On January 22, in response to an emergency order issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the Flint water crisis, Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Director, Keith Creagh, wrote that the state is questioning whether the EPA has “legal authority” to “order a state and its agencies” to act to protect the health of its citizens.
The order, issued by the EPA on Thursday, states:
“The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) provides the US Environmental Protection Agency with the authority to order actions when an imminent and substantial endangerment exists and the actions taken by the state/and or local authorities are inadequate to protect public health. EPA has determined that the city of Flint and the state of Michigan’s responses to the drinking water crisis in Flint have been inadequate to protect public health and that these failures continue. As a result, the EPA is issuing this emergency order to make sure that the necessary actions to protect public health happen immediately.”