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Rick Snyder

Email: Bacteria worries influenced Flint corrosion decision

Worries over bacteria led to the fateful decision not to apply anti-corrosive chemicals when Flint, Michigan, began drawing water from the Flint River, an email written by the city's former public works director says.

The failure to deploy corrosion controls after the city switched to the river from the Detroit municipal system in April 2014 has been widely considered a catastrophic mistake that enabled lead to leach from aging pipes and reach some homes. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has acknowledged instructing Flint not to use corrosion controls, based on a misreading of federal regulations.

In a Sept. 3 email to numerous state and local officials,...

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