State Workers in Flint Got Clean Water Over a Year Ago

According to documents, Michigan officials provided coolers and bottled water for government offices several months before a lead advisory went out to city residents.

Rebecca Cook / Reuters

As the residents of Flint, Michigan, continue to rely on the private sector to help temporarily undo the injury of Flint’s water crisis, the insults keep coming.

According to documents obtained by Progress Michigan on Thursday, state employees in Flint were provided coolers filled with bottled water in January of 2015 as concerns continued grew about the quality of the water there.

Progress Michigan

The notice above was issued months before the state officials first demonstrated awareness of the problem. Six months later, in July, Dennis Muchmore, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s former chief of staff, wrote an email to a health official in which he expressed frustration that Flint residents “are basically getting blown off by us” over their concerns about the water. That was still two months before a lead advisory was issued in Flint when researchers found high lead levels in the residents’ bloodstreams.

As Bryce Covert at ThinkProgress notes, only then were residents “told not to drink the water and a public health emergency was declared by the Genesee County Health Department in October.” As we noted earlier, the city of Flint issued a state of emergency in December.

It wasn’t until earlier this month—over a year after the sending of bottled water to state employees had been approved—that Snyder also declared a state of emergency for Flint. While blame for the crisis has been abundant, much of it has fallen on Snyder’s office since he appointed Flint’s emergency managers. Calls for comment to Snyder’s office about the release of documents on Thursday were not immediately returned.