And the president refused with for a good reason.
The Flint water crisis is man-made, created by Michigan’s Republican governor, Rick Snyder, and his government appointed overseer. The president did agree that the people of Flint needed help and declared the water crisis a federal emergency, sending necessary aid to the people who were literally poisoned by Snyder’s water decision.
But Snyder wanted more from Obama. With a federal disaster declaration, Snyder would get more money from the Federal government at a faster pace. So Snyder asked the president to declare Flint a federal disaster area. Obama did not go along with the Republican governor’s appeal.
A disaster declaration would have made larger amounts of federal funding available more quickly to help Flint residents whose drinking water is contaminated with lead. But under federal law, only natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods are eligible for disaster declarations, federal and state officials said. The lead contamination of Flint’s drinking water is a manmade catastrophe.The president’s actions authorize the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate responses and cover 75% of the costs for much-needed water, filters, filter cartridges and other items for residents, capped initially at $5 million. The president also offered assistance in finding other available federal assistance, a news release Saturday from the White House said.