Speed Reads

flint water crisis

Emails show state employees in Flint received clean water months before residents

Emails obtained by the group Progress Michigan show that officials in Michigan were bringing in filtered water for state employees in Flint months before acknowledging the city's water was contaminated.

An email from the facilities wing of the state's Department of Technology, Management, and Budget reads: "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." The water would be provided "as long as the public water does not meet treatment requirements." The email was sent days after the city of Flint sent an advisory about high levels of trihalomethanes in the water, but said it was safe for healthy people to drink, Mother Jones reports.

The water source for Flint was switched in April 2014, and residents soon reported that the water smelled and tasted odd. The administration of Gov. Rick Snyder (R) first acknowledged Flint's tainted water in October 2015. Progress Michigan's Lonnie Scott told Mother Jones the emails "blow a hole in the governor's timeline for when they knew or started to have concerns about Flint water. They were helping state employees while telling everyone else that there was nothing to worry about."