Michigan: Mackinac Center and Virginia Tech Professor Dr. Marc Edwards Sue Wayne State Over Flint Water Documents

News Release:  MIDLAND — The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation and Virginia Tech Professor Marc Edwards launched a lawsuit today against Wayne State University for deliberately ignoring multiple Freedom of Information Act requests. The requested documents are related to questions about the qualifications and actions of Wayne State University personnel who were awarded millions of dollars in research…


Michigan Environmental Office Repeatedly Stonewalls Record Requests

Rep. Phil Phelps, D-Flushing, says it took months for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to respond to his Freedom of Information Act request for documents related to the Flint water crisis. The department initially said the documents did not exist, but months later the lawmaker received tens of thousands of documents the agency had withheld.


Flint water crisis could help push governor FOIA, legislative transparency bills

Gov. Rick Snyder has released thousands of pages of executive office emails voluntarily in the wake of the Flint water crisis, but legislation pending in the House would make disclosures routine by subjecting the governor to the Freedom of Information Act.

Bipartisan bills were introduced last month by Rep. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield and Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, would subject the governor to FOIA, an act which details response timelines and which records are subject to disclosure upon citizen request.


Lessons in transparency from Flint, Michigan

State and local leaders have been stunned by the fiasco in Flint, Michigan, where city officials switched the water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River in order to save money.

That hasty change caused older pipes to leach dangerous levels of lead that contaminated the local drinking water supply.


Flint water crisis highlights why FOIA should apply to governor, Democrats say

Gov. Rick Snyder released thousands of pages of staff emails over the weekend pertaining to the Flint water crisis, but Democratic leaders say that information doesn't supplant the state's need for a more robust Freedom of Information Act that applies to the governor and legislature.

Currently the governor's office is specifically exempt from having to disclose records under Michigan's FOIA. The legislature is exempt via an Attorney General opinion.


Michigan governor to release more Flint water crisis emails, reports claim

Gov. Rick Snyder said he will release his office's emails related to the Flint water crisis following calls from Democrats and open government advocates. 

Snyder's office announced the release Monday during meetings with the Detroit News and Free Press. The release will include documents dating back to 2011, before Flint changed to the Flint River as its source of drinking water.


To prevent another Flint, make all open data machine-readable

The lead poisoning of the entire city of Flint, Michigan was preventable and should never have happened. 

Numerous pundits and industry experts have said this. Most of them, however, explain that if government had functioned properly, the environmental agencies would have properly communicated to their higher-ups and the problem would have been spotted much sooner.


Opinion: Flint water crisis a lesson for Colorado government email retention

Imagine you live in Flint, Michigan, and it’s been your home for years.

You’ve just learned the drinking water the town has supplied for the past couple of years has been contaminated with lead. Yes, the water you used to shower and wash your dishes, the water your children drank and used to brush their teeth, tainted. 

You want answers. Frankly, you deserve answers. Everyone deserves answers.


Column: Flint case shows records should be open to all

Virginians should be immensely proud of a Virginia Tech professor and his research team’s members for their role in exposing the poisoning of Flint, Mich., residents who were forced to drink toxic water that was laced with dangerously high levels of lead.

The leader of the team is civil engineering professor Marc Edwards. He volunteered his time and considerable money (estimated at $150,000 of his own funds) after being contacted last summer by a Flint mother who conducted an Internet search for help after becoming concerned about the water coming into her home.