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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to release thousands of Flint water emails

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   Feb. 23, 2016 at 9:19 AM

FLINT, Mich., Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will release thousands of emails his staff sent related to Flint's water supply switch that led to the city's water being contaminated with lead.

The records will be released after state lawyers remove any documents that may be exempt under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, which does not apply to the governor and his staff.

Michigan is one of two states in which correspondence from the governor's office and state legislature are not considered public documents and are not subject to disclosure under the public records law.

"You're talking thousands and thousands of emails, so I want to make sure they do it carefully and thoughtfully," Snyder told The Detroit News editorial board. "To be blunt, I'm working on making sure we get the information out on the executive office."

Snyder previously released emails related to Flint's supply switch from the Detroit water supply to the Flint River in 2014, but the new emails to be released will date back to 2011 -- when the Republican governor took office. Snyder's office has often been criticized for a lack of transparency for refusing to release emails related to the Flint water crisis.

"Rick Snyder is the least transparent governor this state has ever seen and we're witnessing the consequences," Michigan Democratic Party Brandon Dillon previously said. "The people of Flint should not have to sort through cherry-picked emails, hoping to discover the truth of what happened to Flint's water and why it was poisoned with lead. They should have the right to apply the Freedom of Information Act to the Governor's office so all documents regarding the poisoning of Flint's water are open and available to the public."

Lead toxicity is dangerous for children because it can interfere with the development of the brain and nervous system, and carries other health risks for many organs and systems, some of which may not be apparent for years after exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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