Judge To Decide If State Should Help With Pipe Replacement in Flint

MI will pay $87 million, and put $10 million aside for unforeseen costs. He tells Here & Now's Robin Young what it will take to replace the pipes. Between ineffective bureaucracy, corrupt politicians, outbreaks of infectious shigellosis, and toxic lead levels in the water supply, Flint has been a political battleground for far too long.

But numerous problems that lead to the contamination still have to be addressed in other areas of MI and across the United States, he warns.

Flint's water crisis drew global headlines and prompted a state of emergency after high levels of lead were found in the blood of local children. Flint's leaders changed the source as part of a cost-cutting measure; and unlike Detroit's water system, Flint did not use chemicals to fight lead and iron contamination. The state will continue to deliver water to homebound residents for the next few months, Wells added. The state will be responsible for the rest of the $97 million.

The city, under the control of state-appointed financial managers, tapped the Flint River while a new pipeline was being built to Lake Huron, but the water wasn't treated to reduce corrosion. As a result, lead leached from old pipes and fixtures. She heats bottled water for kitchen use because hot tap water can damage the filter. The problem began in 2014, when the city stopped buying water from Detroit and started drawing water from the Flint River instead.

The agreement requires the State of MI to provide almost $100 million to the City for replacement of Flint's lead service lines. They also raise health concerns, reporting rashes, hair loss and other problems. He says negligent officials involved in the crisis still need to be brought to justice. The project's coordinator said he has a goal of finishing the pipe replacements for residents in 2019 by fixing 6,000 service lines a year.

-The agreement does not call for door-to-door bottled water delivery, which the plaintiffs had sought, but calls for residents to be able to call the 2-1-1 city phone number and receive free water deliveries within 24 hours. MI officials won't be required to operate any water distribution centers after September 1 if water monitoring for the six-month period ending June 30 is below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's action level for lead.

"This new "Flint Standard" should be considered for many other cities with old infrastructure, who now have even worse lead in water problems than Flint".

  • Zachary Reyes