Environmental expert witnesses may consult on environmental science, water and waste treatment, toxicology, and environmental assessment. Flint, MI, is front and center in the national news with a state of emergency due to lead in the city’s tap water. Six state employees have been criminally charged in connection with the Flint water crisis. The defendants include Michigan Department of Health and Human Services workers Nancy Peeler, Corinne Miller and Robert Scott, and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality employees Liane Shekter-Smith, Adam Rosenthal and Patrick Cook. Criminal charges against these officials include Misconduct in Office (felony), Willful Neglect of Duty (misdemeanor), Tampering with Evidence (felony), and Conspiracy— Tampering with Evidence (felony).
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the third legal action of his Flint Water Investigation, filing 18 criminal charges against four current and two former employees from two state departments. The charges are a result of actions taken by officials at the Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality and Health and Human Services that contributed to the Flint water poisoning crisis by withholding vital information from the public about ongoing lead poisoning and allowing the continued distribution of corrosive water from the Flint Water Treatment Plant. http://www.michigan.gov/ag/
Public health and safety is often at the center of environmental litigation. In this case, Michigan employees failed in their duties to ensure the provision of safe drinking water and worked to keep the Flint Water Treatment Plant up and running regardless of the outcome or warning signs that its operation resulted in water poisoned with lead. Environmental expert witnesses provide unbiased testimony in environmental lawsuits that involve hazardous chemicals such as lead as well as other forms of contamination. These experts apply scientific methods in the investigation of environmental issues and contribute invaluable testimony to the legal argument presented in court.