensus on the lead and copper rule. let's look at the common sense way that corrosion is controlled not only in the district of columbia but all over the united states. you are not asserting that you did it just an ok consensus needed to get a consensus before deciding to use corrosion controls when you change sources of water? we know this is a billion-dollar problem.
in the district we had this terrible situation where people actually went to the trouble of changing the lead pipes in their own homes and it made the lead worse because unless the city deals with the lead pipe going from your home not only does not help the problem it makes the problem worse. so watch out for changing the lead pipes all over the united states of america. your pipes are full of lead. not the federal government nor your state you should have been adding money of your own to change pipes, that is a problem in our ancient water system. i want to know how to get a quick fix now. these people are not going to remove themselves from flint. they can't sell their homes now.
nobody wants to come to flint an already troubled area. let's look at corrosion control. that was the addition of substance. that is how it is done in the united states. they are not yanking at every pipe. they are using the substance. are you committed to using this substance and what is the cost of it and how early can this chemical to control the lead to keep her from leaching into the water the inserted into the water supply? mr. creigh additional phosphate was added on: december 9. that is in progress. ms. norton: is the water now
safe to drink? mr. creigh: we cannot guarantee at this time that the water is safe to drink. we have mapped the parcels in flint that we know of. there 56,000 parcels. r 56,000 parcelsare 56,000 parcels. we are overlaying that information and i was going door-to-door knocking on doors in talking to individuals. putting three-person teams in those homes with the plumber. someone who can actually address have you take a sample c don't preflush.
you pick them up on a routine basis. we are working with the epa task force to see what kind of time interval makes sense before you can make that statement. esthermr. mica: i was here in 1995 when we took over the district but in a control board. at that time if you think flint is bad the district had hundreds of bodies of indigents there were stacked like court. ord. 60,000 people employed by the district. we had a crack smoking mayor. we had about a half $1 billion
deficit. year have theyear have user don't have the federal government in flint like that. the water wasn't safe to drink in this building. the government has a fundamental responsibility. this glass of water, that is our responsibility to make sure that water is pure and drinkable. we called the superintendent's office to see if this was safe. they would not release to me, a member of congress, the test here in the district. we just asked the superintendent to give us the information. we have a right to know if it is safe here in the nation's
capital. you are not being picked on. when you look at this and the district was taken over by a control board. representative killed the said there was no local decision. there's nothing wrong with that water from the flint river was there mr. edwards? if it was properly treated? what happened was for lack of $8,200 a day about $30,000 a year for that much money we poisoned the kids influenced in way?
in flint? she is a citizen hero. she stepped up, ms. walters. you persisted. look at the time frame though. they had the opportunity to act to put the phosphate in to control the degradation of the pipes. that wasn't done. she alerted them. that was back in march 2015. and it went on and on. ms. walters: the phosphates were not added because they did not have the equipment at the facility to add the phosphates. mr. mica: it is a simple solution to put up that should've
been put in place. you got blown off by the locals and the state government and the federal government. ms. walters: everybody but mr. del toro. mr. mica: everybody has talked about blame and accountability. now we have the kids who drank this water and bathed in this water. every kid in that community should be tested and if there is residual results that somebody should be responsible, the state government the federal government the local government responsible to make sure those kids now and in the future first we need to test them. is that underway? and then we should set aside a fund because we should make certain that these kids are taking care of.
mr. edwards said this is going on that justin flint is going on in d.c. and in durham north carolina. it needs to stop and we need to make certain the system works. mr. edwards: that is correct. the chairman: the audience is reminded to hold their applause. mr. connolly: we ought to be clear about flint. arguably one of the worst in a environmental tragedies in the modern era. and it was man-made. it is the consequence of
implementing a political philosophy of social darwinism. smaller government. rabid anti-regulation. attack after attack after attack on the epa because our financiers don't like it. let's be very clear how flint happened. it did not happen by accident. it wasn't a 7-1 vote. they didn't vote on going to the river. those who want to argue that there is nothing wrong with the water just at phosphate to it send a leader of that water to everyone of my colleagues who want to take deposition and watch them drink it. this is the consequence of putting ideology ahead of human
beings. and their needs and their welfare. the difference in political philosophy matters. political choices have consequences and flint is the most dramatic example in our generation. i do accuse. i do latest at the doorstep of those who share that philosophy. i want to see the governor at this table. if you are so passionate and sank among us about holding people accountable sanctimonious about holding people accountable then let us have governor snyder at this table. the governor appointed a task force the flint water advisory task force and this is the report to the governor.
that interim letter says we believe primary responsibility for what happened in flint rests with your department, the mdeq. the mdeq is the government agency that has the responsibility to ensure safe drinking water the state of michigan. are you aware that finding? >> i do not take issue with that. in retrospect i do. mr. connolly: they characterized to your agency's response as an
abysmal public response to the crisis. do agree with that characterization? >> in retrospect i think the auditor general agrees that we were minimalistic and legalistic in our behavior. mr. connolly: mr. edwards is the primary responsibility epa's or mde qs? mr. edwards: the primary responsibility is the road paid to protect michigan citizens and that is the mdq. deq. mr. connolly: the epa has some culpability no question. in terms of water quality the epa relies on the state agencies to carry out its responsibilities of oversight of water quality.
in this case were there warning flags at all? mr. edwards: if they weren't before they did it as soon as they made the switch they were warning signs. they denied and denied that was a problem. ms. walters: it put us at risk. it wasn't my job to figure out that there was no protection of the water. mr. connolly: you had a reasonable expectation that you could rely on the government to protect your family. mr. goes art.
gozart: when did the epa first learned the high lead levels influence water? >> there were indications in the spring of 2015. very high lead levels are being found. >> i understand the concept. it is setup up as a checks and balances. >> epa has an oversight responsibility. >> if something fails there is another line of responsibility. when did epa administrator mccarthy first visit flint about this crisis? >> i believe yesterday was mccarthy's first visit. >> the day before this hearing.
administrator mccarthy knew about this crisis for eight months but didn't visit flint until the day before this hearing. >> i don't believe she knew about it for eight months. >> really? something as dynamic as this and you didn't relay that of the chain? i came into this job in november 2015. >> this is a very 2016. when you prioritize and i'm a dentist myself. you triage things like this. this is a dynamic tragedy. it is an ongoing problem. when you put the highest priority on that application to figure out what went wrong and except some of the blame going forward? >> this absolutely is our highest priority. >> will it sure doesn't show it to me because if she knew would november and she shows up in flint in february.
this is the same epa that new mind was going to happen in colorado and now has a lot of people all at risk because of some other actions. everybody should take some of the blame. some of that blame goes to epa. and he goes to the head honcho. just like in my office. if something comes into my office and something goes wrong i am accountable. i find it despicable that mccarthy shows up in flint yesterday instead of going there immediately. particularly when we see the outrage from the other side and the people in this audience about children. and the lead poisoning that occurs. that is just despicable. and epa employee tried to discuss the seriousness of this in july 2015 by saying it was a
draft. the memo should never have been released. it never have final approval from the epa hierarchy. she has since resigned correct? >> she resigned in order to make sure that the region could be fully focused on our response to flint. i can't say why she wasn't fired. >> we are going to ask that question when the ministers here. why wasn't she fired? was the final memo ever released? >> i believe the final memo was released in october. >> was a conference of memo with details the chronic nature of this? >> this particular memo that mr. del toro did was focused on the testing of lead at ms. walters
house and the neighboring homes. >> this memo is not even nearly comprehensive of the problem. >> the memo was focused on the specific testing that was done at ms. walters house in the neighboring homes. a conference of look in that situation. it is not the entirety of epa's review the situation. you are one person today who is excepted some responsibility. there is false all the way across. do you believe this would have occurred had the flint city council not voted to change its water source? >> i think this incident occurred because of the lack of phosphates being added.
