US lawmakers visit Flint to get water crisis update

Gov. Rick Snyder will testify about Flint water crisis before Congress on Thursday

Waldorf & Sons Excavating crew foreman Brian Damon holds the first lead service line removed from Flint after digging for hours on Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Flint, Mich.

FLINT, Mich. (WOOD) — As Gov. Rick Snyder prepares to testify before Congress next week about the water crisis in Flint, congressional Republicans converged on the city Saturday to learn more about the situation there.

They were given a firsthand look at the crisis many blame on the failures of the state’s Republican governor.

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, the chair of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, toured the Flint Water Plant. He was joined by Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency staff and Rep. Bill Huizenga of Zeeland.

“We didn’t get into this overnight and we’re certainly not going to get out of it overnight,” Huizenga said. “I think that’s maybe something that I had underscored for me, is how long this may take to really get at that solution. And I understand that’s a frustration with people, but sometimes that science of what has to happen with the water treatment and those kinds of things is going to take a little time.”

Huizenga, who said his mother grew up in Flint, said the end result has to be the restoration of safe drinking water.

Chaffetz said he wants to make sure that there is a “candid assessment” of the situation when Snyder addresses the committee on Thursday. Gina McCarthy, the head of the EPA, will also go before the committee Thursday.

Tuesday, the committee will hear from former Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley. Earley was the governor’s appointed manager when the decision was made to switch water supplies, which is believed to have caused the water crisis.

The House Oversight committee will also hear from other city, state and EPA officials who were in charge over the two years it is believed Flint’s water was contaminated.



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