Concerned pastors group seeking federal investigation over Flint's water issues

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FLINT (WJRT) - (10/09/15) - The Concerned Pastors for Social Action applaud the decision to go back to Detroit Water, but the group said it took too long to reach that conclusion. They want answers and are asking for a federal investigation into city and state operations and the people in power.

"We are not 'Johnny-come-lately' jumping on the bandwagon," said Pastor Alfred Harris, a member of the pastors group, as he discussed the Governor's decision to return to Detroit water. "We've been saying this consistently over and over again."

The pastors claim leaders acted negligently in dealing with decisions about Flint's water and in the way they treated residents who brought concerns to their attention - virtually since the switch to the Flint River as the city's water source.

The Concerned Pastors teamed up with the Coalition for Clean Water to fight for better water for residents. They said had it not been for their efforts, Virginia Tech never would have come to Flint, which brought elevated lead concerns into the spotlight.

The Concerned Pastors for Social Action said they've been consulting with their team of lawyers and want accountability for what people have been put through.

"Sixteen months was simply too long to ignore the cries of the people of this city. Sixteen months was too long for our children to ingest lead-infested water on a daily basis," said Pastor Allen Overton, a member of the Concerned Pastors for Social Action. "We're not an investigator, nor are we a prosecutor, so we don't know what the charge is going to be, but we do feel like there's something going wrong with this system."

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling wasn't available for comment on Friday.

The city says water testing followed state and federal guidelines and improvements were made to the water plant, including the installation of carbon filters. The city says a lead advisory was issued after research was released by doctors at Hurley.

The pastors said there's no formal paperwork drafted on the request for a federal investigation, but they continue to work with their lawyers and to stay tuned.

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