>> what would've happened if the city had followed the directions of its water utility consultant? >> there were a couple of different consultants. >> what would've followed if a proble if they had done the proper corrosive treatment? >> we would not have this problem. >> a series of checks and balances. everybody pointing the finger. no we wanted to take the blame. i find that very humbling. that the government is not being part of the solution. i yield back. mr. cummings: i am getting very concerned about your testimony. i want to remind you that you
are sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. so let us go over what you just said. i have to get it right in here. i don't want the public to not see this for the accurate truth. governor snyder recently named you as the new head of the m mdeq. governor snyder seemed to take responsibility for the flint crisis. the buck stops here with me he said. i take full responsibility to fix the problem so that it will never happen again. however in the same breath governor snyder also try to blame the city of flint sounds like you are doing right now.
this crisis began in the spring of 2013 when the flint city council voted 7-1 to buy water from the authority. do you agree with governor snyder statement? >> the question i responded to serve was that if they never change their water source with this issue of happened. i believe that is a true statement because there were on detroit water and sewer which was fas phosphated. >> i am not finished. we received to the resolution passed by the city council. at no point during the city vote to allow the flint river to be used for drinking water.
isn't that correct? >> that is my understanding. mr. cummings: i would like to introduce into the record a letter we just received from a member of the city council. he was there. in his letter he explains that the city council did not make the decision to use the flint river because the flint city council had no power to actually enact any laws for the community . everything went through the emergency manager. he was appointed by the governor.
this is what he said. it was the emergency manager who made the decision to use the flint river as a primary source of drinking water for the city of flint. are you aware of these actions? >> nosair. sir. mr. cummings: why would governor snyder try to blame the city council for this decision when it was his own appointee who made the decision and you have a city council that has no authority? there's something wrong with
that. that is why i interjected here because i want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. [applause] i am not finished. do you have any reason to believe that mr. neeley is not telling the truth? >> i am no reason to believe that. mr. cummings: it is supported by statements from the former mayor . he stated after the city council and i expressed support for new water supplies from lake huron they went behind closed doors with the mdeq and decided to use the flint river as an interim source. and they put that in place. were you aware of the mayor statement? >> i was not. mr. cummings: it seems that governor snyder was trying to blame the city of flint for the actions of his own appointee. and he did this in his state of
the state address. the entire population of flint. let me ask you something else. are people paying right now in flint for water they cannot watch in and cannot use and cannot drink? are they paying their water bills? is a part of the recovery? why should you be paying for water that they cannot even use that is poisoning them? that's not american! this is not a third world country! are they paying those bills? >> everyone deserves safe drinking water. that is the expectation. yesterday the governor introduced a supplemental for $30 million to help with that issue. the number one issue is we've spoken about his to make sure
the utility remains solvent. the billing is actually more of a city issue a we understand and respect that. everyone deserves water that is safe. if youmr. cummings: these are people that are struggling. people all the way here from flint, i don't how they got here. i guess on a bus. they are also americans. they are americans just like you and just like your children. i want to be real clear. the chairman will bear me out on this. i have said i don't care whether it is epa or local or state. i want everybody who was responsible for this fiasco to be held accountable.
i am not protecting anybody. that is not our job. we are the last line of defense! if we don't do it know he's going to do it! nobody's going to do it. >> thank you ms. walters for your testimony. it has made a profound difference. i'm from north carolina. a long way away from flint michigan. but in a way we are connected. i got texts this morning from people who would been it affected by region for4 with water quality issues for years and the epa's failure to address them. troubling thing for me is that when i hear from our water
quality epa official is that they are going to just let the office of inspector general do their work. the problem with that is but it will not be enough. there is more than enough blame to go around. the problem is, there are not enough answers to be shared. i'm going to come to the epa and ask you since it's under my subcommittee and the request allows public to look at documents often used in a regular basis by reporters. and i am troubled to hear that the request that dr. edwards has made -- actually, you haven't complied with the law. what do you say to that?
>> my understanding is that we are actively working-- rep. medadows: active is not enough. families are suffering and there is a law that says you have to respond within 21 days. what do you say to dr. edwards who has been requesting information? as i understand, and if you will help me with this, you have made requests both of the state and of the fed. who has been more responsive to you? dr. edwards: the state of michigan has been very responsive. rep. meadows: any documents you requested from the epa have you received today? dr. edwards: i still have requests from 9 years ago. the epa just contact me one month ago about. rep. meadows: nine years. tommy -- let me tell you the
trouble we have with this. we have a site in north carolina called cps. you are familiar with it, aren't you? dr. edwards: i am familiar with the site. rep meadows i would recognize you: get personal knowledge. we have an unbelievable regulation that comes down, and the epa does not enforce their own regulations. there is a problem with that, don't you think? dr. edwards: it is important for epa to enforce its regulations. rep. meadows: can you share your rationale what you would take 9 years to answer a request from dr. edwards? mr. beauvais: i have no idea. i am not familiar with the specific request. rep. meadows: what -- what commitment do we have from you today to get those responses answered as it relates to the flint, michigan issue? mr. beauvais: i will take that back-- re.p. meadows: ok, you will take
that back. when can we really expect a response? is the law clear? mr. beauvais: i will take that back and enter that it is a high priority. rep. meadows;: alright obviously you prepared for this meeting this morning. what was her own internal guidance -- was your own internal guidance -- what did your colleagues recommend that you share? what happens is, everybody gets lawyered up. and then they do nothing. i can tell you from a bipartisan standpoint, this republican from western north carolina is going to work with democrats from michigan to make sure that not only your a are held accountable but the state is held accountable, and all those involved in this are held accountable. we have children, it could have
been my children in flint michigan, and i'm not going to forget that. it could have been your children. what kind of commitment do we have from you to get the documents to this committee so that we can figure out who is to blame? mr. beauvais: my understanding is that there has been the sessions between the committee staff and agency. a commitment has been made to work expeditiously to get unredacted copies of those released, as well as documents related to the committee-- rep. meadows: you think that 60 days is enough time. mr. beauvais: we can provided by the end of this week. rep. meadows: very good. ideal the back. -- i yield back. >> we know recognize mr. cartwright for five minutes. rep. cartwright: i would like to associate with itself with the remarks of mr. cummings. not to put too fine a point on it. what we see are the culpable
parties being caught red-handed, so red-handed that he had to admit his blame and apologize to the nation and to flint. this governor of michigan and his emergency managers, handpicked to save money. in keeping with his philosophy of government, to save money on infrastructure at the expense of public safety, he got caught red-handed poisoning children in flint. and the residents of flint. there are no two ways about it. that is the headline here. criminals, when they get caught red-handed, you know what they starts to do right away? they start to try and spread the blame. oh, there are plenty of blame to go around. there is plenty of blame to go around, so let's just put aside the fact that the governor of michigan got caught red-handed poisoning his citizens.
let's forget about that. let's also try to blame the flint local officials. representative kildee from flint got up and testified. he made the very prescient point, it is an attempt to create an equivalency of blame. that is what i say. they are spreading the blame out. any time somebody says something about a 7-1 vote in flint, that is exactly what kildee is talking about. people putting the blame on local officials in flint, blame that has no place on them. this is the governor of michigan at fault, his emergency managers. i was saddened to hear my colleague from florida say out loud the 7-1 vote. they voted 7-1 not to flinch to flint river water, they voted on
something completely different. that is ridiculous. it is a reprehensible attempt to achieve what dan kildee calls the equivalency of blame. something that could went -- that criminal defendants always do when they get caught red-handed. mr. creagh: i want to talk about what the state did. is made to the vision not to use the flint river -- it made a decision not to use the flint river, then reversed. that decision in my correct mr. creagh: i was not party-- >> you were not there. mr. jerry ambrose, is he here today? can anybody tell me why jerry ambrose is not here today? can anybody tell me why the governor of michigan is not here today? because he's hiding. that's what is happening. ambrose testified in a sworn deposition that in 2012, the governor's previous emergency manager in flint had rejected a
previous proposal to use flint river water as a primary source of drinking water. are you aware of that decision, mr. beauvais: mr. creagh:? mr. creagh: i cannot. rep. cartwright: let me read it to you. "based on conversations with the deq indicated they would not be supportive of the use of flint river on a long-term basis as a primary source of water." mr. creagh: when mr. ambrose was asked why your department make that recommendation he replied, "you'll have to ask them." i am asking you as the head of mdeq, why did your department previously opposed the use of flint river water as a primary source back in 2012? mr. creagh: i don't have knowledge as to that conversation nor decision. rep. cartwright: you don't know. we have called for your predecessor's deposition.
