The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) says Bates was “not properly performing his duties to protect public health and may have falsified reports,” the Vindicator writes. Reached at home on Monday evening, Bates denied the charges.
And OEPA’s criticism stretches to other local officials, as well. “The games the Village of Sebring was playing by giving us incomplete data time and time again, and not submitting the required documents, made it difficult for our field office to determine whether or not they had notified their customers,” said Heidi Griesmer, an agency representative.
To that end, OEPA director Craig Butler has asked the U.S. EPA to open a criminal investigation into what occurred in Sebring.
Last week, news reports indicated that lead exposure is a pervasive issue not just in Flint, but across the country.
“Flint is a microcosm,” Robert Glennon, author of the book, Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It, told the Christian Science Monitor. “The maintenance of water systems and wastewater systems is not just an urban problem, or a problem for places with low-income residents. It’s a problem all over the nation that needs to be addressed.”
According to OEPA, Sebring will not be able to lift its drinking water advisory for pregnant women and children until they receive two rounds of successful sampling events in consecutive six-month periods. In addition, the village will be required to provide individual tests upon request by its residents.
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