MDEQ “leaked” FLINTWATERSTUDY FOIAs to…Reporters

You cannot make this stuff up folks.

FLINTWATERSTUDY submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request back in early September for certain documents related to the Flint Water Crisis. We paid MDEQ $400 for them to produce the documents. After waiting and waiting, and pressuring MDEQ to stop wasting time, we finally received the documents at 5 pm on Wednesday October 14th. We promptly sent MDEQ Director Dan Wyant a series of questions on the content of the FOIAs at 11 am on October 15th and again on October 16th. Our questions to MDEQ have gone unanswered.

We had had the FOIA documents for a grand total of 46 hours, when to our surprise we discovered that MDEQ’s Brad Wurfel was leaking those very documents to reporters!

So we asked MDEQ:

Did you guys just send out the FOIA documents I paid nearly $400 for, and you made me wait over a month to get, to other reporters without my permission, and without any FOIA request? I have never heard of such a thing.

MDEQ proudly responded:

I started getting calls on it from reporters today. It’s all public information and they are asking for me to respond to it. When media ask me for information, I work to be transparent. You and others have asked the DEQ to be more transparent, and it is something we are trying to do.  

We have decided to release a detailed chronology tomorrow (10/19) morning of the FOIA documents. This will include:

a) emails between MDEQ and US EPA as the Flint Water Crisis unfolded in the past several months, and

b) emails between Mayor Walling and US EPA.

We will also be posting a Q+A with the Mayor, regarding the emails between him and the US EPA. Stay tuned!