Flint to get new pipes after $87 million settlement

Flint to get new pipes after $87 million settlement
A judge has approved a deal between the state of Michigan, the city of Flint, several Flint-based pastors, and the American Civil Liberties Union, has resulted in the state paying $87 million to replace lead-tainted pipelines with galvanized steel pipes.

The state of Michigan will provide Flint up to $87 million to upgrade water pipes and set up water bottle distribution centers so that residents can have clean drinking water under the terms of the settlement proposed on Monday and accepted on Tuesday.

The deal requires that $47 million of the $87 million not come from the same sources approved last year by Congress and President Barack Obama for $40 million, Booth Michigan reported.

The settlement became legally binding on Tuesday after it was reviewed by US District Judge David Lawson. It includes much of what a coalition of civil rights activists, religious leaders, and the National Resources Defense Council initially sought and would force Flint and Michigan to commit to long-term plans for rectifying the lead crisis.

It also includes, however, a few concessions from the coalition. Instead of having water delivered door-to-door to homes not be verified to have water filters while roughly 18,000 pipelines were replaced, the state will be required to operate nine water distribution centers where Flint residents may pick up bottled water.

Michigan will be allowed to close up to three of them after May 1, if 20 or fewer people pick up from them, the Detroit News reported.

The state will also be required to reserve another $10 million of federal funds in case repairs are more expensive than expected. In addition, the state will be responsible for appointing a third party to monitor the lead levels of 100 homes for at least three years. Michigan will also expand Community Outreach and Resident Education programs in order to provide education, installation, and expansion of water filters.

Those involved in the litigation cannot comment on the matter until after the deal is formally accepted.