Michigan governor Rick Snyder says that his administration’s choice to force Flint—a city with a 56.6 percent Black population—to live on lead-tainted water was “absolutely not” a case of environmental racism.
During Snyder’s appearance on MSNBC today (February 22), “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski quoted an article from The New York Times that asked, “If Flint were rich and mostly White, would Michigan’s state government have responded more quickly and aggressively to complaints about its lead-polluted water?” She then asked him, “Is this a case of environmental racism?”
Snyder’s response: “Absolutely not. Flint is a place I’ve been devoted to helping.” Watch the full interview here.
Meanwhile, The Huffington Post reports that Susan Hedman, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regional administrator who oversaw Michigan’s handling of the water in Flint, resigned from her post last night (February 21). The agency also issued an emergency order that gives it more control of the situation on the ground, saying that the local and state responses “have been inadequate to protect public health and that these failures continue.”
In addition, President Obama announced that he will send $80 million to the state to help shore up its water infrastructure. It’s not clear what portion of that money will be allocated to Flint. The Detroit News reports that the decision rests in the hands of state officials.