New Emails Shed Light On Flint Water Crisis

"The water you think you are using to drink, you would use to cook, you're using for bathing - that's to say you shouldn't have to pay for that". One in particular, sent in February, 2015, suggested that the governor use $2 million in grant money to initiate the switch back from the Flint River to the Detroit water system.

Rick Snyder signed a bill on Friday morning that will reimburse Flint residents for their water bills.

The newspaper also said that Snyder was told of a possible link between the Flint River water and a spike in Legionnaires' disease in early 2015, but the governor claims he didn't know about it until last month.

"The public has spoken loud and clear", said Radhika Fox of the US Water Alliance, part of the Coalition.

The state ultimately helped Flint switch back a year later, after improperly treated water corroded old pipes and leached lead into homes and businesses.

Chief legal counsel Mike Gadola quickly responded, telling chief of staff Dennis Muchmore and others that using Flint River water was "downright scary" and noting that his mother lived in the city.

Flint switched back to the Detroit water system in October, but residents are still relying on bottled water for drinking and cooking because their taps remain unsafe.

In Lansing on Friday, according to a tweet from Jonathan Oosting of The Detroit News, the governor reacts to the newly disclosed messages by restating this regret: "There were various flags, but the dots weren't connected the way I wish they were".

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"This is a public relations crisis - because of a real or perceived problem is irrelevant - waiting to explode nationally".

Flint "should try to get back on the Detroit system as a stopgap ASAP before this thing gets too far out of control", he said.

The Senate reached a deal this week to provide $250 million in aid to Flint, Michigan and other communities with crumbling water infrastructure. "They kept on reaffirming there was no problem".

Top aides raised concerns about the water in the cash-strapped - and largely African-American - city of Flint long before its lead problem became a national embarrassment, their e-mails show.

On Thursday, a coalition of environmental groups began pressuring the governor's office to appoint a new DEQ leader who can better enforce pollution laws and drinking water regulations in the wake of Dan Wyant's resignation. "It should have been the other way around", Agen told The Associated Press.

Snyder said "I wish I would have asked more questions and I wish I hadn't accepted the answers".

Democrats, though, accused the governor of prioritizing cost-cutting measures over people's health and safety.

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