3 Officials Charged Over Flint Water Crisis - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

3 Officials Charged Over Flint Water Crisis

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The man who ran Flint's water treatment plant and two state environmental officials were hit with criminal charges Wednesday for allegedly misleading regulators about the lead crisis.

Warrants filed in court show Mike Glasgow was charged with tampering with evidence and willful neglect while Steven Busch and Michael Prysby are charged with misconduct, evidence tampering and violations of the Safe Water Drinking Act.

Details of the charges are expected to be announced later Wednesday by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who launched a criminal investigation after the discovery of lead in Flint's water sparked a state of emergency and a national focus on water safety.

The three officials were not in court when the charges were read earlier in the day. They were named as:

  • Mike Glasgow, who ran the Flint water treatment plan. According to public records, he allegedly certified that water samples taken last year were from high-risk homes with lead pipes when they were actually from mostly low-risk homes.
  • Stephen Busch, a district supervisor for Michigan Department of Environmental Quality who oversaw the drinking water plant in Flint. In February 2015, he assured the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that the city's water was being properly treated for corrosion and regularly tested with no unusual results. The state now admits that Flint's water was not being properly treated, and Busch is on paid leave.
  • Mike Prysby, a former engineer for MDEQ. He allegedly did not respond to a 2014 email from Glasgow that warned Flint was not ready to switch its water source to the Flint River. Making that switch without proper water treatment proved catastrophic. This week Prysby started a new job within DEQ.

Flint's water crisis unfurled after the city stopped using Detroit's water and switched its supply to the river in April 2014, a move that exposed residents to lead-poisoning, Legionnaires' disease, E. coli bacteria and toxic chemical byproducts.

The mess unleashed a wave of lawsuits, triggered calls for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and EPA administrator Gina McCarthy to resign, became an issue in the presidential campaign, and was the subject of Congressional hearings.

Rep. Elijah Cummings called the criminal charges "one step towards justice for the families of Flint" but said the three men named in the warrants are not the only ones to blame.

"Governor Snyder can hold all the photo ops he wants drinking filtered water now, but that doesn't help the residents of Flint who were drinking poisoned, unfiltered water for more than a year," Cummings said. "The people of Flint deserve accountability for the actions of Governor Snyder and his officials that caused this crisis."

Snyder's office said he had no immediate comment on the charges and did not know whether he would make any statement at all.

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