Michigan seeks millions from US for Flint water crisis - WNEM TV 5

Michigan seeks millions from US for Flint water crisis

Posted: Updated:
Gov. Rick Snyder Gov. Rick Snyder
LANSING, MI (WNEM/AP) -

Gov. Rick Snyder has requested President Barack Obama declare both an emergency and an expedited major disaster for Genesee County.

Snyder has requested supplementary federal aid in the form of individual and public assistance to help residents.

"We are utilizing all state resources to ensure Flint residents have access to clean and safe drinking water and today, I am asking President Obama to provide additional resources as our recovery efforts continue," Snyder said. 

Snyder is requesting $41 million, including at least $10 million for a three-month supply of clean drinking water and millions more for filters, filter cartridges and water testing kits. The details are in the state's application for a federal disaster declaration, according to a copy of the application.

The request will be reviewed by FEMA, which will advise Obama whether an emergency declaration should be granted.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the request will be considered "expeditiously."

>>TIMELINE: Flint's year-long struggle with water<<

If federal aid is granted, assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loan to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help people and businesses recover.

Public assistance helps cover some of the costs incurred by state and local government due to damage to public facilities and infrastructures, such as city schools and the water system.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver has issued a statement following the request:

“We’re finally getting the attention that we need and deserve. For so long, our voices have gone unheard. This man-made water disaster has been devastating and frustrating for the residents of Flint. We can’t fix what’s happened to the people of Flint. But, we can get them the things they deserve as a result of it, resources, health care etc. This is a public health crisis and an infrastructure crisis. We have a large infrastructure that needs to be repaired. That’s why we need Federal assistance, because we need more than the State can give us.”

Congressman Dan Kildee, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and U.S. Senator Gary Peters sent a letter to President Obama urging him to support the State of Michigan's request for federal assistance. The full text of the letter is below.

Dear Mr. President:

We write to support the request for federal assistance submitted by the State of Michigan late yesterday evening.

Over the last several years, our Governor and state regulators have failed to meet their legal responsibilities to protect the public health and well-being of the people of Flint.  While a series of unconscionable and short-sighted decisions by these officials created this crisis, the impacts on the people of Flint are no less severe than if a natural disaster was responsible for this situation. 

In addition to the substantial financial commitments we expect the State of Michigan to provide, we are asking for your help in marshaling any available federal resources to combat the near-and long-term health, behavioral, and cognitive effects that are well documented for children and vulnerable populations exposed to dangerously high lead levels and other harmful pathogens.  Reviewing the authorities and resources the federal government can provide is a critical first step in what will be a long-term effort by the State of Michigan to address the needs of the people in Flint.

Thank for your consideration of this most important request. We stand ready and willing to work with your Administration to explore any avenues of assistance that Congress might be able to provide as you consider the federal government’s response to the state’s emergency request.

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