After months of the Snyder attempting to deflect blame, a new report concludes that there was a failure at all levels of government, starting with the governor. In the interim, Flint is seeking assistance to bring clean drinking water to its children.
The report makes dozens of recommendations to change the culture in the Snyder administration, but it doesn't name names.
"It was a mixture of ignorance, incompetence, and arrogance by many decision-makers that created a toxic and tragic situation that produced the Flint water crisis", said Chris Kolb, task force co-chair and former Democratic State Representative.
There were failures on all levels of government, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a report from the task force said.
AP notes that the task force, consisting of five members, interviewed some 66 people during its investigation.
The group was appointed in October to investigate the roots of the crisis.
Snyder, who attended a news conference at which the task force released its report, said: "My focus is really saying there are a lot of excellent recommendations here and to stay focused on putting those in place".
Inquiry: State 'fundamentally accountable' for Flint crisis
Snyder", Ananich told reporters after the second meeting of the Joint Select Committee on the Flint Water Public Health Emergency. Officials say the water in Flint is still not safe to drink and have been handing out water filters and bottled water.
The task force suggests the MDHHS "bears ultimate responsibility for leadership and coordination of timely follow-up efforts in Flint and across the state regarding childhood lead poisoning". However, the report highlighted failures of state agencies, especially the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), and said the state was "fundamentally accountable" for what happened.
Flint, a financially struggling city that was once home to tens of thousands of automobile jobs, switched from Detroit's water supply to the Flint River in April 2014 to save money. The river water is far more corrosive than the Lake Huron water the city had been buying from Detroit, which was treated with corrosion-control chemicals. Neither the Governor nor the Governor's office took steps to reverse poor decisions by MDEQ and state-appointed emergency managers until October 2015, in spite of mounting problems and suggestions to do so by senior staff members in the Governor's office, in part because of continued reassurances from MDEQ that the water was safe.
Initially expected to report in February, the task force's work was extended by emerging issues, particularly the possible connection between Flint River water and outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease in the Flint area that are believed to have contributed to 10 deaths.
Stamas said decisions are still pending on witnesses to be invited to future hearings, with former Flint emergency managers and Snyder among the possibilities.
Organizations including the Greater Flint Health Coalition, the United Way of Genesee County and Genesys Health System - an Ascension hospital serving Flint and its mid-Michigan neighbors - are working together to maximize the benefits of their support services and develop a long-term healthcare strategy for the generation of Flint kids who might be adversely affected. The law removes checks and balances that could have scrutinized or stopped bad decisions made by four separate EMs in Flint.
"What happened in Flint is a clear case of environmental injustice", Sikkema said.