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Michael Moore says Flint residents need a revolution... and he's actually right about something for once

Michael Moore

(NaturalNews) Filmmaker Michael Moore is angry – again – but for once his anger is justified, even if it is not always directed at the right people.

In a lengthy piece at The Huffington Post, Moore lamented the horrendous inaction by government officials regarding a years-long water contamination problem in Flint, Michigan, Moore's hometown.

In recent weeks, state and federal officials at the Environmental Protection Agency were forced to admit that they knew since around April 2014 that residents of the city of 102,000 have been drinking water tainted with lead. In case you weren't aware, lead poisoning is especially detrimental to children; it can cause irreversible brain damage and a host of other neurological problems.

According to published reports, officials at Michigan's environmental agency as well as the EPA failed to take action to both fix the problem and notify the public until well after the contamination began.

In his screed, Moore blames Michigan's Republican governor, Rick Snyder; he blames Republican political ideology; and he blames the state's environmental offices as well, which he believes are dominated by Republicans. He asks residents to join him in a revolution of sorts to hold everyone who is responsible to account.

'We screwed up'

Only, he leaves out any scorn of federal EPA officials, and in fact in one of his several measures he outlines to address the problem, he says the "federal government must then be placed in charge."

Fact is, the federal government is as responsible for this failure as are state officials, though Moore's radical left-wing ideological beliefs won't allow him to see that. So responsible is the EPA that its Region 5 Director, Susan Hedmon, announced recently that she was resigning from her post; come to find out, her agency also knew what was happening in Flint but, despite having the legal mandate to act, did nothing but rely on a state-level agency that was too mired in political processes to do the right thing.

New Republic reports that the EPA bears as much, if not more, responsibility as does Michigan's version of EPA:

Ultimately, state and local water agencies are responsible for correct monitoring and reporting on water quality, and to implement the standards that federal officials set. That doesn't mean the EPA is blameless. The EPA didn't act as urgently and as transparently as it could have to help the people of Flint—something it has acknowledged only grudgingly.

"EPA did its job but clearly the outcome was not what anyone would have wanted," EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said last month. A day later, the agency said that "while EPA worked within the framework of the law to repeatedly and urgently communicate the steps the state needed to take to properly treat its water, those necessary (EPA) actions were not taken as quickly as they should have been."

That is bureaucratese for, "We screwed up but we can't just come right out and say so."

Action taken but more needed

And where was Moore when contractors working for the EPA dumped millions of gallons of contaminated water from the Gold King Mine into the Colorado and Animas rivers, then lied about it and then tried to cover it up? No one was held to account for this colossal boo-boo.

No, a big federal government agency isn't the answer for Flint because all government agencies are staffed by imperfect humans who are often motivated to act (or not act) by outside (read political) influences that have nothing to do with protecting or serving the public. That's what happened in Flint – both the state and federal agencies charged with ensuring that residents' drinking water was not contaminated failed the people they were appointed to serve.

But Moore is right about one thing: The Flint water scandal is more than a "glitch" or an "error," and those responsible must be held to account. That should be based on their actual role in the scandal, not what political party they belong to.

For it's part, the EPA has already taken action; now the state environmental agency responsible for hiding the contamination from Flint residents needs to take some as well.







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