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Governor accused of criminal racketeering cover-up of Flint's lead poisoning... Will EPA officials who ignored the risk be held accountable too?

Governor Rick Snyder

(NaturalNews) The federal government's failure to protect residents of Flint, Mich., from drinking tainted water is actually a familiar tail, for it involves a bureaucracy – the Environmental Protection Agency – that has a history of malfeasance and incompetence.

What is also common is the federal government's inclination to punish other people as a means of covering up its failure, while holding the real guilty parties – federal government officials – blameless.

As reported by Common Dreams, a group of 15 citizens are charging in a federal racketeering lawsuit that the Flint water crisis was part of an "international scheme" created by state officials (most of whom are Democrats, by the way) to save money. The suit specifically names Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, and other high-profile state officials.

Meanwhile, MLive reported that the civil suit seeks "financial compensation for property damage, loss of business and financial losses attributed to the city's water crisis; as well as compensatory damages for future medical care and punitive damages."

Not named in the civil suit are any of the EPA officials who knew that Flint city officials were putting citizens at risk by switching to a contaminated water supply but did nothing to intervene.

Everyone suffers legal repercussions but the EPA

How this is Snyder's fault is anyone's guess, but the suit names him, along with his former chief of staff, Dennis Muchmore, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and multiple staff members, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and some of its staffers and the City of Flint and many of its public works employees. Also included are a number of engineering companies hired to evaluate the city's water system, former Mayor Dayne Walling (a Democrat) and three of the city's former emergency managers.

Again, not a single EPA official is included.

Attorney Marc J. Bern, referring to Snyder's alleged governing style, told MLive: "He wants to run the state like a business. Well. The citizens of Flint, as shareholders in the corporation of the state of Michigan, I don't think they were treated in an appropriate way."

The Detroit Free Press added:

The lawsuit accuses Snyder and others of hatching a "wrongful scheme" to reduce Flint's indebtedness by stopping the impoverished city from buying treated Lake Huron water from Detroit, instead of "invoking time tested, well-honed federal bankruptcy protections for restructuring the debts of municipalities."

"Governor Snyder was an integral actor in the scheme that intentionally defrauded, misrepresented and falsified information and warning signs relating to the property and financial affairs of Flint as it affected its citizenry," the lawsuit reads, "by planning, directing, coordinating and facilitating the State's insufficient response to the free but toxic Flint River water and failing to warn and protect the residents of the City of Flint of the consequences of the toxic water as effects their health and property values, despite having knowledge and evidence to the contrary at all times."

Remember the Gold King Mine spill?

In fact, all of these charges can more accurately be laid at the doorstep of the EPA. As The Detroit News reported in January, the agency knew Flint had a tainted water problem but didn't do anything:

An EPA water expert, Miguel Del Toral, identified potential problems with Flint's drinking water in February, confirmed the suspicions in April and summarized the looming problem in a June internal memo. ... Critics have charged [EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan] Hedman with attempting to keep the memo's information in-house and downplaying its significance.

Hedman was allowed to resign Feb. 1, but she's not going to be held legally liable and she's not been named in any suit.

Again, this is typical EPA behavior. As EPAWatch reported, the agency forced the contractor responsible for the Gold King Mine contaminant spill to sign a non-disclosure form so that neither the contractor nor the EPA would have to discuss the disaster in public.

For that, also, no one was held legally responsible.






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