Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration has released more than 270 pages of his emails related to the Flint water crisis.
The emails were posted on his website on Wednesday.
The second-term Republican pledged during his annual State of the State speech Tuesday night to fix the emergency in Flint and to have greater transparency by releasing his own emails on the matter. He’s not required to do so under state law.
Flint’s water became contaminated with too much lead when an emergency city manager appointed by Snyder switched its water source to the Flint River in 2014 to cut costs.
Lead contamination can lead to behavior problems and learning disabilities in children and kidney ailments in adults.
Flint’s 100,000 residents are now unable to drink unfiltered tap water. The National Guard, state employees, local authorities and volunteers are distributing lead tests, filters and bottled water.
Protesters called for the governor’s resignation as he delivered his State of the State speech Tuesday night.
However, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said she will not call for Snyder’s resignation.
Asked at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington, D.C., what repercussions Snyder should face, she said Snyder needs to remain in place to provide “the services and the money, the funds that we need to address the population.”
Also on Wednesday, Snyder asked President Barack Obama to reconsider the denial of his request for a federal disaster declaration in Flint.
The governor submitted his appeal on Wednesday, likening the crisis to a flood and saying that the city’s lead-contaminated water is a “natural catastrophe in the sense that lead contamination into water is a natural process.”
The Obama administration declared an emergency but determined that the crisis did not meet the legal definition of a major disaster.
Snyder said that the “considerable” needs brought by the disaster exceed the funding capabilities of state and local government. He said that without additional federal aid, Michigan won’t have money to repair the entire public water system, plumbing inside homes in the high-poverty city and to provide other assistance.