Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder could have declared a state of emergency over the tainted drinking water in Flint months earlier than he did, the Detroit Free Press reported Sunday, citing an administration email. Snyder acknowledged lead poisoning in Flint’s water supply around Oct. 1, but didn’t declare an emergency until Jan. 5. Snyder officials have repeatedly said the state couldn’t take action until local officials declared an emergency. But in a Nov. 13 email to a Snyder official, the deputy state director of emergency management says, “As you know, the governor can declare at any time for any reason.” Snyder spokesman Ari Adler responded that, legally, the governor can declare an emergency at any time, but usually only if there is an event that local resources can’t handle such as a tornado. Adler added this was not the case in Flint because it was not immediately clear how big of a catastrophe it was.
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