According to newly released documents obtained by Progress Michigan, state employees in Flint were provided coolers with bottled water in January of 2015 in response to growing concerns about the quality of drinking water in the area.
The notice shown in the image above was issued months before Michigan state officials first demonstrated any public awareness of the problem.
Six months later, in July, Dennis Muchmore, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s former chief of staff, wrote an email to a health official in which he expressed frustration that Flint residents “are basically getting blown off by us” over their concerns about the water. That was still two months before a lead advisory was issued in Flint when researchers found high lead levels in the residents’ bloodstreams.
At this point, as noted by Bryce Covert at Think Progress, residents were finally told “not to drink the water and a public health emergency was declared by the Genesee County Health DEpartment in October.” It would still take a full two additional months for the City of Flint to declare a State of Emergency.