i press that request. i'm trying to figure out what happened between 2012, when your department opposed using the blue river, and 2014, when you reversed course and assigned off on permits to allow it. you can't explain that to us because you weren't there at the time, right? mr. creagh: that's correct. rep. cartwright: okay, we're having a hearing in washington dc with witnesses they don't have personal analysis of the subject. how interested are we in getting to the bottom of the facts when they bring witnesses that don't know what went on? mr. creagh:, in a press release dated april 25, 2014, a member of your department stated the quality of the water being put out eats all of our drinking water standards and flint water is safe to drink. he said that, you know that right? it was a lie, wasn't it? mr. creagh: his comment was in relation to the water leaving the plant, treatment -- making
sure it met safe drinking water standards. rep. cartwright: i am out of time. i hope you will designate a minority day of heari so that we can havengs -- da of y of hearings so that we can have witnesses that actually know the facts at the time. >> thank you mr. chairman. mr. beauvais:, i want to begin with you. the lead and copper rule may not nearly be is protected as previously considered. the safe drinking water act requires that the lead and copper rule be updated every six years. are you aware of that? mr. beauvais: there is a provision in the safe drinking water act indicating a review. >> when was the last time it was updated? mr. beauvais: 2007. >> white is the epa so far behind? -- why is the epa's of her behind? mr. beauvais: we have been getting advice from the national
drink water council for revision. we have received advice from a number of other stakeholders. >> how many years does it take to get the information in order to abide by what you will require to do? mr. beauvais: this is a high priority for us. it's essential that we move forward with revisions. rep. hice: i don't know there has been more of a catastrophe in government handling of an issue since hurricane katrina. this is absolutely a train wreck in everywhere. epa is so far behind not doing its job. when will the update conversion be ready? mr. beauvais: the current schedule for revisions is in 2017. it's important we take action even in advance of completing any revisions to the role to review how the current rule is the implement it. dr. edwards and others have raised a number of important issues with regard to the imitation of the current role. we are actively going to-- rep. hice: my question is, when will it be ready? mr. beauvais: it will be proposed in 2017. rep. hice: a few we have your
commitment it will be early 2017? mr. beauvais: i certainly would hope the agency-- rep. hice: you realize that is yet another year to get something that should have been done what, for years ago now? -- four years ago now? to we have your commitment it will be done in early 2017. mr. beauvais: i can commit that the work on the lead and copper rules will be the highest priority of my office. rep. hice: when mr. del toral indicated the lead in drinking water in june, where did that memo go? mr. beauvais: my understanding is that he gave the memo directly to mrs. walters whose home was the subject of testing. that has been provided to a reporter and went out to the public. rep. hice: at some point mr. del toral was on a leave of absence. mr. beauvais: i'm not aware that he was placed on leave of
absence. rep. hice: mr. edwards, let me go to you. do you believe in any way that the epa's management of this whole thing hindered its employees from having the ability to do their job in flint? dr. edwards: absolutely. rep. hice: absolutely, okay. do you believe that epa management made the lead crisis in flint worse? dr. edwards: absolutely. rep. hice: who at the epa do you find fault? dr,. edwards: susan had been, -- susan hedman who had, the memo buried as mr. del toral was publicly discredited for his work. when she was questioned by politicians from all parties as latest september of this year, she discounted there was anything of concern in flint occurring at all. that include the mayor people
from the state government, as well as democratic congressional staff. rep. hice: mr. chairman, has the letter from john,the epa union representative been entered into the record? >> which letter? rep. hice: from john o'grady. >> if it hasn't, we will issue it without objection. rep. hice: thank you mr. chairman. let me go back if icc a can, mr. beauvais:, to you. are you aware of any other situations in region five where there are potential contaminated water sources? mr. beauvais: i am aware of a recent situation with regard to ohio, with high lead levels, of which epa was made aware in the last week.
my understanding is that action is being taken. i believe that epa staff have been on the ground as of yesterday in sebring, looking at that situation. rep. hice: what about other regions throughout the country? mr. beauvais: there are drinking water issues across the country that we are monitoring actively. we work with our state partners to address that. rep. hice: mr. chairman, my time has expired. i yield back. >> i know organized the gentleman from illinois for five minutes. >> i want to thank you for having this hearing. i also want to thank rep. kildee and lawrence for the representatives on this issue. i associate myself with the remarks of ranking member cummings. we need the folks here they can answer the question why this happened. i hope we have another hearing where mr. del toro will the year, as well as the governor -- will be here, as well as the
governor. i think the residents of flint for being here. ms. walters, thank you so much for all of your efforts and testimony. on november 20, 2015, dba -- the epsa's drinking water task force commented on the lead and copper sampling instructions. the task force made several recommendations, including removing pre-flushing from the sample process. the task was concluded "these changes should be made to all of the sampling recommendations or instructions from mdeq to all systems, not just flint." mr. creagh:, do you believe these changes should be made statewide? mr. creagh: i agree, -- changes have been made. >> dr. edwards, do you feel these recommendations by the epa task force should apply across the nation? dr. edwards: yes absolutely. >> would you include anything
else? dr. edwards: no, obviously the utility should be following the protocol for identifying the high risk sampling pool all across the united states. they are supposed to be sampling from the homes that are at highest risk for lead in water. there is real reason to believe that is not occurring. the effectiveness of the rule is based on that first step. >> mr. beauvais:, what are the barriers to epa applying these recommendations across the country? mr. beauvais: my understanding is that we can go forward with these recommendations across the country. we are actively working on that. in terms of regulatory requirements, those initials will have to be taken up in the revision rule. rep. kelly: i think that this change should be pursued if it means we can get an accurate picture of lead contamination in our drinking water and stop future crises from happening. we must stop these problems at
the most basic level of detection, ensuring that we are getting accurate information. we also must stop playing with people's lives in practicing government on the cheap, as well as systemic and environmental dissemination. i yield the rest of my time to revisit it of lawrence. rep. lawrence: thank you. i want to emphasize something that we cannot say enough. when we say they are pointing fingers. there is the federal government epa, and there is the state government. because under the emergency manager act in michigan, the local government, the city of flint has no government authority. this, the decisions that were made and the actions that were taken -- we can look at the state level, and we can look at the federal level. i want to be clear about that. all of us that live in michigan clearly understand the emergency manager asked. -- manager act.
it comes in and dissolves home rule. the emergency manager reports only only to the state government. and that is our governor. i want to say, when we were talking about the epa and not showed up until the last week when the new secretary showed up. i want to enter this into the record. january 21, there was a united states epa office of compliance assurance letter submitted to the city, saying that as a result, the epa is issuing an emergency order to make sure that the necessary actions to protect public health having immediately. -- health happen immediately. in addition to that, because of the failure of the state, the state no longer has responsibility of testing the water in flint. just this last week, it was taken over by epa because of the
failure of the state comply with this order. and so, it may have come late, but to say nothing has happened from epa to that point -- and again, it was a documented failure on the sattate's part to actually collect and test the water. we have again, the state and the federal government. if we're talking about pointing fingers, and that's not why am here, i want the truth. i want this corrected. thank you. i yield back. >> as to the document, we will enter that into the record. without objection, so ordered. the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. russell. rep russell: dr. edwards, mrs. walters, thank you for your courage in this issue. and for exposing for the nation
when things fail. mr. beauvais:, what is the fundamental core mission of the epa? mr. beauvais: protection of public health and the environment. rep. russell: i see. you stated that the lead comparable was updated in 2007. yet from our facts, we see that the lead comparable has not been finalized -- lead copper rule has not been finalized in the last 25 years. why is that? mr. beauvais: there have been efforts to update the rule periodically. it was updated most recently in 2007. the long-term revisions or what we are working on right now. rep. russell: what you're working on. in the last decades, the epa has issued 1,000 rules. and the lead coppper rule his
left on. mr. beauvais: we will propose the rule in 2017. rep. russell: according to epa's agenda, it was stated that the agency hopes to finalize the role in 2018. once again we see a moving target. we've got it, we will take it back, we will get back to you we are working on it. that is not the core mission of protecting the health of people where they live, where they work where they recreate. in fact, we have seen in places and flint general motors determined the water was so substandard that they would not use it. it was unfit for a work environment. and yet, we have seen procedures that have moved on that made the community even more at risk over time. dr. edwards, do you believe that the epa is violating the law in its statuttory requirements?
dr. edwards: yes i do. i don't think they are enforcing the law. rep. russell: what you think has created the shift from the epa's core mission? dr. edwards: well, they have a very cozy relationship with a lot of utilities. a good example of regulatory capture, i think. they are not listening to voices of people that have been harmed by this regulation in washington dc. that is what happens when you listen to one group and ignore the people who are the trade by this -- who are betrayed by this. rep. russell: 25 years, copper rule, it has been a problem. communities don't have certainty. so now a patchwork of requirements exist nationwide. how do we fix it? dr. edwards: for starters, you
can enforce the existing law. rep. russell: imagine that. dr. edwards: they would have stopped washington, d.c. and flint. with all these extra instructions, allowing people to throw out samples for eight different reasons. none of these things would have happened. all i want is with them to enforce the existing law. that is all i have been requesting. and my comics that have been working on this for the last 10 years -- my colleagues that have been working on this for the last 10 years in washington dc. rep. russell: mr. beauvais: there has been a statutory requirement to do updates and mandates. and by your testimony, we see dates that don't sync with previous statement from the epa as far as when the lead comparable will be mandated. -- lead copper rule will be mandated.
