The headline is the impression one gets when reading this headline at The Daily Beast.

Exclusive: Gov. Rick Snyder’s Men Originally Rejected Using Flint’s Toxic River

The emergency manager for Flint, Michigan, appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2012, rejected using the city’s river as drinking water after consulting with the state’s environmental protection agency

You really need to read the entire article CAREFULLY as it exposes itself as ignoring the intent and instead choosing a conclusion that attempts to point the finger at Snyder as the reason Flint residents were poisoned.

How could the river that was rejected as Flint’s permanent water source in December 2012 suddenly become suitable for consumption a mere 16 months later?

And who actually made the disastrous choice to start using the previously rejected river as the city’s temporary water source?

Here’s the problem. The story and the court case it references are all about cost cutting in Flint. First you need to read this from the article.

In a civil deposition not reported until now, Ambrose testified under oath that emergency manager Kurtz considered a proposal to use the Flint River, discussed the option with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and then rejected it.

In 2014, Ambrose was deposed in a civil lawsuit brought by retired Flint municipal workers against the state over severe cuts to their health care benefits. Attorney Alec Gibbs questioned Ambrose about the water decision (a year before Flint learned it was being poisoned).

“There was brief evaluation of whether the city would be better off to simply use the Flint River as its primary source of water over the long term,” Ambrose said. “That was determined not to be feasible.”

“Who determined it wasn’t feasible?” Gibbs asked.

“It was a collective decision of the emergency management team based on conversations with the MDEQ that indicated they would not be supportive of the use of the Flint River on a long-term basis as a primary source of water,” Ambrose answered.

“What was the reason they gave?” Gibbs asked.

“You’ll have to ask them,” Ambrose said.

The story reads as if a deposition was uncovered by former emergency manager Ambrose that discussed former emergency manager Kurtz and the decision he arrived at after consulting with the MDEQ in which the Flint River was so corrosive it wasn’t feasible for use long-term. Then a supporting statement is given that the decision was overruled by Snyder as testified to by former Flint Director of Public Works Howard Croft.

Howard Croft, the former director of public works for Flint who resigned in November 2015, asserted more than four months ago in a videotaped interview with the ACLU of Michigan that the decision to use the dangerously corrosive river came directly from the Snyder administration.

In the interview, Croft said that the decision to use the river was a financial one, with a review that “went up through the state.”

“All the way to the governor’s office?” the ACLU of Michigan asked him.

“All the way to the governor’s office,” Croft replied.

What’s the key phrase? The decision to use the river was a financial one. Which everyone now knows. In other words, it wasn’t a feasible long-term primary source of water for FINANCIAL reasons, not water quality issues. Recall that Flint utilized the river as a primary source of water until 1967 when they switched to Detroit water. They also utilized it as the backup source until 2014 when they switched back to the river as the primary source. History shows that the river was usable with the proper treatment. The entire water crisis centers around the fact that a corrosion control program wasn’t implemented by the city during the time it used the river as a primary source from April 2014 through October 2015.

However, readers of the Daily Beast article will get the impression that the river was rejected by the EM’s due to a water quality issue.

How could the river that was rejected as Flint’s permanent water source in December 2012 suddenly become suitable for consumption a mere 16 months later?

Not true. A complete fabrication and distortion of the truth. Suitable for consumption was already answered in prior years. What were the EM’s tasked with?

Both men were tasked by the Republican governor’s administration with restructuring the city’s government to save money after it was in danger of becoming insolvent.

Saving money. The civil disposition of Gerald Ambrose “not reported” until now is promoted as a smoking gun document that ties Snyder to the poisoning. It’s meaningless. If the Daily Beast really wants to go out and uncover an exclusive to get to Snyder, they need to find evidence that it was Snyder himself that directed a corrosion control program not be utilized. Merely linking him to the source water switch decision is already a given based upon the directive given to the emergency managers to save money.

I’ve stated previously that I’m not a Snyder supporter and hope he is held accountable should it be determined that he’s guilty of the decisions that led to the lead poisoning. But I won’t stand by and let publications like the Daily Beast distort the truth in a partisan political stunt simply to get to a republican. Shame on you Daily Beast. There are already enough lies and distortions concerning Flint and what happened, taking cheap shots isn’t helping.

The ONLY decision that matters, particularly when it comes to legal liability, is who or whom made the decision to not utilize corrosion control. An email dated Sept. 3, 2015 from former DPW Director Howard Croft to the Flint Technical Advisory Team at least partially answers the question.

At the onset of our plant design, optimization for lead was addressed and discussed with the engineering firm and with the DEQ. It was determined that having more data was advisable prior to the commitment of a specific optimization method.

There you have it. It was the Michigan DEQ. The engineering firm didn’t have the authority to decline corrosion control. Nor did the city of Flint. Only the DEQ. We have since found out that the DEQ misinterpreted the EPA Safe Drinking Water Act Lead and Copper Rule requirement that a city with a population over 50,000 was required to maintain a corrosion control program after a source water switch. Even though the city was conducting two consecutive six month monitoring periods as required to determine if an optimal corrosion control program is necessary, the law says they MUST utilize corrosion control during that process. They didn’t. The lead leached out and people were poisoned and the rest is history. Again, it was the DEQ and only the DEQ that had the authority to allow Flint to not use corrosion control.

It is highly unlikely that Gov. Snyder ever had a whisper of knowledge what was transpiring in Flint. These were mundane, bureaucratic level decisions. The type that go on every day in the myriad of government agencies. Municipalities changing chemicals or water sources is hardly a requirement of direct Governor oversight. As I said, if for some strange reason he had his fingers in it, then let him pay. But it is possible he was briefed due to the money saving aspect with the emergency manager involvement. But to not use corrosion control? He probably didn’t even know what it was before all of this went down.

Is he ultimately responsible because all DEQ employees work for him? Sure. But to ever prove the negligence required to pass legal muster is going to take something the public hasn’t seen yet. And just wouldn’t make any sense unless you’re on-board with the conspiracy crowd that thinks that the privileged, rich white boy is just out to get the black man.

Stay tuned. We’ll keep seeking the truth and exposing the lies.

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