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Efforts continue to quell the backlash over President Donald Trump’s changing statements on the Russia summit. Also on the Thursday rundown: protestors are out for Mike Pence’s visit to Missouri; and nobody wants to go, but one option is green burials.

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Flint Lawsuit Reaction: Accountability Needed, Not Privatization

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced a civil lawsuit in the Flint Water Crisis. (Pixabay)
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced a civil lawsuit in the Flint Water Crisis. (Pixabay)

June 23, 2016

LANSING, Mich. – Hiring private companies for government work is not a panacea, according to some groups in reaction to the latest lawsuit filed in the Flint water crisis.

The civil suit announced Wednesday by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette alleges two firms hired to help mitigate the lead contamination actually made the crisis worse.

Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, contends the suit is a prime example of the failure of the government's lowest bidder approach.

"This shows that privatization doesn't work,” he states. “We've seen with the Flint water crisis that emergency management doesn't work, and that fiscal austerity policies don't work. It's been a disaster for our local community."

The companies named in the lawsuit – Veolia and Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam – deny the allegations.

Criminal charges were filed against two state environmental leaders in April for their roles in the crisis, and Schuette says more charges could be coming from the ongoing criminal investigation.

Scott says that while there is plenty of blame to go around and those responsible should be held accountable, he notes the lawsuit does nothing to help Flint residents get clean water.

"People are shocked when they hear that we're on day 265 since they've announced and known that there was a problem with the water,” he states. “They still haven't replaced a single pipe that the state has paid for, so they need to get to work actually fixing the problem for the people of Flint. "

On Tuesday, Flint's mayor said several bids to replace the city's water lines have been submitted, but all were much higher than anticipated. The office is reviewing the proposals before deciding how to proceed.


Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - MI