we've heard testimony that is not only convincing, but condemning to the priorities of the epa. what is your answer to this? mr. beauvais: i want to emphasize that it is epa's position, and has been throughout the situation, that the water system in flti wa -- in flint was required to apply erosion control after making the switch to flint river water. that was a conclusion and a view that mdeq resisted throughout this process. if that rule had been observed here and corrosion control had been applied, this situation would not have occurred. rep. russell: and yet we have a trail of e-mails where your own agency in region 5 tried to be little, obstruct -- belittle, obstruct, and eliminate the voices from the community. yet you're going to shift that to the michigan deq? is that what you are saying? mr. beauvais: certainly when we look back on this situation
knowing what we know now everyone should have done everything humanly possible to avoid this situation. at epa we need to go back and look at what happened and make sure that it never happens again. but i do think it's important to remember how we got in this situation. rep. russell: 1991, 2004, 2007. what is it going to be again? how many more ms. walters are we going to have to hear? which city is next? get the rule finalized. you owe it to the american people. we have certain expectations. while we all have different opinions about the thousands of rules that get past in the last decade -- get passed in the last decade, this one with lead in drinking water is pretty important. >> i know recognize the gentleman from california for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chair. letters: have any flint -- let us call have happened in flint
what it is, a crime of epic proportions. millions of children poisoned with lead when it leased from the metal pipes. those most responsible know who they are. they should resign, and some should be prosecuted. i want to focus today on how we make this right for the residents of flint. i believe we help make it right by giving them a permanent solution. that means replacing their lead pipes. [applause] i want to enter into the record monday, january 5-- rep. chaffetz: i would reminded the audience that no applause or booing would be appropriate. rep. lieu: the safe drinking water act requires the epa to set standards for the push for lead free.
this story to the country on the road towards replacing old water pipes with pvc, also known as plastic pipes, as an eco-friendly alternative. however, mainly in his abilities instead -- poorer municipalities instead turned to anti-corrosive treatments. had flint not had lead pipes, we would not be sitting here today correct? mr. creagh: correct. rep . liue: even with anti-corrosion efforts, the pipes can still corrode. mr. creagh: even with plastic pipes, you would still have to look at the fixtures within the various facilities. i wanted to put a sharper point out that. rep. lieu: thank you. we have over 850 water main breaks a day in america caused by corrosion even with anti-corrosion agents in the water. is that roughly correct?
mr. creagh: i do not know that a number. rep. liue: we have a lot of water main breaks, correct? mr. creagh: that is a true statement. rep. lieu: i want to enter in oracle mayor -- enter an article, mayor says lead pipes and got to go. would you agree mr. creagh:, what flint mayor karen weaver said, that the needs to be a rapid removal of lead pipes now to be replaced with a monolith alternative? instead of the band-aid solution of just anti-corrosive agents or simply recoating these lead pipes? --mr. creagh: i think it is a complicated issue, as congresswoman norton pointed out. partial replacement may cause additional problems. that is the reason we are working with the experts to make sure that whatever happens -- rep. lieu: what about for
replacement? -- full replacement? mr. creagh: that would be one solution. rep. lieu: are you aware that many newer, wealthier cities in america have switched to plastic pipes as anmr. creagh: i think there is a prohibition that was in the building code to prohibit the continued use of lead pipes. rep .. lieu: i would like to enter into the record, mr. chair, reports on the national council shows the safety of drinking water at risk. it finds pollution, old pipes of the tap water quality. we really have a national problem of lead pipes all around america that leach lead into the water system even with
anti-corrosive agents. >> there are thousands of systems and this is a challenge for us nationwide. rep. lieu: those pipes are being corroded, correct? >. yes yes, we have significant water main breaks. rep. ilieu: there are other pipes that would not leach lead into the water supply, correct? is there a rule on lasting pipes? >> i am not aware of a specific rule on plastic pipes. >> is there any reason the epa does not look at having musicality's municipalities without lead. >> there are lead service lines requirements that can be triggered under the lead and copper rule that exist today when certain action levels are exceeded.
this will be a major subject of engagement and analysis in the revision. this have to be done correctly in order not to actually face more problems. >> thank you. if you have another hearing, i ask that we can talk about how to solve this. >> we now recognize the gentleman from south carolina for five minutes. >> i saw something that ms. eleanor holmes norton said earlier. this is a problem-solving exercise versus a blame game. we will have plenty of time for that.
some of you are very new to the process. i want to look at the timeline. help me understand this -- the epa learned about this in the spring of 2015. do we have months on that? >> apologies. my understanding is that epa first learned the city was not applying corrosive control to its system in late april 2015. >> when did flint move the flint river? mr. creagh? : i believe that was in april of 2014. but i will check that with the timeline for accuracy. is it generally -- they did not use the phosphate or other similar treatments from the very beginning. >> dr. edwards, if i start
pulling water out of the flint river to these particular pipes how long will it take before the water has an impact on the quality of the drinking water that people are drinking? is it immediate, does it take a couple of months to break down the lining of the pipes? >> it takes a period of weeks to about a month and that is when the first consumer complaints arrived with a red water. >> give or take, may of 2014, 11 months that the epa knows about it but now we are here. mr. creagh come i think you said it was the city's responsibility to certified that standards have been met. how often are they supposed to do that? mr. creagh: i think it is on an annual basis. >> annual basis, ok. when was the most relevant certification in that 2014-2015 timeline? >> i believe they send in monthly results, but i think
there is an annual review. >> let's focus on the monthly results first. the results to you folks every month on the quality of the water inflict right? >> i am not sure about the particulars about the recordings. i really cannot speak to that. >> dr. edwards is nodding his head. you will see what i am doing. >> there is a monthly report. >> is the monthly report that the city of flint was delivering beginning in april 2014, showing that the water quality in flint was a problem? >> it is my understanding and did not. the quality parameters. >> when -- did the city ever send a report, and monthly report that said the water did not meet the standards ever? >> no, it is a different question. let me just help -- the water
quality parameters that are required do not ask for lead to be tested and appointedat that point in time. . >> is that true? the epa does not require them to send information on lead? >> i believe you may be talking about two different things. water quality parameter monitoring, as i understand it, does drink and copper rule is actually monitored within the distribution system because that goes into the water and so forth. those samples are not taken as water treatment plants. i want to add in 2014, the flint system has multiple violations of safety drinking water at standards including the rule and the disinfection byproduct rule. >> this is unfortunate -- we
only have five minutes. we cannot do a proper deposition so i apologize. i have a lot more questions. let me go to another question. mr. palmer has showed me something that my state does not report to the cdc on lead and water. do they report to the epa? >> with regard to lead and water? the south carolina state government would be the primary agency in south carolina. >> do they tell you those results? >> they are reported to the epa system. >> south carolina might not tell cdc, but they might tell the ep a the quality of the water including let presence in south carolina? >> yes. >> does michigan do the same thing? >> ultimately yes,. . . >> my time is up and i apologize. of the but to continue this at another time. >> we now recognize the gentlewoman from new jersey for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
i have listened to this entire panel discussion and i have to tell you my questions are going to be directed to mr. beave ua. it is clear the responsibility does not lie with the local officials because they were just as much officials to the local residents. you, mr. as director of the department of environmental quality -- whenever it is called in richardson, u.s. that level you are primarily responsible. you and the governor of the state of new jersey, of the state of michigan have that problem new jersey. the governor placing those individuals in that responsibility over the city of flint, michigan and taking all authority away from the elected officials in the city of michigan you have primary
responsibility here. your apology -- based on the law, governor snyder, kathy in 2011 is the announcersin 2011 took over the power,. it his to emergency managers do not like, there is nothing they can do about it. on march 20 3, 2015, the city council attempted to reverse a decision to use split river water -- flint river water. they adopted a resolution by a vote of 7-1 and i quote, "to
returned to the detroit water and sewage department for the purchase of water for its citizens." are you aware? >> i have not seen that resolution. >> the problem is flint was under the control of the emergency manager in this case. the next day on march 24, 2015, mr. ambrose overruled the city council vote. let me read to you what he said and i quote," "flint water today is safe by all epa and other standards and the city is working daily to improve the quality of the water. it is no safer than water from flint." are you aware of that statement? >> i am not. >> mr. ambrose called the efforts by the city council to stop using flint river water incomprehensible. mr. creagh, do you believe mr.
