Despite calls for his resignation from residents and presidential candidates, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has planned a new method of action against the Flint water crisis.
According to CNN, Snyder will appear before the Michigan Congress Tuesday evening to present his plan. The governor has been vocal about his efforts to help fix the much debated “disaster” since last year. Under Snyder’s tenure, the city switched their water supply from the Detroit-based system to corroded waters from the Flint River. This water entered the city’s lead pipes, filtering copper into households.
Cases of Legionnaires’ disease rose during the switch and children tested positive for high amounts of lead in their bloodstream in September 2015. A month later, the water was switched back to the Detroit system, but with the lead pipes already affected, the water remains unsafe for residents.
Three levels of emergency were declared in Flint, which possesses an over 50 percent African-American population. Mayor Karen Weaver, who took office two months ago, also declared the crisis a state of emergency. President Barack Obama issued a state of emergency over the weekend, allowing the town to receive federal assistance.
The water crisis has led many to call the incident “Katrina II.” Snyder has pushed back against those claims and also confirmed he won’t resign.
The National Journal reports:
“It’s a disaster,” he said when asked about the comparison some critics have made to the 2005 natural disaster in New Orleans that became a symbol of government mismanagement—city, state, and federal. “It’s clearly a negative on what we’ve accomplished since I’ve been governor.”
“I want to solve this problem,” Snyder said. “I don’t want to walk away from it.”
Meanwhile, residents have taken to the streets to push for more action in Flint. So far, the National Guard and FEMA have stepped in, giving residents water bottles, water lead kits, and filters. Singer Cher also donated more than 180,000 bottles of water, which are expected to arrive on Wednesday.
She’s also been adamant about discussing Michigan’s other problems, such as school conditions in Detroit.
Hometown celebs like filmmaker Michael Moore and comedian Sandra Bernhard have also spoken out. Moore called the problem a racial crisis on Monday.
Investigations are underway. Snyder has repeatedly promised transparency; however, Michigan law privileges environmental quality or community health, shielding it from the Freedom of Information Act, an issue residents have called to change.