The governor’s emergency declaration could be a prelude to requesting federal disaster relief for the city. That would occur if state and local resources are not sufficient to dealing with Flint’s lead contamination crisis. State-appointed emergency managers made the decision to switch the city’s drinking water to the Flint River. Corrosive river water caused lead from old pipes to leach into the water in some homes and schools, and children showing elevated lead levels. The scandal has already cost the state’s chief environmental regulator his job. The governor says the emergency declaration is part of an effort to find short- and long-term solutions to ensuring the safety of Flint’s drinking water.