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Published: Sun, April 02, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Obama, Trump had role in Flint water relief

Obama, Trump had role in Flint water relief

The agreement requires the State of MI to provide almost $100 million to the City for replacement of Flint's lead service lines. State officials have agreed to replace the city's lead water pipes by 2020.

But what about all the other cities and towns with aging lead pipes?

"We are working to get some assistance for those who really can't afford to pay their utility bills", Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said Thursday in a statement. These sites will be phased out as need and demand drops according to the settlement.

Plaintiffs in the case Concerned Pastors for Social Action v. Khouri are Concerned Pastors for Social Action, Flint resident Melissa Mays, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the ACLU of MI.

The agreement was approved by U.S. District Judge David Lawson on Tuesday, March 28, resolving the case once and for all. Monday's settlement has since given Flint's 100,000 some-odd residents peace of mind over who would pay for the much-needed upgrades.

The letter detailed the agency's recommendations for corrosion control, increasing chlorine residual levels and correcting the low pH levels in residents' drinking water.

A few weeks ago, the city informed 18 delinquent customers that if they didn't pay up, their water would be cut off.

"The water issue must be resolved before we can make Flint thrive again, and I believe this resolution offers a path to a healthier, less traumatic future for everyone in Flint", said the Rev. Allen Overton.

Next month will mark three years since Flint's longtime safe water source, the Detroit water system, was switched to the Flint River, without proper treatment.

Melissa Mays, a plaintiff in the case and one of the parents who confirmed Flint's water was contaminated with lead through independent testing, said "This is a win for the people of Flint".

In a letter written in November, acting EPA Regional Administrator Robert Kaplan told Mayor Karen Weaver that Jones was concerned "about chemicals being added to the Flint water for the goal of disinfection and corrosion control". It was a temporary, cost-saving measure, but turned out to be a disastrous mistake.

-The state will continue its Medicaid expansion for Flint residents - covering pregnant women and children younger than 21 up to 400% of the poverty level - through March 2021. Only weeks ago it was revealed that state of MI authorities -who are responsible for the disaster in Flint-would no longer subsidize residents' water bills, meaning that residents are now responsible for the full amount.

The deal says pipes leading to at least 6,000 households will be replaced by the end of 2017, with a further 6,000 done by the end of 2018.

A member of the group of pastors that brought the lawsuit said more must be done.

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