ambrose's actions was a moral decision for the people of flint? >> i cannot address mr. . ambrose's action.i can say the plan was used in the backup water supply utilizing the flint river past its supported -- performance standards and was tested on a quarterly basis. >> that is interesting that i'm looking at water being held up in water bottles that looks like lemonade and iced tea. if mr. ambrose let the city council, it would have been produced? yes or no? >> can you repeat that? >> if you let the city council's resolution to return to the detroit water system as a source of water, with the amount of
lead exposure in flint, would it have been reduced? mrs. walters this decision by the emergency manager came as the state was told about the extremely high levels of lead in your house in february right? >> february 25 and march 17. >> i'm so very sorry for you and your residence and the children of the city of flint. it seems to me this decision by the governor's emergency manager was one of the worst actions in this entire debacle. mysterymister how long have you been involved in the state level? >> i was a director of the michigan department of agriculture from january of 2010 through july of 2011 and director of the michigan department of natural resources from that time until january 4. >> did you consider yourself a number of governor snyder's
team? >> i'm a member of his cabinet. >> you know who owns the water authority? and you know if there is any relationship between any of the principles of that authority to the governor, to his campaign or to the party that represents the governor in this state? >> i have no such knowledge. >> finally, what is it, what is the mit you could have done to correct this problem had you responded in a timely and sufficient manner? what is the extent of your authority? what could you have done? >> congresswoman, that is a question and that is what we need to take a look at right now. the epa needs to look at -- the epa was working with mdq to get it to do the right thing but the questions we need to ask are at what point in time should the epa should have forced them to
do the right thing or provide the public with information? >> that is my question. >> one more, yes. >> what do you mean when you said the epa should have forced the situation? what could epa do with its authority that could have enforced the situation? >> i don't want to speculate with regard to the specific fact and timelines. i do recognize epa has emergency response authority under the safe drinking water act. >> for the record, i want it noted you did not answer my question . >> duly noted. i recognize the gentleman from alabama for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr.ister in december of 2000, the ep get that out this report on america's children and the environment. on page 41, there is no
demonstrated concentration of lead in the blood. no demonstrated concentration none. is that still the epa's opinion? >> there is no safe level of lead exposure. >> following up on the questions that have been asked about the copper rule, the last time it was updated was in 2007 and the last time was 1991. the act requires it should be updated within six years. can you explain to me why we are delaying this until 2018? >> the current process is listening to advice and input for the national drink and water advisory council which includes resented its -- representatives -- >> you had an epa official put out a report about what is going
on in flint, michigan. you do not need to solicit anything else. you could have acted. you have a room full of people here who have been impacted. what are you waiting on? >> we are not waiting. i want to emphasize the revisions to the rule while very important are not the primary issue with regard to the flipped situation. >> i understand that. following up on the question, reporting to the cdc there is a report in 2014 of the counties that have that elevated lead levels. of the top 10, number three was in alabama. i don't know if the epa has done anything on that. did they get the data from the cdc and acted on it? >> i would expect the epa has access to the data. >> i did not ask you that. i am sure you have access to the data.
the only kids in here impacted by the lead levels -- >> absolutely, blood level s are influenced by lead in paint and soil. the epa has programs along with our state partners that addresses all of these issues. >> let me correct something. mr. edwards, it appears to me the irony of this is the epa wants to regulate everything -- they want to regulate water. in georgia, they had a toxic spill. they denied responsibility initially. another whistleblower one of your top scientists who revealed the epa was involved in this, release and in enormous amount of toxic material into groundwater, into the crre eek, including lead.
the epa try to cover it up. what do you know about that, marc edwards? >> i respect him but i don't know specifics. >> to specifics of the case is the epa violated their own role on releasing lead into groundwater. this blows my mind. you have people whose lives are going to be -- young kids whose lives will be affected into adulthood because of this. is not just a flint problem. this is across the board. i thin --k i cannot remember who made this point -- at epa has failed in its responsea bility. it has lost credibility. this problem, i think is beyond -- it is not just the epa. there is not reasons in the epa. problems at the state level local level.
as it has been pointed out i'm not so much interested in the blame. you have to figure out where the problem is before you fix it. might interest is in fixing the problem, making sure we don't ever have to have people with their children in front of this committee or any other congressional committee to try to get the government to do what they are supposed to do. as chairmanmr. chairman, yield back the balance of the time. >> we now talk to the woman from virgin islands for five minutes. >> thank you for the opportunity to speak with these witnesses that. i first want to let the people of flint, michigan no you have my k -- you have-- you have my condolences and the devastation that will be going towards you all in the years going forward. an article says flint
and its water if the demise is the most environmental racism at the hands of government agencies. that conclusion may be true but what is happening in flint is really symptomatic of what is happening in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods all across america, regardless of the race of the inhabitants. it continues to happen because america tolerates environmental hazards and polluting of th e poor people of color everyday. the lead and other contaminants in flint waters is one kind of environmental hazard. toxic chemicals are stored in nearby facilities were used abundantly in manufacturing flint. everyone appears to be shocked and surprised at what is happening in flint, michigan. unfortunately, it is really unfortunate that i'm not shocked at all. i am not shocked because it is
par for the course. this is business as usual in america. it is unfortunate and a travesty that we have crises like these occurring around the country every day. whether it is a toxic drinking water, toxic land, subhuman tenements, crumbling schools -- for the most part, the common denominator is communities that are majority minority low income, social economically challenged. that is the common factor and most of those places where we find that. that is the common denominator in flint, along with other places. . eleanor holmes norton spoke about it. governors federal agencies, state emergency managers want to back their fingers at towns for telling them they don't manage their money properly and bring overseers over them who don't want to be expand the money in
the right manner to support those areas. unfortunately, this congress is the same. we create select committees and drag all kinds of important people to testify over issues that they think are important that they think are important. not to disparage or make light of the gravity of the incidents but this congress created the benghazi committee over the death of four americans. that committee has spent nearly $6 million to investigate that the we cannot get the governor of michigan at this hearing to give responses for actions that are going to affect 9000 children. that is a shame. that is business as usual. i want to talk about the money and where that money was spent. there are many people in the michigan state government that could have stopped this tragedy from occurring. despite the fact the oversaw and
contributed to the travesty, governor snyder continues to place increasing response sability. did you know mr. earley was paid $180,000 for doing his job as the emergency manager? >> i do not. >> i have an article here in the detroit magazine -- detroit newspaper to talks about that. during his tenure tens of thousands of men, women and children were exposed toto unhealthy levels of lead but governor snyder reported him the same mr. earley, with a new position of the emergency manager detroit public school system. did you know mr. earley received the salary on that job and what the salary was? >> i am not aware of his salary. >> did you know he received a salary of two under $21,000 received a promotion and 41,000 race?
aise? do you think the governor was exercising good judgment in promoting mr. early? ey? >> mr. earley's salaries between the governor and himself. >> i did not ask you about the salary i asked if it was good judgment in promoting them? >> i am not in the position to refer to the governor's judgment. >> i think maybe that based on his abysmal performance in flint, he thinks he deserves to be appointed to another job that involves taking care of the health and safety of thousands of children. ms. waters, are you aware his salary is played for by flint the town, not the state of michigan? >> i was not. >> it is your tax dollars paying for him to do the job he did on those children. governor snyder, for reasons he only knows, promoted mr. early for the job he didn't play with another job that pays $221,000.
mr. chairman, what to thank you for your attempts to subpoena mr. early to appear here today. i am going to ask you to continue to attempt to enforce the subpoena and mr. earley, along with the governor, will appear in this committee. thank you for the time. >> thank you. i know recognize myself for five minutes. in congress, we have obviously jurisdiction on the federal government, the epa. we have a more limited role by the very nature of tax dollars and accountability at the state level. it is still less. our focus many times on the federal component is one of jurisdiction, dollars, power of the purse. that is why i feel so adamantly about it.
it is not to excuse what happened with the city or at the state level, but the remedy on how to deal with this often is asked of the city, county or state level. we will still look at those things. clearly, there is no doubt in anybody's mind that there were dramatic failures at the city level, at the state level and there is a complete case to be made about the need to look at what happens between that state emergency manager, the governor's office, michigan environmental quality understand that. a lot of our focus will naturally be upon thee epa because it is a federal entity and this is the united states congress. with that said, we have had something festering at the epa for a long amount of time. often where there is smoke there is a bigger fire.
remember, it was gina mccarthy, the epa's now administrator who was overseeing john beal who is dealing with air quality. it is one of thet few times the administration actually prosecuted and he is served time in jail for fraud. she got a promotion. that she is in charge of the epm. a. here is my question . this is my frustration -- you have said this is a high priority. but what evidence do you support to us or give to us that this is a high-priority for the epa? in july of last year, we highlighted the problems in region five. we talked about susan. we talked about the sexual misconduct. we had three people who stepped up and said we have a problem here. was anything done about that that you are aware of? >> o'i'm not privy to personnel
matters. >> she just retired. no consequence on monday. my point is when we have these discussions and hearings and you have got three whistleblowers good, hard decent working people saying we have a problem here -- you have sexual misconduct retaliation -- then you have a good person like mr. del toro who steps up. what is the lesson that is learned? >> i think mr. dell toro's representative of the vast majority of epa -- >> you are testifying it is a high-priority. he went to her house in february, correct? it was not until january of the following year -- it to the year from the time he first showed up in ms. walters home until the epa issued a directive correct?
