The Latest: Snyder will release staff's Flint emails

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Posted: Feb 22, 2016 6:17 PM
The Latest: Snyder will release staff's Flint emails

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Latest on the city of Flint's water emergency (all times local):

6 p.m.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says his office will release thousands of his staff's emails related to Flint's lead-contaminated water crisis dating back to when he took office in 2011.

The Republican governor, who previously voluntarily released his own Flint emails over a two-year period, made the announcement Monday in an interview with The Detroit News editorial board.

Snyder says the email release will come "relatively soon" once lawyers remove documents that would be exempt.

Michigan's Freedom of Information Act does not apply to the governor's office, though some communications to and from his office have been released because state agencies are subject to public-records requests.

Democrats have pressured Snyder to release emails from before 2014 because state-appointed emergency managers were involved in Flint's switch from Detroit's water system to the Flint River.

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2:45 p.m.

The Michigan State Board of Canvassers has approved another petition seeking to recall Gov. Rick Snyder, citing Snyder's declaration of a state of emergency in Flint after lead leached from the pipes into the city's water supply.

The board approved the petition Monday from the Rev. David Bullock of Detroit. He filed the petition on Feb. 8 after the board rejected eight petitions to recall the Republican governor.

The board also approved one recall petition unrelated to the lead contamination crisis in Flint earlier this month and was split on another 2-2, which failed because it lacked majority approval.

Bullock would need to collect at least 789,133 signatures. If approved, the recall effort would become a ballot question that would then need majority support from voters.

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12:30 p.m.

A research team led by a University of Michigan-Flint professor estimates the city has more than 8,000 lead service lines.

Dr. Marty Kaufman announced the findings at a news conference Monday at City Hall. Kaufman's team analyzed Flint's handwritten records, paper maps, and scanned images to create a digital database of lead pipes.

Kaufman stresses that while the project is a full compilation of available data, the records — compiled from a 1984 survey — don't always indicate the types of pipes used.

The numbers and locations of lead service lines in Flint is significant, because Mayor Karen Weaver, who appeared with Kaufman, wants them removed as quickly as possible.

Flint switched its drinking water source from Detroit to the Flint River in 2014.

Flint didn't treat the water with anti-corrosion chemicals, allowing the river water to scrape too much lead from aging pipes and into some residents' homes.

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11:40 a.m.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says 89 percent of water samples collected from key locations in Flint measured below the "action level" of 15 parts per billion for lead in an initial round of testing, but concerns remain.

Samples from the "sentinel" sites will help determine when it is safe to drink unfiltered water again. Snyder says the results are a "start" but "it's not time to draw conclusions."

Snyder told reporters Monday that 11 percent of 175 samples exceeded the action levels, including five homes above 100 parts per billion of lead.

The data is being collected over the next seven weeks.

Utilities are required to show water from customers' taps does not exceed the action level in at least 90 percent of homes sampled.