"Watchdog To Probe EPA Handling Of City’s Lead-Tainted Water"

"Federal auditors announced an investigation Friday of how the government has dealt with lead contamination of drinking water in Benton Harbor, an impoverished, mostly Black city in southwest Michigan.

The probe by the Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general follows a petition months ago for federal help from groups that accused local and state governments of dragging their feet after years of high lead readings in the city’s water.

EPA said in September it was “carefully considering” the matter and pledged additional steps this week in a letter to the groups.

Advocates said they welcomed the review.

“For years, Benton Harbor residents said the water was contaminated and for years we were ignored,” said the Rev. Edward Pinkney, president of the Benton Harbor Community Water Council. “An investigation into what the EPA did and did not do for this environmental justice community is long overdue.”"

John Flesher reports for the Associated Press February 18, 2022.

Source: AP, 02/21/2022