President Obama on Saturday declared a federal state of emergency in Flint, Michigan in response to the water crisis, which will free up to $5 million in federal aid.
However, Gov. Rick Snyder’s request for a disaster declaration was denied.
The Detroit Free Press reports:
A disaster declaration would have made larger amounts of federal funding available more quickly to help Flint residents whose drinking water is contaminated with lead. But under federal law, only natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods are eligible for disaster declarations, federal and state officials said. The lead contamination of Flint’s drinking water is a manmade catastrophe.
Gov. Rick Snyder (R) requested the move after declaring a state of emergency for Genesee County, where Flint is located.
The water crisis can be traced to 2014 when the city switched its water supply in an effort to save money. It has resulted in elevated lead levels in residents, particularly children.
Snyder, who on Thursday night asked Obama for federal financial aid in the crisis through declarations of both a federal emergency and a federal disaster, said in a news release Saturday he appreciates Obama granting the emergency request “and supporting Flint during this critical situation.”
“I have pledged to use all state resources possible to help heal Flint, and these additional resources will greatly assist in efforts under way to ensure every resident has access to clean water resources,” he said..
However, activists are calling for Snyder’s resignation in the heels of this scandal due to concerns which were raised over the city’s water months before the state called a state of emergency or provided bottled water.
On Wednesday, the state health agency reported that it found an increase in Legionnaires’ disease cases over the past two years in Genesee County.
Residents of Flint, Michigan, are dying and all because the Governor wanted to save money. We wonder how the Governor would like it if we messed with his water supply in order to ‘save money.’
H/T: FON’s own @TheCitizeNY, with thanks.