State buildings in Flint, Mich., got clean water as officials denied contamination

By Daniel Uria

LANSING, Mich., Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Email communications by officials in Michigan reveal coolers of purified water were delivered to state buildings in January 2015 at the same time state officials denied there were problems with the water supply in Flint.

The series of emails mention concern over poor water quality in Flint and contains a facility notification about the delivery of the coolers from the Department of Technology, Management and Budget.


"While the city of Flint states that corrective actions are not necessary, DTMB is in the process of providing a water cooler on each occupied floor, positioned near the water fountain, so you can choose which water to drink," one email read. "The coolers will arrive today and will be provided as long as the public water does not meet treatment requirements."

DTMB spokesperson Caleb Buhs told Detroit Free Press the coolers had not been removed from the state building since being delivered on Jan. 7, 2015, as the contamination issues continued.

He also said that officials were never told the tap water was unsafe, but were simply provided an alternative water source.

The coolers were installed more than a year before President Barack Obama signed an emergency declaration to provide water filters, test kits and other necessary items to the people of Michigan.


Gov. Rick Snyder came under fire for his slow response to the crisis from the public, as well as executive director of Progress Michigan, Lonnie Scott.

"It appears the state wasn't as slow as we first thought in responding to the Flint water crisis. Sadly, the only response was to protect the Snyder administration from future liability and not to protect the children of Flint from lead poisoning," Scott said in a statement. "While residents were being told to relax and not worry about the water, the Snyder administration was taking steps to limit exposure in its own building."

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