WASHINGTON — In an effort to help fix the mess that has become the Flint water crisis, Michigan Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow are set to introduce an amendment on an energy bill that could help fix Flint’s water infrastructure.
In a media round table this morning, both senators talked about the amendment on Bill F-2012. If the bill were approved, the federal government would match, dollar for dollar, up to $400 million that the state would appropriate towards fixing water pipes in the city of Flint.
“We know, bottom line, that the pipes need to be either fixed or replaced as quickly as possible,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan). “There needs to be a sense of urgency. We all know that the state has the primary responsibility because of decisions that were made, but the reality is we have to have a sense of urgency about getting this fixed,” added Stabenow.
In order to prevent another public health crisis like the one currently in Flint, there’s also a provision in the bill that would require the EPA to release information that local and state authorities fail to release.
“If the EPA knows there’s a problem with drinking water, they should have clear authority to go directly to the public and warn them of the risk,” said Sen. Gary Peters (D-Michigan). You need complete transparency. What this requires is if local water authorities or the state have not reported it to the public, then the EPA must make it public within 15 days.”
Stabenow and Peters plan on introducing this legislation to the Senate early next week.