As preliminary examinations continue against the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, more developments have deepened the known extent of mismanagement and negligence in regards to Flint’s water supply. Special prosecutor Todd Flood has introduced a log book from 2013 that reveals chemicals to treat Flint’s water was not supplied by a standard pump but by a hole in the floor. This, prosecutors assert, is one of the examples of misconduct that DEQ regulators should have identified and corrected when the water source in Flint was redirected in 2014, leading to a outgrowth of bacteria and chlorine which contributed to an outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease in the city.
Former DEQ employees Liane Shekter-Smith, Stephen Busch, Patrick Cook, and Michael Prysby are currently being looked at for crimes ranging from misconduct to involuntary manslaughter. Testimony from former Flint executive Dave Jansen showed that he was concerned about a lack of operable equipment and experienced employees, saying that the method of the hole in the floor was not a standard procedure for water treatment plants. Jansen also stated that none of the plants’ operating reports seemed to reveal the major issues within the plant. Flood also plans to show that other chemicals were added to the water through the same hole in the floor and that the plant did not have the proper equipment to safely process the chemicals into the water supply.
Defense attorneys for the DEQ employees have fought Flood’s arguments by stating that the same log shows that mixtures were distributed and recorded by the dosage. The attorneys for the accused also objected to Flood’s use of the log as it was written before the plant began to treat Flint’s water. William Kriger, an attorney for one of the accused, stated that the employees were simply following past protocol and that the standards in place never required the city to treat the river water. Preliminary examinations under Judge Jennifer Manley into the situation is still ongoing.