President signs Michigan emergency declaration - WNEM TV 5

President signs Michigan emergency declaration

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    Flint's water crisis arose arose after the city broke away from Detroit's water system to save money pending the completion of a new regional pipeline in 2016.

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

President Barack Obama declared Saturday an emergency exists in Michigan in response to Governor Rick Snyder's request for federal aid on Thursday, January 14.

Below is an excerpt from the White House. 

The President today, in response to a request from the Governor submitted on January 14, 2016, declared that an emergency exists in the State of Michigan and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions in the area affected by contaminated water.

The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in Genesee County.

Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.  Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding.  This emergency assistance is to provide water, water filters, water filter cartridges, water test kits, and other necessary related items for a period of no more than 90 days. 

Additionally, the President offered assistance in identifying other Federal agency capabilities that could support the recovery effort but do not require an emergency declaration under the Stafford Act.

In a tweet, the Director of Public Affairs for the Federal Emergency Management Agency Rafael Lemaitre says this declaration "authorizes FEMA to provide H2O, filters, test kits & other necessary items in response to the situation in Flint."

Congressman Dan Kildee (D) released a statement on the emergency declaration saying,

I welcome the President's quick action in support of the people of Flint after months of inaction by the Governor. The residents and children of Flint deserve every resource available to make sure that they have safe water and are able to recover from this terrible man-made disaster created by the state.

It is important to note Governor Snyder asked for both a federal emergency declaration in addition to a major disaster declaration, but was denied the latter. Governor Snyder's office says it was told major disaster declarations are reserved for natural events, fires, floods or explosions. In a statement released Saturday afternoon, the governor's office says the state is "reviewing the process for appealing the disaster declaration denial." 

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