>> the epa was working to get them to do the right thing. mr. chaffetz: they were suppressing the reports. they were saying they were promilitary. mr. edwards, what did you say? were they trying to do that or suppress the evidence? mr. edwards: the epa was aiding and abetting the cover of. mr. chaffetz: how the you respond? >> i think this specific facts should be looked at. mr. chaffetz: we are looking at it today. you are in charge of water quality. he is telling you the aided and abetted to making sure that information did not get out. why? >> my understanding is they were working with anthe. mr. chaffetz: that is not what the evidence shows, that with the documents show. they say they were preliminary. you should not rely on that data. is that correct mr. edwards? mr. edwards: is absolutely correct. mr. chaffetz: what is your response to that? mr. edwards: i cannot be to this
basic statement ever made in those communications. my understanding is the epa was working closely with mpdddq to get them to do the right thing. they sent a letter to the city say and corrosion control should be a priority. mr. chaffetz: let's talk about the right thing to do. what is the number one issue.
in february of last year, why did it take a year? >> i cannot answer the question. mr. chaffetz: what we fire the whole lot of them? what is the point of the epa if they will not do that? if you cannot tell the citizens, my daughter is getting married -- i get emotional about that. she is moving to michigan. are you telling me the epa knowing that they are putting lead in the water -- if they are not going to tell those kids, because that is exactly what happened. they knew that. mr. delta toro knew that. mr. edwards: he did testing in the water in early 2016 and knew it was high. it was february 2015. mr. chaffetz: why wasn't that made public? mr. edwards: i don't know the
answer to that question. mr. chaffetz: you cannot come to a hearing before congress and be in charge of water quality for the epa and not know the answer to that question. you cannot. you cannot -- you have to know what it is. do not tell me that some inspector general will come looking at that. we keep hearing that. that is not good enough. the shame here is when they new there was a problem, they should have told the public. they should of told the experts and they should have been out there to work people likee. general motors do about this and stop using the water. the families do not have the resources general motors has. mr. edwards, when do you think they should have made that public? mr. edwards: i think they should
have made it public as soon as ms. walters figured out her child had been poisoning. even when you excuse that i really believe it was criminal. that is why we will continue to investigate. i appreciate the generosity of the time. mr. chaffetz: why has the epa failed to fulfill the request? this committee has jurisdiction. when mr. edwards, he works for h is life. on studying water. we need good people like mr. edwards to access the data and information of the eva. like can we fulfill these requests?
he will to do it in 21 days. it has been nine years. when will he get that information? >> i don't know the specifics in regards to the point offoia request. mr. chaffetz: i appreciate the epa responding to us about regards in a timely manner. we have to know the answer. you cannot play hide the documents. i have gone way past my time. we have other members that want to ask questions. let me yield back and let me go to mr. clay. mr. clay: thank you, mr. chairman. if governor snyder was here, i sure would like to ask him if the water was toxic in grosse pointe instead of flint, would you have denied it for a year? would you have stood by and stonewalled while those children
were poisoned with neurotoxins? mr. chairman, we need to use that same passion that we just heard from you to get governor snyder here and get him on the record so that we all know what was going through his administration and through his mind to allow this to continue? this is a pattern. this is a pattern in michigan. as it was said a pattern all over this country. our communities of color as well as lower and moderate income communities are victims of environmental injustice. you know, i represent st. louis so there are ample examples of
how this environmental racism plays out. how we had a facility next to a boys and girls club where 1000 kids were exposed to pcb's. left by manufacturing plants. lead over exposure to other toxins. let me ask mrs. walters -- i'm so sorry that you and ytoour fmail like so many -- family like so many of your neighbors, living through this man-made nightmare. as a father, i can well remember the fear and anger i felt when my own daughter tested positive for lead at a very young age. that was a long time ago. she is doing fine today. but, i want to ask you first how
are your children? >> my children are doing -- th e one with a lead poisoning has compromised immune system and has only gained 3.5 pounds in the last year. >> you believe they have suffered serious impairment? >> yes, sir. he is dealing with anemia and has developed speech issues. >> let me ask you -- this is for the entire panel -- how do we repair the damage that has been caused by the gross negligence of the state of michigan and in protecting its citizens? how do we repair the damage to your children, to your neighbors that need to it, to you -- how do we do that, ms. walters? >> first, we take responsibility
for what happens. we were talking about it to represent the people. they revisit utilities to protect utilities. but get that on the record right now. there is one person that has been fighting against what is being represented. that is why i keep saying it is what is being suggested is adopted by the epa, it will happen throughout the united states. there is a big possibility. second of all, we need to make sure the children and all the people in flint are taken care of healthwise. i know my children will need help. i know other children in the city need help. not just children under the age of six. a 15-year-old has severe liver issues with lead poisoning. a 44 you will man who had a stroke because -- 44-year-old man who had a stroke because of blood pressure. it is doing right for the people. it will be making sure we are
taking care of and making sure we get clean water, get the pipes replaced once we have the science behind it to see what we need to do to get the replacement done. >> thank you for that response. how do we repair the damage, the physical and the mental health because of what has occurred? >> the fact of the matter is the damage from lead is irreversible. that is what we have to work on primary can bet -- prevention. that is why we have these laws. you can take steps to ameliorate the harm which is being proposed by doctors and the local medical community. we support those recommendations wholeheartedly. in terms of the trauma of the citizens of flint, that will take a lot longer to repair because they have been betrayed by the agencies that have been paid or present them.
many people asking these agencies, doing their job before we can even talk about restoring trust. >> we have to accept response ability. we have to work with the community because this is a crisis, a tragedy in flint. as you said, it was your child or my grandchild, that is not acceptable. >> i agree it is critical that we first of all do everything we can to help the citizens of flint to get the drinking water system back online and to open sure resources get to the community who need -- meet the recommendations. going forward, we need to work on the issues we have discussed with regard to strengthening the
rules and limitations of the rules. we will listen to all stakeholders. >> i know my time is up. this is all about austerity and civics of savings of dollars. >> i recognized the man from wisconsin. >> mr. del toro -- we have some big problems with this agency. the fellow employees have showed a tremendous lack of caring for people. mr. del toro was ringing the alarm over a year ago. he was sending out e-mails letting us know how many other employees in the pm thinkepa think
mr. del toro were alerted? >> i don't have the number that were. informed informer. d. i don't want to give inaccurate information. >> one dozen, 30 50? >> i don't know the answer to that. >> ok, i would like to know how many employees in the epa knew the children of flint were being poisoned and did not care. question, ms. walters, but like to invite i would like to thank you for what you have done. have you seen any training? >> i just decided to start researching and figuring out what is going on after i was publicly humiliated by the state.
there is a public meeting with citizens. >> a lot of heart is more important than having college degrees. thank you very much for what you have done. next question for um, i guess mr. edwards will know the answer. i want to find out exactly physically how many people in each of the three relevant agencies -- we have the city of flint, the state of michigan the epa. when these results came about, presumably they test the waters. how often? >> once every six months. > what was the first time that that tests were available? >> very clearly in early 2015 in my opinion, they actually failed the copper rule, but they took steps to cover up the high lead.
one of the ironies is as national guard's people distributed water cross-linked, there was never -- across flint, there was never an omission. if you look at what they did and they did not sample high risk homes and invalidated samples it shows what a joke this regulation is. >> ok. at that time, who would have known the problems? with the city manager have known? michigan environmental quality did they all know by that time? >> there were certainly many employees that they knew they were not following the federal control law. that should be enough, one would think. you would not think you would have to wait around for lead in water to spike before anything is done.
