Gov. Rick Snyder today signed an executive order (a PDF of the full executive order is located at the bottom of this story) creating the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee, which will bring together a wide range of experts to work on long-term solutions to the Flint water situation and ongoing public health concerns affecting residents.
“We need to focus on improving Flint for the longer term,” Snyder said. “This committee, made up of experts from government and the Flint community, will set a course of action to remedy the water situation and resulting health issues, and carry on long after the emergency declaration expires.”
The Governor declared an emergency on Jan. 5 to put in place distribution of water, water filters and water tests for residents. The declaration launched the State Emergency Operations Center, made up of state emergency response personnel and non-governmental organizations such as the Red Cross.
The emergency declaration has led to a response from multiple state agencies, and is focused on assistance for immediate needs, such as filter and water distribution. Information can be found on Michigan.gov/flintwater, where individuals can also subscribe to email updates.
FWIACC’s membership will include experts from the state, Genesee County, the city of Flint and subject matter experts. The group will analyze any long-term effects of high lead levels in Flint residents and recommend action.
In addition, an independent Flint Water Task Force is continuing a full review of all local, state and federal actions that led to the current situation in Flint.
The Coordinating Committee will be composed of the following 17 members, who shall serve an initial term expiring on Dec. 31, 2018:
- The director of Office of Urban Initiatives within the Executive Office of the Governor;
- The deputy state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security within the Michigan Department of State Police;
- The director of the Department of Environmental Quality, or his or her designee;
- The director of the Department of Health and Human Services, or his or her designee;
- The director of the Department or Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, or his or her designee;
- The state treasurer, or his or her designee;
- The superintendent of public instruction, or his or her designee;
- The elected mayor of the City of Flint, who shall be appointed to the Coordinating Committee by the Governor;
- Three additional representatives of the City of Flint who shall be submitted by the Flint mayor and appointed to the Coordinating Committee by the Governor;
- Three representatives of Genesee County who shall be submitted by the Genesee County Board of Commissioners and appointed to the coordinating Committee by the Governor;
- Three subject matter experts who shall be appointed to the Coordinating Committee by the Governor.
After the initial appointments, members of the FWIACC will serve three-year terms.
The council will be asked to create an incident action plan, review recommendations made by the independent Flint Water Task Force, establish routine protocols for communications at the local, executive and legislative levels, make recommendations regarding the health impacts of the affected population, and assess the status of infrastructure and determine feasible actions for upgrading Flint’s water system.
A full list of responsibilities of the council can be found in the Executive Order.