LANSING (WWJ/AP) — Staying true to his word, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder released more than 250 pages of emails pertaining to the water crisis in Flint..
Snyder said during his State of the State address Tuesday that he would be releasing emails from January 2014 through December 2015 in an effort to be more transparent about the story that has gain national attention.READ MORE: Detroit Police Department Holds Graduation Ceremony For Recruit Class 2021-G
You can read all 274 pages released on Wednesday AT THIS LINK.
A day after doctors reported high levels of lead in Flint children, Snyder’s top aide told him the “real responsibility” for the city’s water issues rested with local government officials, emails released Wednesday showed.
Then-chief of staff Dennis Muchmore also told the governor that residents were “caught in a swirl of misinformation” about lead contamination and that it was up to local leaders to confront the issue, according to the emails.
“Of course, some of the Flint people respond by looking for someone to blame instead of working to reduce anxiety,” Muchmore wrote. “We can’t tolerate increased lead levels in any event, but it’s really the city’s water system that needs to deal with it.”
In a Sept. 25 email, Muchmore said he could not “figure out why the state is responsible” before noting that former state Treasurer Andy Dillon had signed off on the city’s switch to a new water source. “So we’re not able to avoid the subject.”
Muchmore also said two state agencies and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could not “find evidence of a major change” in lead levels.
The Flint water crisis began in 2014 when a state-appointed emergency manager switched Flint from Detroit water to Flint River water to save money. The corrosive water caused lead to leach from old pipes. Flint returned to the Detroit system in October 2015 after elevated lead levels were discovered in several children’s blood tests.READ MORE: Here's A Look At Weekend Construction Happening In Metro Detroit
Snyder said as soon as the problem was brought to his attention, he took dramatic action.
“The issue now is, in my perspective, let’s really work on a solution. People will spend time going back through it, there are a number of investigations and I appreciate them investigating. These are all things that we’ll learn from, in terms of what happened and when in terms of even more detail, but let’s make sure we’re taking care of the people of Flint as best we can — and that’s where I’m putting my focus,” he said. “Let’s go deal with the damage, let’s take care of the people of Flint, let’s take care of the children of Flint, let’s get them safe drinking water and move forward.”
The lead contamination — which can lead to behavior problems and learning disabilities in children and kidney ailments in adults — has left Flint residents unable to drink unfiltered tap water.
People and organizations from around the country have reached out to help Flint by donating bottled water and water filters, something that Flint mayor Karen Weaver has said is the most important resource the city can receive.
President Barack Obama approved Snyder’s request for federal aid last week. The state will receive $5 million, 25 percent of which the state must match.
However, Snyder will appeal Obama’s decision to not declare the crisis a federal disaster.
“I’m sorry most of all that I let you down,” Snyder said in the 49-minute address, which came as his administration is engulfed in criticism from across the country and as hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside the Capitol. “You deserve better. You deserve accountability. You deserve to know that the buck stops here with me. Most of all, you deserve to know the truth, and I have a responsibility to tell the truth.”MORE NEWS: FDA Approves Longer Shelf Life For J&J COVID-19 Vaccine
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