On Tuesday, Snyder declared a state of emergency in Genesee County because of problems with lead in the Flint’s drinking water.
“The reason we responded the way we did is in an effort to address the concerns of Flint residents, and we’re working with the EPA”, Balaya said.
In November, Gov. Snyder, the state of MI, the city of Flint and 13 additional public officials were named in a lawsuit brought by Flint residents say they knew about the lead poisoning but distributed the water anyway.
“I just paid my water bill of $311 and I still can’t drink it”, said Tonya Calhoun, a resident of Flint who said she can’t even cook dinner with the water she is being forced to still pay for.
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Citing “ongoing health and safety issues caused by lead in the city of Flint’s drinking water”, the state activated its Emergency Operations Center, freed up additional resources to deal with the situation, and opened itself to aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Detroit Free Press reported. Last week, Michigan’s lead environmental regulator quit, and Snyder has apologized. Governor Snyder declaring an emergency will hopefully mean additional state resources to help the city and Flint residents recover from this awful crisis.
Balaya couldn’t say whether it is a criminal or civil investigation.
“Lead affects children’s brain development resulting in reduced intelligence quotient (IQ), behavioral changes such as shortening or attention span and increased antisocial behavior, and reduced educational attainment”, according to the World Health Organization. Government agencies passed out more than 6,000 water filters, said Nick Lyon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. For instance, the city ordered public schools stop running water for taps and water fountains, according to WEYI, another CNN affiliate. “That’s why I’m taking the actions today to ensure a culture of openness and trust”.