26 February 2016

Emails: Flint water warnings reached gov's inner circle

Another email dump, and now we have proof that the Governor's senior staff knew of the problems with Flint's water over a year before they acknowledged the problem
Two top advisers to Gov. Rick Snyder urged switching Flint back to Detroit’s water system in October 2014 after General Motors Co. said the city’s heavily chlorinated river water was rusting engine parts, according to governor’s office emails examined by The Detroit News.

Valerie Brader, then Snyder’s environmental policy adviser, requested that the governor’s office ask Flint’s emergency manager to return to Detroit’s system on Oct. 14, 2014, three weeks before Snyder’s re-election.

Mike Gadola, then the governor’s chief legal counsel, agreed Flint should be switched back to Detroit water nearly a year before state officials relented to public pressure and independent research showing elevated levels of lead in the water and bloodstreams of Flint residents.

“To anyone who grew up in Flint as I did, the notion that I would be getting my drinking water from the Flint River is downright scary,” Gadola wrote. “Too bad the (emergency manager) didn’t ask me what I thought, though I’m sure he heard it from plenty of others.”


Brader’s email alludes to festering concerns about how the chlorine used to kill the bacteria outbreak was causing the formation of a harmful disinfection byproduct known as trihalomethane, a carcinogen that can increase the risk of cancer, liver, kidney and central nervous system problems.

“Specifically, there has been a boil water order due to bacterial contamination,” Brader wrote. “What is not yet broadly known is that attempts to fix that have led to some levels of chlorine-related chemicals that can cause long-term damage if not remedied (though we believe they will remedy them before any damage would occur in the population).”

Two months later, the Department of Environmental Quality issued a Safe Drinking Water Act violation to Flint for the high levels of trihalomethanes in the water. Flint violated the law twice more until coming into compliance on Sept. 2, 2015, state records show.

Despite the staff concerns about the city’s brownish water quality, Snyder’s staff never took a recommendation to him that Flint be switched back to Detroit water until the following October.
The Governor was not told because he made it clear that he did not want to be told.

We need to see some depraved heart murder prosecutions.


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