Mildred Gaddis: Let’s deal with Flint water first. We’ll get that out of the way. As I understand it— was it yesterday that Flint was back on the Detroit system?
Governor Snyder: Yeah. Detroit is back on the Detroit water system, but we’re still recommending that people continue to use filters. And we’re still offering free testing because we don’t want to take any chances. We want to make sure people have safe supply water.
Mildred Gaddis: How did the citizens of Flint end up with the situation where the water was not clean. That it was not healthy? How did that happen?
Governor Snyder: I am having a whole analysis done Mildred. Actually I’ll be announcing that soon about having a whole after action report that goes through the whole chronology but Flint made a decision two or three years ago, along with Genesee County, to switch from the Detroit water and sewer system to a new water authority, the Karegnondi Water Authority, that would draw water out of Lake Huron and so they were building a new pipeline to do that. In the interim the issue became about where to get a water source in the interim and that was out of the Flint River which is one of the issues that are — is being examined about how well that has worked out and there are challenges.
Mildred Gaddis: Now the person on— in the administration responsible for that — had issued a statement I think — well I’m sure he did some months ago saying all is well and there were no problems, and certainly one would perceive from that — that based on state guidelines, based on federal guidelines. I understand yesterday (October 19, 2015) he acknowledged that while he didn’t necessarily — things were not necessarily adhered to federally speaking. What’s that situation?
Governor Snyder: Yeah well the transfer there is in terms of there is testing done at the water plant itself in terms where the water is coming out after being treated — coming out of the river that showed there is no lead and that has always been the case. The issue becomes one where — there are older homes in Flint, there are other buildings that have lead pipes in them. That is true of many places in the country, and that is one of the concern areas and what happened is when the Flint water interacted with some of those lead pipes that were at the end of the system or in peoples’ homes um some of the lead was actually getting into the water supply and that’s a real concern. The thing that was identified yesterday (October 19, 2015) is some of the experts in the Department of Environmental Quality improperly used the wrong protocol for a different sized community. There probably should’ve been more extensive testing done. And that is something we are going to go back and review in detail um so it might’ve been able to get caught sooner in terms of identifying this issue. The issue was caught and the thing is we have taken a lot of actions now, including switching back to Detroit — continuing with filters and testing to make sure the water is — being properly addressed with respect to the residents of Flint.
Mildred Gaddis: Now I don’t know if it has been reported to you but has certainly been reported to the community that there are two children who are in critical condition as a result of drinking the water with lead in it. Are you familiar with that?
Gov: Uh no I am not familiar with that.
Mildred Gaddis: That is what we are hearing from people in Flint. Detroit Pastor David Bullock shared that with us on this show. He has been working with the residents there for over a year.
Gov: Yeah, what I would say Mildred is I’ll look into that, but based on my information there are children that have elevated lead levels, but they are in medical care not in critical condition, and there are public health officials that are actually tracking each individual case of where children have been found to have higher lead levels.
Mildred Gaddis: That is very, very interesting.