On Tuesday Gov. Rick Snyder declared a State of Emergency in Genessee County over the Flint water crisis.
In a release, the state says that by declaring a state of emergency, Snyder has made available all state resources in cooperation with local response and recovery operations. The declaration authorizes the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) to coordinate state efforts.
"The health and welfare of Flint residents is a top priority and we're committed to a coordinated approach with resources from state agencies to address all aspects of this situation," Snyder said. "Working in full partnership with the Flint Water Advisory Task Force, all levels of government and water quality experts, we will find both short-term and long-term solutions to ensure the health and safety of Flint residents."
For 14 months, city and state officials made promises that the water was safe.
Numerous health complaints were reported with adults and children leading to a large class action lawsuit being filed.
On New Year's Eve, Snyder issued an apology saying he was sorry for the Flint water crisis.
In the release, it states that In addition to the emergency declaration, Snyder activated the State Emergency Operations Center to coordinate state response and recovery activities. State agencies will report to the center to coordinate resources, assess the situation and begin providing assets to assist with local relief operations.
"Our staff recognizes the urgency of this situation and is already working closely with local officials," said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. "We will continue to collaborate with state, city and county leaders to coordinate relief efforts, streamline communication and use all available resources to help residents."
On Jan. 4, Genesee County declared a "local state of emergency," which activated local emergency response and recovery plans. By requesting a governor's declaration, the county has determined local resources are insufficient to address the situation and state assistance is required to protect public health, safety and property to lessen or avert the threat of a crisis.
The city of Flint has been under a local emergency declaration since Dec. 14, 2015.
The SEOC is the emergency operations center for the state of Michigan. Located in Lansing, the center is overseen by the MSP/EMHSD and coordinates response and recovery efforts by state agencies and local government. The SEOC is staffed by members of state agencies and other partners for decision making and information coordination during disasters or emergencies in the state of Michigan.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh will serve as interim director for the Department of Environmental Quality effective Monday.