Flint Water Suit Settled, Still Bad
The Flint water crisis, precipitated by the Republican state government’s penny wise and pound foolish money “saving” strategy, has left behind years of damage not just to the city’s lead pipes, but to the lives of its residents.
Now that a lawsuit brought by several organizations including the ACLU of Michigan, Concerned Pastors for Social Action, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, as well as Flint resident Melissa Mays, has been settled, there may be a modicum of progress towards making Flint whole again.
It mandates the replacement of 18,000 lead and galvanized steel service lines that the corrosive Flint River water damaged, causing lead to leach into residents’ drinking water.
The settlement legally binds the State of Michigan to lay out $87 million to pay for the new lines along with an extra $10 million in case there are unexpected expenses, and aren’t there always?
Remember, this $97 million is a cost that could have been avoided entirely if Flint’s emergency manager had decided to stick with water piped in from Detroit, like the residents wanted.
Also required by the settlement, the State must test the water before and after the service line replacements, as well as contract with a third party (approved by both sides) to test the water in 100 homes for three years afterward.
Unfortunately, the settlement allows the State to gradually close distribution points where Flint residents have been able to pick up cases of bottled water for their families.
Not every Flint resident is able to pick up bottled water, whether it’s because their work hours don’t allow them to stop at the distribution centers while they’re open, or because they are disabled or don’t have appropriate transportation and can’t lug multiple 8-pound gallons of water however-many miles home.
These folks have been able to have water delivered within 24 hours by calling an emergency number, but even these deliveries may cease if tests show the level of lead has been reduced below the federal action level of 15 ppb.
Michigan Politicians ADMIT Flint Water Not Safe W/ Filter, by TYT Politics The State is expected to maintain a staff for education and outreach to make sure Flint residents know how to use their water filters and when to replace them.