Cotton Introduces Legislation to Hold EPA Accountable for its Negligence in Flint, Michigan
Washington, D.C.— Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) last week introduced the EPA Accountability in Flint Act, legislation that would hold the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accountable for its negligence in Flint, Michigan. Specifically, the bill would remove an exemption that could allow the EPA to avoid liability from private lawsuits. Senator Cotton’s bill also requires the EPA to work with Michigan and the localities to develop, fund, and implement a long-term monitoring program that addresses the water supply lead contamination.
“Emails show that the EPA was aware of the extent of the lead crisis in Flint well before it made this information public. Whether it’s Flint, Michigan or the Animas River disaster—President Obama’s EPA evades responsibility for its reckless behaviors time and time again,” said Senator Cotton. “Enough is enough. EPA officials are not above the law, and we must take action before Arkansas, or any other state, finds itself as the EPA’s next victim.”
Background: The EPA Accountability in Flint Act allows Flint victims to sue the EPA under the Federal Torts Claims Act by removing the discretionary function exemption. The legislation also requires that all damages awarded are taken from the EPA’s appropriated budget, instead of placing an additional burden on taxpayers by creating a new fund. Finally, the legislation requires EPA to develop, fund, and implement a long-term monitoring program that addresses the water supply contamination. Click here to view the full text of the bill.