Government e-mails released on Thursday by the group Progress Michigan show that, as far back as January 2015, Flint's State administration building was stocked with purified water specifically because the tap water was known to be toxic.
The email, a Facility Notification, sent by the Department of Technology, Management and Budget, directly addressed the quality of the city’s tap water.
"While the City of Flint states that corrective actions are not necessary, DTMB is in the process of providing a water cooler on each occupied floor, positioned near the water fountain, so you can choose which water to drink," said the January 7, 2015, notice.
"The coolers will arrive today and will be provided as long as the public water does not meet treatment requirements."
The addition of bottled water was in response to a city health notice in late December 2014 or early January 2015, though a public announcement was not made that the health of residents was an acute risk.
“It appears the state wasn’t as slow as we first thought in responding the Flint Water Crisis. Sadly, the only response was to protect the Snyder administration from future liability and not to protect the children of Flint from lead poisoning,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, in a statement regarding the email. “While residents were being told to relax and not worry about the water, the Snyder administration was taking steps to limit exposure in its own building.”
“Another day and another example of the Snyder administration’s lackluster response to this crisis. Worse yet, this shows that the response was not only late and so far ineffective, but it was also unequal,” Scott added. “Governor Snyder needs to explain to the people of Flint why his administration trucked water into a state building while allowing residents to drink unsafe water.”
Many are calling for Governor Snyder to be removed from office and arrested for his role in not alerting or protecting the public.