Flint Water Crisis: 2 Department of Environmental Quality Workers Suspended

PHOTO: Michigan National Guard Specialist Lonnie Walker unloads bottled water and filters to distribute to residents, Jan. 21, 2016, in Flint, Mich. Paul Sancya/AP Photo
Michigan National Guard Specialist Lonnie Walker unloads bottled water and filters to distribute to residents, Jan. 21, 2016, in Flint, Mich.

Two Michigan Department of Environmental Quality workers were suspended Friday for actions they took related to water testing in Flint, Gov. Rick Snyder said.

"Michiganders need to be able to depend on state government to do what’s best for them and in the case of the DEQ that means ensuring their drinking water is safe,” Snyder said. “Some DEQ actions lacked common sense and that resulted in this terrible tragedy in Flint. I look forward to the results of the investigation to ensure these mistakes don’t happen again.”

The workers have been suspended pending an investigation, in accordance with civil service rules. Further details were not immediately available.

Snyder said in his state of the state address Tuesday that those responsible for the toxic water crisis would be held accountable. That night, governor apologized to the citizens of Flint and took "full responsibility" in fixing the problem "so that it will never happen again."

"We are praying for you," Snyder said. "We are working hard for you, and we are absolutely committed to taking the right steps to effectively solve this crisis."

On Wednesday, Snyder released 270 pages of his emails from 2014 and 2015 tied to Flint to provide a better understanding of how the municipal emergency unfolded.

The emails revealed that on Oct. 2, the DEQ said in a press release that the water in Flint's system was safe to drink, "but some families with lead plumbing in their homes or service connections could experience higher levels of lead in the water that comes out of their faucets."

In 2014, Flint disconnected from Detroit's water line and began drawing its water from the Flint River to save money. Improperly treated water from the Flint River allowed lead to leach from the pipes, officials said.

The city was re-connected to the Detroit's water system on Oct. 16.