Michigan governor's advisers warned about Flint water crisis months before disclosure

In a totally expected finding, Republican Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s staff knew about the contaminated water in Flint long before it was publicly disclosed:

Nearly a year before Michigan governor Rick Snyder publicly admitted his knowledge of the city of Flint’s lead-contaminated water crisis, advisers in his office had advocated moving Flint back to its prior drinking water source “before this thing gets too far out of control,” newly released emails reveal.

And nearly seven months before Snyder’s announcement in October 2015, his former chief of staff had internally proposed purchasing bottled water for Flint’s residents – even as the governor’s administration publicly rebuffed any characterization that Flint’s water wasn’t safe to drink.

…Valerie Brader, deputy legal counsel and senior policy adviser to Snyder, wrote in a 14 October 2014 email to the governor’s then chief of staff and three aides that Flint should return to the previous water supplier, as it was an “urgent matter to fix.”

“As you know there have been problems with the Flint water quality since they left the DWSD [Detroit water and sewerage department], which was a decision by the emergency manager there,” Brader wrote.

Minutes later, Snyder’s then legal counsel Michael Gadola responded by saying the use of the Flint river as a water supplier was “downright scary.” Flint had switched water sources as a purported cost-saving measure until a new pipeline it planned to join was in operation.

The city “should try to get back on the Detroit system as a stopgap ASAP before this thing gets too far out of control,” Gadola, who was appointed by Snyder in 2014 to the Michigan court of appeals, wrote.

…“There’s no reasonable person who can believe at this point that every adviser to Rick Snyder knew that there was an issue [in Flint], but Snyder knew nothing,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of liberal advocacy group Progress Michigan, in a statement. “At worst, he’s been lying all along and at best he’s the worst manager on the planet. Under either scenario he’s clearly unfit to lead our state and should resign immediately.”

Naturally, despite the dire warnings and urgent recommendations, nothing was done. Because it was deemed too costly.

In dollars. The cost in human lives wasn’t part of the considerations.

This is exactly what class warfare looks like. It isn’t asking wealthy people to pay more taxes. It’s sacrificing the health, and sometimes the very lives, of poor people so that wealthy people don’t have to pay more taxes.

Many levels of city, state and federal agencies are the guilty parties. Too many people protecting their turf and not answerable to citizens not even answering the phone!!

Did the democrat mayor of Flint know about it as well?

Maybe it’s the fact that government can’t always take care of people, especially when it’s non-local?

And I don’t see how anyone can have an honest conversation about this without looking at the Flint city government, as it is chiefly their responsibility.

The EPA and FBI have gotten involved. It’s a complex issue involving who knew what and examining lots of documents and emails.





Totally knew this was coming. As strongly-regulated as water is, there’s no way this escaped attention. It’s total ineptitude, both on the part of the regulators, and on the part of the city managers.

It looks and acts like class warfare, but you’ll still see the wealthy protesting in Ferguson.

I’ve worked for the EPA. They aren’t the passionate earth-firsters you’d expect. They’re institutional bureaucrats who complain about corporate america, compare their sandals during smoke breaks and talk about weekend plans. It’s an organization that could do a lot more if it didn’t take months of meetings and discussions and approvals to get anything done … in other words, it’s a lot like most of corporate america.

The elected democrat mayor/s or the republican state appointed emergency manager/s who were in control of the city at the time (December 2011-April 2015)?

It appears (or at least appeared, it seems like more information is coming out all the time, and I know I’m having a hard time keeping up) he didn’t - it was the Flint mayor who drank some of the water on local tv, in an attempt to assure residents the water was safe. :shrug:

I also meant to clarify in this post that I haven’t seen any information one way or another if the emergency managers were aware that there were issues, in addition to pointing out that the emergency managers were in control of the city and not the elected mayor.

Again, lots of info coming out all the time, and the info about the governor’s advisers knowing has only come out recently. So it seems certain that more and more information will come out in the coming days, weeks, and months.

Why are personal insults and outrageous sound bites getting more attention in this presidential election than the Flint water crisis?

This is what social justice is all about - defending the basic rights of the vulnerable, particularly the children who may be affected for the rest of their lives.

If it’s not terrorism or divisive politics, nothing seems to get more than 2 seconds of national attention. How sad.

Dare I say it? Poor lives matter - yes, all lives do, but the lesser their influence the greater their need to be defended.

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