[Environment] CRIME AND CRIMINALS: RACKETEERING : LAW CASES : DISASTERS: WATER POLLUTION : MEDICAL: CONDITIONS: LEAD POISONING : WATER SUPPLY : DISEASES : UNITED STATES: CITIES: FLINT, MICHIGAN : UNITED STATES: POLITICS: POLITICAL PARTIES: REPUBLICAN PARTY, TEA PARTY : INDUSTRIES: PETROLEUM : LIBERTARIANISM : AUSTERITY : ORGANIZATIONS: NAMED ORGANIZATIONS: AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE EXCHANGE COUNCIL (ALEC) : EMERGENCY MANAGERS (ALEC DESIGNED MANAGEMENT BY UNELECTED OFFICIALS) : POLITICAL CORRUPTION: ‘Sweetheart’ Bond Deal Aided Flint Water Split from Detroit

 

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CRIME AND CRIMINALS: RACKETEERING :

LAW CASES :

DISASTERS: WATER POLLUTION :

MEDICAL: CONDITIONS: LEAD POISONING :

WATER SUPPLY :

DISEASES :

UNITED STATES: CITIES: FLINT, MICHIGAN :

UNITED STATES: POLITICS: POLITICAL PARTIES: REPUBLICAN PARTY, TEA PARTY :

INDUSTRIES: PETROLEUM :

LIBERTARIANISM :

AUSTERITY :

ORGANIZATIONS: NAMED ORGANIZATIONS: AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE EXCHANGE COUNCIL (ALEC) :

EMERGENCY MANAGERS (ALEC DESIGNED MANAGEMENT BY UNELECTED OFFICIALS) :

POLITICAL CORRUPTION:

‘Sweetheart’ Bond Deal Aided Flint Water Split from Detroit

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‘Sweetheart’ Bond Deal Aided Flint Water Split from Detroit

Paul Egan

Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau

6:24 a.m. EDT May 12, 2016

http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/flint-water-crisis/
2016/05/11/did-state-give-flint-break-its-water/84238120/

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/z9d2tvt

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‘Sweetheart’ bond deal aided split from Detroit

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LANSING  The City of Flint’s financial condition was so dire in 2014 that it threatened the ability of the Karegnondi Water Authority to issue bonds and start construction on a new pipeline to Lake Huron. But the project was rescued through what was described as a “sweetheart” state environmental order pushed by KWA bond attorneys, records show.

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Although Flint is responsible for about 35% of the debt related to the $285-million KWA project, a deal struck between the Department of Environmental Quality and the city, which at the time was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager, meant that none of that cost counted against the city’s already squeezed debt limit, according to interviews and e-mails recently released by Gov. Rick Snyder.

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The e-mails raise new questions about the state’s role in not only allowing  but promoting  the development of the KWA, which cleared the way for Flint splitting with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department as its supplier of clean Lake Huron drinking water and beginning to draw its water from the Flint River in April 2014. Inadequate treatment of the more corrosive river water resulted in unsafe levels of lead leaching into water pouring from city taps.

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Officials used an “administrative consent order,” or ACO, between the DEQ and Flint that was put together despite resistance, suspicion and buck-passing from officials inside the DEQ, records show.

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It’s not uncommon during an environmental enforcement action for the state to use an ACO to force a local government to correct a problem and then allow the municipality to issue bonds to make the required fix without that borrowing counting against the local government’s debt limit. But the March 20, 2014, ACO between the DEQ and Flint appears to turn that system on its head, with KWA officials ready to issue bonds to finance a construction project and pushing for a state environmental order to make the bond deal workable.

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“Yesterday I received a call … seeking what I’d characterize as a ‘sweetheart’ ACO intended to ease the city’s ability to access bond funding for their possible new water intake from Lake Huron,” Nicole Zachardo, an enforcement specialist in the DEQ’s Water Resources Division, wrote in a Dec. 19, 2013, e-mail to her division chief, William Creal.

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“Having met with Steve Busch (of the DEQ drinking water section) and others … my suspicions have been confirmed and this really does not strike me as our issue in the WRD (Water Resources Division).”

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The next day, Creal e-mailed the head of the DEQ’s drinking water section, Liane Shekter Smith, asking if it was OK if his division punted the request for an environmental order, which related to water treatment plant sludge the city had dumped in a lagoon area, to her section of the DEQ.

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“That’s part of my conundrum,” Smith replied. “We don’t have an enforcement action with them. If they want an order regarding the lagoon then shouldn’t they be working with WRD?” She added: “I need to speak to Steve Busch to understand what the ‘ask’ is.”

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
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