>> ok. they should have been ringing the alarm. they all knew and they all just -- it is not in my city, so what do i care? >> to would have to ask them, i don't know. >> ok. i yield the rest of my time. >> the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the woman from new mexico. ms. griffin. ms. griffin: thank you, madam chair. in addition to the really disturbing nature of the issues we are trying identified, what we can do to prevent them clearly in the future -- i think there is plenty of blame to go around everywhere. the whole aspect here is to have
as many eyes on the situation as possible. i will actually go back and focus on the state. i was the former secretary of health in new mexico. we actually had in arsenic problem in the water in the northern counties. the second we know there were elevated levels, whether it is the environment, the departments were job or if that is the locals, the misa municipality, we provide that data and send out to the public to make sure we have other partners who are clearly doing their job. at the end of day, everybody in government job is the public health and safety of the citizens that you represent and sworn to protect. i want to talk a little bit about the pediatrician who was seeing elevated levels of lead. dr. mona who i think other folks
have identified as a flint pediatrician who really demonstrated by virtue of the patient data that she had that we are seeing pediatric being poisoned throughout the city. trying to get data to identify the source, make sure you can correlate that data -- you have a plan of action to protect everybody else. that is exactly what you need to do. my understanding is that this pediatrician went to the department of health and wanted their data about what was going on. in fact, i have here, madam chair, e-mails from the department of health i want to provide and ask for consent to have them part of the record. the e-mail communications from the governor's office sued the department of health docs and public health employees is not to share any data until a have -- which looks to me by virtue
of the information i have in front of a that they are making political decisions before they make appropriate decisions for the public health of the community. how many more kids were drinking water during the time they prepped for a press conference? how many more pediatricians without sufficient information. i want -- i will also tell you the governor's communication plan with the state specifically -- specifically, the data not be shared until the press conference starts at 1:30 p.m. coworkers responded and said they would wait and wait until permission to provide to the data. mr. creagh, can you explain to me why the governor's office is
instructing their independent medical personnel and public health personnel to refrain from giving data to a licensed pediatrician who is working to provide care to patients in her community related to a press conference, please,? mr. creagh: i cannot speak for the director of the department of health and human services. i can say dr. mona did some great work and zero in on some great areas and that the decision-making was driven because of the problem. isn'>> isn't it true that all of the states coming of a team of epi academia people that identify the nature that it is more like a swat team in the communities? they are identifying the source working together. we help fund those initiatives in all of the states. yet, we have a political
communication that you are new you cannot really fake, but that is typically the job those departments have held to actually not provide the data but then engage directly to address the problem? why did in the governor's office immediately demand that the economic team be on site? that would be against, as i understand it, protocol for all states. >> very similar protocols as there are health care professionals that respond to those type of public of emergencies. . > how do you were>> how do you rebut that those protocols, without being a public health doc roor an epidemiologist that we have
those resources in place so we hope to prevent those situations but, by god, we immediately engage to prevent any other harm or damage? the gentlewoman's time is expired. >> e-mails will be admitted without objection. >> i yield back. >> the chair will recognize for five minutes. ms. walters and mr. edwards -- your questions will come last and be re--- be very open-ended. mr. walters -- ms. walters, what to talk about mr. del toro. when did you meet him first? ms. walters: april of 2015. >> could you tell me what happened at the meeting? ms. walters: he came into my home because he was being told my plumbing was the problem, by internal plumbing. became to verify that all of my plumbing was plastic and to check out the home, check out
the area, take pictures and spoke with us about what was going on. >> what happened to him and the information he derived from that discussion thereafter? ms. walters: he came back out on another day. in may of 2015, other people's homes as well. from there there were as the report in june. >> was his view of the situation credited and was action taken? ms. walters: everything in report was everything i told him what was going on plus his findings with his own testings. so, when he called me and asked me if he can use my information for the report, i said yes and asked for a copy. when i saw it in black and white, there is a difference living it and seeing it in black and white.
that is why it was given to the aclu and made public because people need to do right to know. from that point, he was then no longer allowed to have association with me or everybody else inflict. >> by whoe? ? >> the epa. >> what happened to him after he was not allowed to have association with you or do you not know? >> i don't know. you have to ask mr. del toro. >> mr. edwards, when, how did you find access to that information? mr. edwards: i first know about this when he told me there was a problem in flint. it turned out to be the understatement of the year. but, he alerted me to miss walters'and her family's health issues. so, i did. i provided by data to his report as well. because i thought it would be
best if the epa handled this. he was obviously the foremost expert on the lead and copper role and the united states and one would assume when he writes a memo saying flint his breaking federal law that there is a public health threat, waste levels of lead coming out of ms. walters home, a lead poisoned child, something would be done about it. i gave him my data. when i saw the report, i assumed the appropriate authorities would act to protect the population. >> when they did not act, what did you do? >> i did not know what happened for quite some time until mpdq bragg to ms. walters and laughed at her. she reported back to me that mr. del toro was handled. it was clear the agreement was reached between the epa and mdq
having their way with flint's children. >> in what way? >> that they were not going to install corrosion control. when we get on got involved, the e-mail said shouldn't they tell people from virginia tech they were moving to the pipeline next year so don't waste their time on the issue. >> i find it so astounding, but unfortunately, not unique. this has been referred to as a racial issue. i can tell you in my own statement there was an administrative order on consent
for several teen youth -- 17 years on the refineries i lived next to to protect the water that our cattle were drinking. for 17 years neither the state or the epa made it available. this is not unique. this is a situation that occurs time and again. i wouldn't for agencies listen to people. do not just listen to companies. my time is expired and the gentlelady from texas miss sheila jackson lee is -- >> go ahead. >> is recognized for five minutes. >> let me thank the chair and the ranking member for again upholding their authority and upholding, if you will, the
authority of the united states congress. mr. cummings for the bipartisan support. one cannot help, i sit on the house should reiterate committee, but nothing but angry -- house judiciary committee but to be nothing but angry as a mother and american. i want to tell the mother we have already called the hero what you would not want them to be because you have a child that has been impacted. i sit here today -- the memories of a tim jones who gave a poisoned concoction to children causes me to say there is a tim jones in michigan who gave a poisoned concoction to children and their families. if any of us should demand a countd accountability, we should. mr. edwards, you have given a recounting of just not putting
phosphate in water. i know you are not a judge or a jury and i know you are mad at the police and constitution but if you had to reflect, would you say there were criminal activities or results of this in action? >> if it is not criminal, i don't know what is. >> i join you in that testimony. i have asked the department of justice to investigate individuals that may be engaged criminally to hold them criminally responsible for the actions in flint, michigan. [applause] let me raise a question -- you were trying to finish a sentence -- mr. creagh, in your statement, you claim regardless of the testing schedule line -- allowed by the epa role, in hindsight, the lead levels rise
and corrosion treatment should have been required. however, rather than taking full responsibility for the decision, you criticized the be for failing to provide a legal interpretation of lead and copper rule until november 2015. you said the observation is the epa did not display a sense of urgency, the situation demanded it. it started in february 2015 regarding limitations of the federal rules between february and the end of september 2013, multiple e-mail exchanges between the md eq nepa. the parties were unable to get to a consensus on its implementation in july 2015. the epa failed to provide the legal opinion by the mdeq. let me thank the chairman and ranking member. let me thank the former mayor for her leadership. let me say to the new elected mayor -- let me applaud you
because this is not on your watch and your problem. i am committed as we all are that the fixable, your watch. mr. creagh, are you telling this committee the reason for the corrosion treatments inflict water was because epa did that give you a legal interpretation stating you have to do that? where your own moral and response ability? >> i am not stating that. >> what are you stating, sir? >> i am not stating because it is a lack of a legal opinion from the epa. >>my testimony sa we should id we should have taken some action. >> you are not taking the position that you could not act as an independent state as the 10th and him and says could be left as the state -- amendment
and says could be left for the state? is that correct? >> we are concerned about michigan. >> it was a malfeasance or an inaction and not doing what was mostly done? is that correct? >> in hindsight come at we all share the response ability for the crisis. >> let me say your testimony, again, that the aging lines and what needs to be done was at the feet of the federal government. it was not at the feet of someone other than the authorities in michigan. >> i think we all share responsibility in this crisis. >> you were in the midst of this federal government. let me ask this question and the me thank msnbc, rachel maddow, who took her show to flint and gave us inspiration of change.
let me thank pastors that were eagled toager to help. we know there needs to be a change in the pipes. can you say, because of the moral authority vested in you as the state government and the need to give a response that you would engage and use or argue or the governor who is not here -- there should be an empty chair -- the $50 million to $60 million to overhaul the pipe system inflicts? flint? would you agree? >> we are in it for the long haul for the citizens of flint and work with the partners of the city, state and federal government to make sure we get it right.
>> thank you. i was talking to the president of virginia tech before the hearing started up in the hallway. i do not know ms. walters of the time and it was going over your resume. this guy's resume is wow. she said he was a wow of a person as well. what a great endorsement from a mother and, to a white knight
who is willing to be there to come in and charge. i am proud to represent southwest virginia. i recognize somebody will not be h handled. those people always get respect and i were appreciate that. i have some questions i would like to ask. one bieing -- summary made a complaint to somebody made a complaint to me. maybe any to go beyond relying on the epa when it comes to whether or not the water supply in my district has been affected. >> i wish i can say otherwise but events have proven you correct.
>> i hope that should you know the issues i have been looking at in the district that you will let me know about that. likewise, i got the impression that citizens, other moms across the country should be calling the local water supply companies and the local municipalities. and asking, are you doing the proper testing? in my correct? >> i am ashamed to say that yes you are correct/.. >> i saw yourr written testimony in advance. the rise of institutional scientific misconduct is new phenomenon. clearly, we don't have the checks and balances of the power of these agencies. we do not hold them accountable for their actions. nothing has changed his opinion in that regard. >> nothing has changed.
