Former Flint EM Darnell Earley, DEQ chief invited to testify before U.S. Congress

Darnell Earley at a news conference on Jan. 7, 2016.
Darnell Earley at a news conference on Jan. 7, 2016.

DETROIT – Former Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley and Department of Environmental Quality Director Keith Creagh have been invited to testify before a U.S. Congressional Oversight Committee on Feb. 3.

Three other officials have been invited to testify before the "Committee to Examine the Flint, Mich. Water Crisis." Included are:

  • Mr. Joel Beauvais, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Mr. Miguel Del Toral, Researcher, Region 5 Water Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Mr. Marc Edwards, Charles P. Lundsford Professor of Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Mr. Keith Creagh, Director, Department of Environmental Quality, State of Michigan
  • Mr. Darnell Earley, Former Emergency Manager, City of Flint Michigan

The U.S. House Oversight Committee announced the invitations Friday evening. The hearing will "examine the ongoing situation in Flint" and review the EPA's "administration of the Safe Drinking Water Act" in Flint. Additional witnesses may be invited.

Earlier this month, the office of U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) said Gov. Rick Snyder would be invited to testify about Flint's water crisis at a U.S. House Committee hearing on Feb. 3. Snyder's office said he has not received any invitation.

“It is baffling that Congress would not require Michigan’s executive officer to explain, under oath, his actions leading up to, and during, this public health disaster in Flint,” said Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon, in a statement Friday.

Lawrence's office also said 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 Edwards, a specialist who brought a team to Flint to study the level of lead in the city’s drinking water, would be invited.

Edwards has been hired by Flint Mayor Karen Weaver to oversee all of the city's water testing. He is being paid by private donations and will work independently. It's still unclear with Hanna-Atissha will be invited.

Meanwhile, Earley currently works in Detroit as the state-appointed emergency manager of the Detroit Public Schools district.

Local 4 spoke to Earley Friday evening. He said he has no comment on this situation.

Flint's water crisis was confirmed this past fall. Improperly treated water leached lead from pipes into drinking water.

More: Homes outside of Flint city limits may be affected by water crisis

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