Michigan To Pay Nearly $100 Million In Flint Lawsuit Settlement

Darin HammondMar 31, 2017

It may be a tall order, but if everything goes the way lawmakers promises, Flint residents will have new, lead-free water pipes by 2020.

Residents of Flint, Michigan will finally get their lead pipes replaced as the result of a settlement agreement approved by a federal judge today. The state must also hold an extra $10 million in reserve, in case the repairs end up being more expensive than anticipated. It focuses more on pipe replacements and less on door-to-door water delivery.

The agreement was approved by U.S. District Judge David Lawson on Tuesday, March 28, resolving the case once and for all.

Lead is not just a problem in Flint, and the crisis in the working-class, majority-Black city brought national attention to lead contamination in other cities across the country, fueling the movement for environmental justice.

"This groundbreaking settlement marks a huge step toward restoring a long-neglected community to some semblance of normalcy", he added.

"This settlement continues the state's commitment to providing the resources necessary for the residents of Flint to recover from the crisis, including health care services, nutritional food and replacement of lead service lines throughout the city", Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said via a news release. It took state officials, including Gov. Rick Snyder, almost three months to notify residents that their water had been tainted. They also will not receive door-to-door bottled water delivery to the extent they requested.

MI will provide $87 million in a combination of state and federal money, according to the settlement; $47 million of that must come from sources other than Obama-era federal water infrastructure improvement funds. The nonprofit, which aims to protect public health and the environment, has worked with the ACLU of MI to represent Flint residents in the lawsuit.

Jones, who like many Flint residents has used free, city-supplied bottled water and tap filters for months, tires of waiting for water quality to improve.

The city has identified the customers as account holders who owe between $2,000 to $5,600 and who have not made any payment on their bills in at least 15 months, they said. Former President Barack Obama signed off on the bipartisan funding bill shortly before leaving office previous year.

Flint will shut off water service to 31 residential customers with delinquent accounts, officials said Thursday. There will be no cost for replacement cartridges or household testing kits.

The city also will continue to test for lead every six months up until one year after all pipes are replaced, AP reported, and an independent monitor will be required to check household water samples for elevated lead levels.

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