Looks like the good citizens of Flint have noticed the EPA pattern that has earned them their updated name:
The U.S. Environmental P[ollu]tion Agency is now the latest governmental entity targeted for damages in a class action lawsuit stemming from the Flint water crisis.
On Monday, attorneys for more than five hundred current and former city residents filed claims for personal injury and property damage. Those claims, which fall under the Federal Tort Claims Act, total more than $220 million in potential damages.
In a statement released with the lawsuit Monday, plaintiffs’ attorney Michael Pitt wrote: “The EPA heard the alarm bell loud and clear but chose to ignore the profound environmental and public health issues brought to its attention in the early stages of this disaster. This agency attitude of ‘public be damned’ amounts to a cruel and unspeakable act of environmental injustice for which damages will have to be paid to the thousands of injured water users.”
EPA's attitude was essentially, "There's lead pouring into the drinking water of Flint, Michigan? Well, does Michigan have a GOP governor? They do? Then [BLEEP] him, Rick Snyder's gonna take the fall for it!" Then they stood back and did nothing in the hopes of making the incident so egregious and damaging that it would flip Michigan's governor's mansion "blue". I think that sums it up.
Did the State and local authorities in Michigan screw up? Absolutely they did, and Governor Snyder has owned every bit of that. But that's what they were: screw-ups. Mistakes. They didn't poison Flint's water supply on purpose, much less for partisan political gain. EPA, by sitting back and letting it happen, might as well have.
And, of course, from the Constitutional perspective, remove the EPA from the equation, and not only would the problem have been addressed sooner, but the accountability would have rested where it always belonged in the first place: the State and local level. Because the Constitution does not enumerate to the federal government any power over "environmental" policy.
It'd be nice if that quarter-bil in damages was chopped right out of EPA's FY2017 budget. But then it would be even nicer if EPA was abolished as the unconstitutional abomination and partisan Democrat truncheon that it is. Take little bites, though, and you'll still eventually finish your "dinner".