Michigan’s governor has asked President Barack Obama for federal aid to combat the fallout from lead-contaminated drinking water.
Governor Rick Synder said in a statement on Thursday that he requested aid in Genesee County to protect the safety of its residents. He has also sent the Michigan National Guard to distribute bottled water and other supplies to residents, earlier in the week.
Roughly 60 miles from Detroit, Flint is one of the most cash-strapped towns in the entire state. The city’s principalities switched its source of tap water from Detroit’s system to the nearby Flint River in early 2014 in a way to save money.
After several tests in October to the city’s new water supply, officials have found elevated levels of lead and in the blood of some children. Research has also shown the corrosive river water leached lead from the city pipes, therefore leading to the issue at hand.
“We are utilizing all state resources to ensure Flint residents have access to clean and safe drinking water,” Snyder said, “and today I am asking President Obama to provide additional resources as our recovery efforts continue.”
Snyder’s request could include grants for temporary housing, home repairs and other needs, the Federal Emergency Management Agency of “FEMA” will review the request.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said on Friday that he would investigate to see if any laws were violated to result in such a crisis.
“No one should have to fear something as basic as turning on the kitchen faucet,” he said.
Flint residents were left with water declared undrinkable due to the lead contamination and are preparing to sue city officials. The lawsuit filed in Genesee County court seeks class action status covering all residents.
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