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Obama giving $80 million in assistance to Flint

EPA says it will ensure 'immediate action'

DETROIT – President Barack Obama announced Thursday that his administration is giving $80 million in aid to Michigan to help with repairing infrastructure in Flint.

“In last month’s bipartisan budget agreement, we secured additional funding to help cities like yours build water infrastructure and we’re going to have that funding to you by the end of next week,” the president said. “Our children should not have to be worried about the water that they’re drinking in American cities. That’s not something that we should accept."

Obama signed an emergency declaration for Flint on Saturday which ordered federal assistance to support state and local response efforts.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is calling the state of Michigan's and the city of Flint's response to the drinking water crisis "inadequate" and that it will ensure "the state and city immediately take actions necessary to protect public health."

"There are serious, ongoing concerns with delays, lack of adequate transparency, and capacity to safely manage the drinking water system," the EPA said in a statement.

EPA Region 5 director resigns

EPA Region 5 director Susan Hedman has resigned, effective Feb. 1. Administrator Gina McCarthy has accepted the position, "given Susan’s strong interest in ensuring that EPA Region 5’s focus remains solely on the restoration of Flint’s drinking water," according to a statement from the EPA.

 


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