>> of the senate conversation -- i was having this conversation. i'm a recovering attorner last ey last week. i was talking to someone that had the office for protection and advocacy in virginia, taking care of folks with disabilities. we were talking about this. he indicated to me he expressed he felt something criminal. it was not just a matter of saying you are sorry and fixing it. that probably people needed to go to jail. cannot but help to listen to his testimony and questions earlier. he said he thought it was a bad thing or indicated it was bad when the attorney for mr. earley said it was nonsensical for him to testify.
maybe what he said to say was you have the remind to main site -- remain silent. it disagrees with my assessment of that response by his attorney. >> i am not a laurier s lawyer. >> i do appreciate the testimony, again miss. ms. walters, thank you. dr. edwards, thank you for taking your time come energy resources from your discussion rate fund that you have spent. you are not handled by anyone, including the federal government and i do respect that and appreciated. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> i recognize mr. cummings and then we will conclude. mr. cummings: want to thank you all for being here today. mr. chairman, thank you again for holding this hearing. it is a very important hearing.
i've listened to almost every syllable that has been said today. i know based upon what my staff has said. the epa has up their d appeared -- is that a fair statement? >> i think that is a fair statement. mr. cummings: i know you have deep hurt. because i know you are doing the right thing. and you are try to make people's lives better. >> the hurt either experiences nothing compared to the parents and the children. mr. cummings: i've listened to
everybody very carefully. i here you and i think i'm used to listen carefully. it seems like you spent a lot of time on the epa. i want you to be clear. i will say this 50 million times and mean it, i want them to be held responsible for addressing the things they are supposed to address. it seems -- help me with this because i have been listening to you -- you don't seem to put too much blame -- why is that? am i missing something? the reason why i gave a long statement i gave this because i know sometimes we can be so upset because we have been abused and treated badly but want to make sure we also, looking at the whole thing --
>> these are the agencies that are paid to protect us. the michigan department of environment and quality at the top. i have said repeatedly that the primary blame for this rests with a few people at the michigan department of environment to quality without question. but in terms of other people in the state, those corporate nationals misled them throughout the whole thing. mr. walling in flint reached out after the memo as a considerate mayor would is this something i should take seriously? she told him the top environmental police in the region told them i am sorry this memo ever to place.
she snatched the jaws of victory and she knew the federal law was not protecting flints children. >> let me tell you the valley of what is happening today. what you have done is given us a platform to look further. you have given us the basic information. now we have to go -- you have given names and talk about different situations and that we have to go higher. i know you have a tough job. how long have you been in that job? >> since january 4 and because of choice. >> wow. i know you have the governors in here.
-- ear. these are people that are suffering. the 30 million he is asked for yesterday and a $28 million that was are assigned. that is all part of the same thing. >> $38 million that was allocated. i would certainly not preempt the governor's budget that understand there is more to be done. mr. cummings: i would ask you to send the message to him. the thing i asked you about -- the water bills -- that is insultedt to injury. if they cannot drink the water watch for the water and then make me pay for the water -- and that doesn't make any sense. again, thank you all. mr. chairman, i am looking
forward to our continued efforts. it is not about a gotcha. it is about what happens. you need to know what happens so you can correct it and hopefully it does not happen again. thank you very much. children in our prayers. you said something that you said something about you get a reading. it was higher than hazardous waste. that is unacceptable. thank you. >> just a follow-up on what mr. cummings is talking about. the people at the michigan department of environment equality, did you think they were misleading people? what were they doing and who to? >> think it probably started innocently.
i think somebody probably started to forget about the law. ignored warning signs. the gm fiasco, ms. walters having waste levels of lead -- they felt like they were covering it. you can read the e-mails. they live in writing, the epa. it was only after that they figure it out they were not using corrosion control and they started this news story that we don't know if we had to have corrosion control. i think the written record is quite clear. >> they were telling that to the epa, but what about the governor's office and other state officials? >> they misled the eb,he epidemiologists. is there something wrong with the water? the talking points, the notes from the memo basically repeated
one line after another after another about the actual situation in flint. when you are a scientist that have been misled so financially that skews your interpretation. i have criticized what the health apartment did and the fact they never told the governor about the lead. i have talked about the behavior in the month of december when they refuse to view data with me and dr. mona about the lead poisoned children. you have a look at what they were told and put them in that position. the blame lies with these three or four employees who were actively misleading everyone. i go back to mr.the -- if you are a mayor and reach out to the top cop in the region and
she tells you nothing is wrong a few days later you want television drinking water to tell everyone that is safe, who is to blame? certainly the mayor took a share of the blame for the overly trusting of the top epa cop in the region. apologizing for this, and not telling that there is anything wrong going on. the bulk of the blame for that particular episode has to lie with susan hedman. to my colleagues, think about it. there are more than 2 million federal employees. mr. chaffetz: patriotic people. i say that time and time again. what we have not done as a congress, with oversight of the administration -- again, you can find examples on democratic and republican administrations ok. when we have these types of that
apples in place, they tend to rise to the surface so much so we had a hearing about this in july saying this is a problem. and nothing, nothing was done about it. and festered in other areas. it rose to the level that it was so series we had a hearing but it was obviously, we have that type of approach, you see this happen time and time again. this has been a very, very valuable hearing. ms. walters, god bless you. i am so sorry that you had to go through this. i cannot even begin to tell you how much we hope and pray for your family and for the thousands of other families that you represent. you have had some sort of strength -- you get that kind of strength that is
representative in making the people of michigan crowd. so, keep it up. mr. edwards, thank you for your good work. you have been tenacious on this. thankful for virginia tech for funding you and allowing you to do this good work and being in the cut of expert across the country. there he helpful to this committee. mr. creagh, you do not need this in your life. you had a very strong career. you have served michigan honorably. you are in a difficult spot, very difficult spot. for your stepping up and doing this, somebody has to do it and somehow that mental has fallen to you. thank you for your participation. you seem like a very fine gentlemen who cares deeply about not only the government, but the country, the people as well. my frustration is with the organization, the lack of
accountability, the lack of follow-through. we have to plow past the talking points and everything they try to train you to say when you come before congress to get said the truth and the naked reality of it. that is where i think most of the employees are at. we represent the people. we represent the people of the united states. and, i am glad we are in the -- in this position. i think we are part of the solution. that is my starting point in >> we have a problem and we need to clean it up. i want to thank and appreciate our people. i'm glad he was able to testify today. this committee is adjourned.
and we will continue from there. it is still fluid, so to speak but we will press on. >> do you really want the u.s. marshals to scoop up emergency manager don youron earley? >> they will serve him personally. we have tried to do with her visit attorney and they are refusing to its that service. we have u.s. marshals that conserve subpoenas. if that is what he wants, that is what you will get. it is bad form. it is usually not needed the people will be difficult. >> what about the governor? you heard about the cries that governor snyder should be called to testify. have you discussed it with the governor? are you prepared to change her mind on him? >> the governor's representative was here and he was very reductive. we will digest the hearing.
we will go through the e-mails. the depositions that are done, including the emergency manager who was on the ground. that is very thorough. >> you have not made a final decision? >> i have made no final decision. >> some would suggest you were giving him a pass. you are republican and here's. is. >> i'm a republican calling a hearing in holding people accountable at all levels. it is a very bipartisan approach. i really do wonder not only a people should be fired but some people put into jail. some very strong testimony that people were falsifying records and misleading people to protect her own hides. i take that very seriously. the department of justice is looking at it. >> what about officials? >> i'm not trying to make any
qualifications of who they work for. that could be at a state or federal level. we hope to get to that point and make a final determination but that should certainly be part of the consideration given the testimony. >> what about the second hearing? >> it is a trait saying but we have the hearing. it is always cliches. >> the e-mails from the epa will those be really is publicly? >> i cannot say when but we want to make it sure that they will be. >> thing you confirm? >> i signed both of them before the hearing. >> can you say more about the epa -- >> it is a fujian around here. -- food chain around here.
>> and a lot of these documents have been out for a long time. why did they tell gdq that they do not have they received this reward? >> the epa has given us a host of documents by the end of the week. we will see how true they are. the epa employees were not expected but we will take it. we will go through the deposition which often times is an eight hour experience. one thing the committee does that others do not do is you do this under oath. it will be an active part of the investigation. >> will that how you resolve it? >> you don't know. one more and then i have to go. >> focusing on the epa because
>> what we've seen in the past is in a field to win out on the democrat side it is a two candidate field. it is about expectations and which candidates can exceed those expectations. it is the first real test of voters who vote the polls. if you saw our coverage right before the iowa caucuses, one thing we were able to do was take you to the campaign rallies and the venues as the candidates tried to close the deal. we will do the same thing right before the new hampshire primary
on tuesday. as the candidates crisscross the state, we give you a sense of flavor of what is happening in this key state. it is the first of the nation primary. new hampshire has a long and rich history. this allows you a chance to watch it all unfold. >> "washington journal" is next. they work on a federal banking regulations measure is covered this morning. that is covered at 10:00 eastern on c-span. this evening, jeb bush campaigns in new hampshire. coming up this morning, we will preview next week's new hampshire primary. former new hampshire republican party chair and john kasich supporter will join us. after that, we will get the
latest on that tuesday's primary with boston globe political reporter james tindall -- puiindell. >> from my research i have found that this is not a flint problem or a rare anomaly. this is a national problem. only 10 states test accurately. 21 states do not reveal sampling instructions. 19 states have testing similar to loopholes to the michigan ones. there is no justifying this except to hide lead. ♪ host: that was leeann walter warning that the crisis facing flint, michigan could crop up in other localities across the country. we will discuss yesterday's emotionally charged hearing on capitol hill as we put this question to viewers.