The Latest: Snyder recall petition over water crisis OK'd

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Posted: Mar 07, 2016 1:53 PM
The Latest: Snyder recall petition over water crisis OK'd

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The latest on the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

Another petition seeking to recall Gov. Rick Snyder over Flint's lead-tainted water crisis has been approved by the Board of State Canvassers.

The Detroit Free Press reports (http://on.freep.com/21T8I5z ) that Quincy Murphy's petition was approved Monday. Murphy is a Flint activist.

Canvassers rejected a second petition by Murphy that seeks the recall of Lt. Gov. Brian Calley if Snyder is recalled from office.

Snyder spokesman Ari Adler says "the best thing for the people of Flint is to have a person willing to ... take charge of the situation, and fix the current crisis" and "that person is and will continue to be Gov. Rick Snyder."

An earlier Snyder recall petition by a Detroit pastor over the water crisis was approved last month.

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1:25 p.m.

State officials say no evidence has been found indicating that lead-contaminated water in Flint may have any direct impact on how sprinkler systems in buildings work during emergencies.

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs said Monday that industry experts and mechanical contractors have inspected sprinkler systems in the city.

State Fire Marshal Julie Secontine says "building owners are, however, reminded to follow proper preventative maintenance and inspection guidelines to help ensure their facilities are safe."

Flint was under state financial control in 2014 when it switched from Detroit's water system to the Flint River to save money. Corrosion control chemicals were not used after the switch, allowing lead to leach from some pipes into Flint's water supply.

The city has since returned to Detroit's water system.

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12:45 p.m.

A spokesman for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has declined to comment on a lawsuit filed against the governor and others over the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint.

Ari Adler said Monday that the administration doesn't comment on pending litigation but is "staying focused on solutions for the people of Flint."

The suit filed on behalf of seven residents alleges that tens of thousands of residents have suffered physical and economic injuries and damages. It argues officials failed to take action over "dangerous levels of lead" in drinking water and "downplayed the severity of the contamination."

It seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.

Numerous lawsuits have been filed on behalf of city residents since a public health emergency was declared last year.

Water problems began after Flint switched its water supply from Detroit's system in 2014 to save money.

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11:40 a.m.

Actor Mark Ruffalo says people across the U.S. need to learn more about Flint's lead-tainted water crisis.

Ruffalo, who is also the founder of a nonprofit organization that advocates for clean water called Water Defense, toured the Hurley Medical Center in Flint on Monday to get a firsthand look.

The Flint Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1TmoW2m ) that Ruffalo said the situation in Flint is "really only the tip of the iceberg of a kind of attitude towards our people and our resources that is happening everywhere in the United States."

Ruffalo starred in "Spotlight," which recently won the best picture Academy Award.

At Hurley, he met with Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, who faced scorn last year as she tried to expose dangerous levels of lead in Flint's drinking water.

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11:10 a.m.

A class-action lawsuit stemming from Flint's lead-contaminated water has been filed on behalf of residents against Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder as well as government officials and corporations.

The suit filed Monday alleges that tens of thousands of residents have suffered physical and economic injuries and damages. It argues officials failed to take action over "dangerous levels of lead" in drinking water and "downplayed the severity of the contamination."

It seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.

Snyder's spokesman Ari Adler didn't immediately respond to an Associated Press email seeking comment.

Numerous lawsuits have been filed on behalf of Flint residents since a public health emergency was declared last year.

Water problems in Flint began after the city switched its water supply from Detroit's system in 2014 to save money.

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5:50 a.m.

Flint's mayor says Union Labor Life Insurance Co. has committed to bring $25 million in low-cost loans to help remove lead pipes and improve water quality.

Karen Weaver announced the funding Sunday, saying in a statement the investment from the labor-owned insurance and investment company "means that we can move forward to remove more lead lines and renew Flint's infrastructure" amid the city's crisis with lead-tainted water.

Weaver says the loans will help her Fast Start initiative that's designed to replace all lead service lines in the city. The first residential lead pipe removal as part of the program took place Friday.

Water problems in Flint began after the city switched its water supply from Detroit's system to the Flint River in 2014 to save money.