Published: Fri, January 22, 2016
World | By Paul Elliott

Michigan's Snyder says more funds in pipeline


Road crews are spreading salt on many East Coast highways as a big winter storm prepares to slam into the region Friday morning, but the same de-icing salt that may prevent accidents could also be poisoning drinking water in many USA communities, scientists say.

"The publicity about it is overblown".

One problem, the Office of the Auditor General found the EPA asked the MDEQ what kind of corrosion control system it was using in Flint, and the department said it had "an optimized corrosion control program in place".

Snyder earlier Wednesday morning discussed Flint's water crisis on the radio, addressing the release of the emails and his plans for the future of the stricken city.

"It's vastly exaggerated", he said. But the corrosive water was not treated and, over time, allowed harmful substances such as lead and copper to leach from the old pipes. Tests have shown high levels of lead in the blood of some children. As the governor's office has already acknowledged, the decision to switch Flint's water source away from Detroit, for example, was made in June 2013. Detroit offers to reconnect Flint to its water system.

As part of cost-cutting, the city began drawing water from the Flint River in April 2014 rather than continuing to buy it from Detroit. He again painted a bleak picture of the city and said the "economic injury" from the crisis is significant.

In what will be the first congressional inquiry into the water crisis, the US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is set to hold a hearing on Wednesday, February 3. This stems from the local tap water malfunction in Flint, Michigan where the water contains unusually high levels of lead.

"We have gallons of water, nursery water because we don't want to forget the babies", Wood said.

"What is inexplicable and inexcusable is once people figured out there was a problem and that there was lead in the water".

After sifting through more than 250 pages of emails here's a quick break down of some of the things we found.

According to Muchmore's emails to Snyder, officials at the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Health and Human Services felt some people in Flint were trying to turn the lead issue into "a political football", claiming the agencies were underestimating the danger and trying to shift responsibility to the state. One email reveals his chief of staff believed Flint's poisoned water - containing elevated lead levels and left residents without easy access to clean water - was not the state's responsibility. But he also used the opportunity to criticize the handling of Flint's water crisis by responsible authorities.

On Wednesday, the Michigan House approved a request by the governor for $28 million to assist the city.

Lead contamination can lead to behavior problems and learning disabilities in children and kidney ailments in adults.

He said the state and city can not meet all the needs of Flint residents. Health officials said its impacts can take years to manifest and require heightened monitoring to identify.

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