Read Governor Snyder’s Emails on Flint Water Crisis
At Tuesday's State of the State address, Governor Rick Snyder announced that he would release his 2014 and 2015 emails about Flint.
Those emails are now available to the public.
Gov. Snyder announced, "Tomorrow I will release my 2014 and 2015 emails regarding Flint to you, the citizens, so that you have answers to your questions about what we’ve done and what we’re doing to make this right for the families of Flint."
Gov. Snyder also shared a ten-point timeline of the Flint water crisis during the address on Tuesday:
First, this crisis began in spring 2013, when the Flint City Council voted 7-1 to buy water from Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA). Former Flint Mayor Walling supported the move, and the Emergency Manager approved the plan. DWSD provided notice of termination to be effective one-year later and, on April 25, 2014, Flint began using water from the Flint River as its interim source.
Second, soon after the switch from Detroit water to Flint River water, residents complained about the water – the color, the smell, rashes, and concerns with bacteria. Ultimately, localized boil water advisories were issued by the City of Flint in August and September of 2014, each lasting several days.
Third, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the federal Environmental Protection Agency began communicating about lead concerns in February 2015. Sadly, both were ineffective in fully addressing and solving the problem. DEQ misinterpreted the water safety regulations and the EPA did not act with sufficient urgency to address the concerns of one of its experts about DEQ’s approach and the risk of lead contamination. In May 2015, lead service lines to one residence were removed and replaced due to high lead levels. But still, they both failed to systemically identify and solve the problem.
Fourth, in July 2015, my office proactively asked about the quality of Flint water, test results and blood testing. The DEQ told us that Flint was in compliance with the lead and copper rule. They told us there was one concern with one house that was later corrected and that there was nothing widespread to address. The DHHS also told us that the elevated blood lead levels were to be expected because they followed a normal seasonal trend. This conclusion was later shown to be incorrect when DHHS conducted a deeper analysis of the relevant data.
Fifth, In August, Prof. Marc Edwards from Virginia Tech and Dr. Mona Hanna Attisha sounded an alarm about lead in Flint’s water. But tragically, based on what DEQ and DHHS had seen on the ground, they initially failed to reach the same conclusion. I want to thank the Professor, the Doctor and the Concerned Pastors of Flint for bringing light to this issue. We are actively investigating why these agencies got this so wrong.
Sixth, on September 28, 2015, I was first briefed on the potential scope and magnitude of the crisis on a phone call with DEQ and DHHS. On October 1, 2015, DHHS epidemiologists validated Dr. Hanna-Attisha’s findings, confirming the lead problem in Flint’s water supply. At this point, I immediately ordered them to develop and implement a 10-point plan that included the immediate distribution of water filters, immediate water testing in schools, and expanded water and blood testing for anyone who might be exposed. About 12,000 filters were distributed, 700 water tests and 2,000 blood tests were conducted within the first three months.
Seventh, on October 8, I announced that the Flint system would be reconnected to the Detroit water system to end any further damage, and later that month I announced the independent Flint Water Task Force to review the actions taken so far and to make further recommendations to address this crisis.
Eighth, the Task Force issued its initial actionable recommendations and identified critical problems in mid-December. Specifically, they pointed to a primary failure of leadership at the DEQ and a culture there that led to this crisis. The task force was right, and I immediately took action, appointing new leadership at the department.
Ninth, I declared an emergency in Flint on January 5 so that we could access additional resources and mobilize additional support, including the Michigan State Police and the National Guard. These critical resources were needed to help families get clean water and end any risk or exposure for every resident in Flint. I also requested a presidential declaration of federal emergency, which was granted. And to the members of our Congressional delegation who are here tonight, this is a challenge we must work together to solve, and we look forward to working with you to bring additional support from the federal government for the people of Flint.
Tenth, to date, more than 37,300 cases of water, more than 53,700 water filters, and more than 7,300 water testing kits have been distributed. More than 21,300 homes have been visited. I am increasing the support from the National Guard starting tomorrow to ensure that every house we need to visit in Flint gets visited as soon as possible. And I am appealing the president’s decision not to grant a major disaster declaration. We’ll continue to deliver water and filters. We will not stop working for the people of Flint until every single person has clean water every single day. No matter what.