Michigan governor's advisors warned Flint water 'downright scary' a year before action

By Amy R. Connolly  |  Feb. 26, 2016 at 12:04 PM
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LANSING, Mich., Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Two of Michigan Gov Rick Snyder's advisers urged switching Flint back to Detroit's water system months after the city began drawing from the Flint River, new emails from the governor's offices show Friday.

Some of the governor's lead advisors, including Valerie Brader, then Snyder's environmental policy adviser, recommended switching to Detroit's system in October 2014, weeks before Snyder's re-election. Brader said it was an "urgent matter to fix," citing toxins in the water including E.coli. Chief legal counsel Mike Gadola wrote in an email that using the Flint River as a source for drinking water was "downright scary."

The water supply source to Flint was not switched back to Detroit's water system until October 2015.

"To anyone who grew up in Flint as I did, the notion that I would be getting my drinking water from the Flint River is downright scary," Gadola wrote. "Too bad the [emergency manager] didn't ask me what I thought, though I'm sure he heard it from plenty of others."

Snyder's office released nearly 1,600 pages of emails related to the switch of Flint's drinking water source, which is blamed for high levels of lead and other toxins in the water. The emails show government officials discussed the poor water quality as early fall 2014.

This is the third time Snyder has released emails related to the Flint water crisis. Snyder's office has been criticized for lack of transparency because he repeatedly refused to release emails related to the problems.

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