Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has apologized for the crisis of lead poisoning in Flint’s drinking water during his State of the State address. The poisoning began in 2014 when an unelected emergency manager appointed by Snyder switched the city’s water supply to the long-contaminated and highly corrosive Flint River in a bid to save money. Complaints about the water in Flint began within a month of the switch, but it took about a year and a half before officials heeded the complaints and switched the water back. Speaking Tuesday, Snyder acknowledged his government failed the people of Flint.
Gov. Rick Snyder: “To you, the people of Flint, I say tonight, as I have before, I am sorry, and I will fix it. No citizen of this great state should endure this kind of catastrophe. Government failed you—federal, state and local leaders—by breaking the trust you placed in us. I’m sorry, most of all, that I let you down. You deserve better.”
Snyder spoke after documents obtained by local news outlets showed officials at the city, county and state level knew 15 months ago about a potential link between the Flint River water and a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that has killed 10 people. People using the water were only told of the potential link last week.