Michigan Governor: 'I will fix' Flint water crisis

By Shawn Price  |  Jan. 19, 2016 at 9:40 PM
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LANSING, Mich., Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Embattled Michigan Governor Rick Snyder used much of his State of the State address Tuesday to lay out his commitment to solving Flint's poisoned water system.

The crisis, which has resulted in elevated levels of lead in local children, and might have been responsible for killing 10 people with Legionnaire's Disease, has put the governor and other high-ranking officials in his administration under heavy fire for being unresponsive to -- and perhaps responsible for -- the town's plight.

"To the people of Flint, I will fix this." Governor Snyder said. You did not create this crisis and you do not deserve this. I want to tell you that you are not alone. The State of Michigan stands with you. I will spare no resource to effectively and permanently solve this crisis and ensure you have the quality of life you deserve."

A state of emergency was declared by President Obama last week and National Guard members and volunteers are now delivering bottled water, water filters, filter replacements and water testing kits to homes each day in the mostly poor and black city.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette launched an investigation into the water crisis on Friday.

Reports suggest Flint might have been drinking poisoned water for more than a year, and local and state officials knew, yet did not act.

Snyder's plan to end the crisis included keeping the city on Detroit's water system at least until the end of 2016, replacing water infrastructure in Flint's schools, daycares and hospitals, and putting special staff in place to help with follow-up health care for residents, especially children.

The governor also talked about the problems within his own government that led to the water poisoning.

"Apologies are not enough. My immediate concern is with healing Flint and ensuring all residents there have clean water. But I will also work to address the breakdown in state government that led to this crisis so that it never happens again. You have my word that we will fix this, and everyone who works for state government must know - any situation like this must come to my attention immediately. No delays, no excuses. We are accountable."

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