First to face charges in Flint Water Crisis, AG Bill Schuette says it’s only the beginning

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Since the flint water crisis was exposed to the public months ago, there has been a lot of speculation over who did what, and when.

We know months have passed since Flint residents first complained about their water.

We also know that because of a failure to add corrosive control to the Flint River, lead leeched into the city’s water supply.

After Wednesday, we know that state and city officials will be held accountable for their actions.

Stephen Busch and Michael Prysby both with the MDEQ, and Mike Glasgow, the City of Flint’s Utilities Administrator, were some of the first to raise concerns over the Flint water switch.

They’re now the first to face charges in the Flint water crisis.

“We have charged each individual with 3 felonies,” Attorney General Bill Schuette said on Wednesday during his press conference.

Findings in the March 2016 State Task Force Report, highlights evidence against Stephen Busch, Mike Prysby, and Michael Glasgow, who investigators say downplayed public health concerns after the city made the switch to the Flint River as its water source on April 25, 2014.

From then, up until now, emails between state workers show a number of red flags were raised, including talks about an up-tick in legionella, bacteria, and letters piling in from concerned residents, including LeAnne Walters.

Bringing Michael Glasgow and Michael Prysby on the front line; According to the report, Glasgow tested the water in Walter’s home and found lead levels at 104 ppb. A number that increasingly became more toxic.

A few months later, Glasgow was told that 61 more lead samples needed to be collected because the city’s water samples showed the lead levels were high.

According to the findings, on July 27th, a meeting was held between DEQ and Flint, where it was decided that the original lead report was “scrubbed” eliminating two of the highest lead results, which lowered the city’s overall lead levels, putting the city below the action level for lead.

According to the report, on February 27, 2015, Miguel Del Toral and Stephen Busch exchange emails. Del Toral raising concerns over Flint’s lead sampling protocol. Stephen Busch indicating that Flint has an “optimized corrosion control program,” then two-months later, DEQ officials admit, it doesn’t.

Michael Prysby comes into play when the report shows Miguel Del Toral raised concerns over biasing lead results by collecting samples after flushing water; which is something Prysby recommended to do just one day before, to the EPA.

Governor Rick Snyder reacting to it all:

“These are deeply troubling and extremely serious,” he said. “I’ve consistently said that a handful of bureaucrats had created a terrible situation in Flint from the beginning. If these accusations are correct this would take it to a whole new level, and one of the things we clearly want to pursue is the truth. We have tens of thousands of dedicated, hardworking state employees and I hope this doesn’t put a tarnish on the great work they’re doing everyday.”

Busch, Prysby, and Glasgow all have a chance to cooperate with investigators by disclosing more information.

Attorney General Bill Schuette says this is just the beginning of it all.

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