DETROIT – Federal officials warned the state of Michigan 6 months ago the city of Flint was doing it wrong.
Those warnings were ignored and the governor said he knew nothing about it. Are these mistakes, or a crime?
Flint's water disaster was identified back in April when an email from an expert at the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warned Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) officials the whole town could be in danger of high lead levels. It's tough to believe the DEQ would keep this from Gov. Rick Snyder. However, on Wednesday Snyder said -- on the record -- that's what happened.
"Well again, there's a whole set of issues. I can't speak to the federal government. In terms of the DEQ telling me there was a real issue, that didn't happen until the October timeframe," said Snyder. "The DEQ did not give me appropriate information until the October timeframe ... a lot of it was in the context of: 'How do you interpret a lead and copper rule?" So I know there was discussions going on with the EPA, but I was never informed that there was a disagreement or they had a difference in terms of one believing one's right and wrong."
It's crucial to answer the questions: Who knew what when and what did they do or not do about it? A federal investigation is looking at everyone who was making decisions to see if crimes were committed.
Snyder said he's ready to cooperate with federal prosecutors.
"I want investigations to take place on this from the relevant parties that have those responsibilities because that's how we get to the bottom of what took place, and how do we make sure it doesn't happen again," he said.
The governor said he has nothing to hide from the feds.