In 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency's inspector general found that the agency under then-Administrator Gina McCarthy had moved too slowly in response to the water-contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan. McCarthy admitted in her testimony before the House Oversight Committee that she learned about excessive lead concentrations in at least four homes in June 2015, but only in January 2016 did she exercise her emergency authority to intervene. The EPA has legal authority to intervene in a public health threat if state-level action is not protecting the public in a timely manner.
Republican lawmakers widely castigated McCarthy's performance during the crisis and many called for her resignation.
McCarthy has been named by President-elect Joe Biden to the newly-created role of White House Climate Coordinator.