DETROIT – Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will be invited to testify before the U.S. Congress about the water crisis in Flint.
A U.S. House committee is expected to hold a hearing on Feb. 3 about the high levels of lead in the city's water and how the local government has handled a response to the contamination. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) announced last week her formal request for such a hearing. Her office confirmed the hearing on Thursday.
Snyder apologized for the crisis during his State of the State Address on Tuesday night. He has vowed to fix it. In an effort to increase transparency, on Wednesday the governor released what he said are all his emails from 2014-15 about the Flint water crisis.
This would be the first congressional inquiry into the crisis. President Barack Obama signed an emergency designation for Genesee County and Flint on Saturday and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is supplying water and water filters to residents.
Lawrence's office said also to be invited are Dr. Mona Hanna-Atissha, a pediatric doctor at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, whose findings of elevated lead levels in children’s blood spurred outside investigations into the crisis, and Virginia Tech Professor Mark Edwards, a specialist who brought a team to Flint to study the level of lead in the city’s drinking water.
It's not known if the invitees will accept. Snyder has said he welcomes any investigation.
Snyder's office released the following statement Thursday evening:
"We have received no communication from the Oversight and Government Reform Committee regarding a possible hearing and look forward to hearing from its leaders. The governor is working to resolve the Flint water crisis, which is the result of missteps of government at all levels – local, state and federal. Governor continues to work to bring resources to help Flint residents now and long into the future, and appreciates the support of our partners in Congress as we move forward."