Volkswagen, Flint point to weakness in US environmental protections

Matt Hopper comforts Nyla Hopper, age 5 of Flint, after she has her blood drawn to be tested for lead at Eisenhower Elementary School in Flint, MichiganTwo recent scandals in the United States — one involving Volkswagen’s diesel cars, the other, contaminated tap water in Flint, Michigan — appear to have little in common at first glance. Coming several months apart, the two scandals followed similar patterns: government regulators missed a serious violation of environmental laws and only found out from members of the public. In the case of Volkswagen, it was a non-governmental organization, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), which brought to light that the huge German automaker had installed illegal software on its diesel cars to allow them to fool pollution testing devices.

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