Unfortunately, Flint, Michigan still doesn’t have clean water. But finally, after years of drawing national attention to the crisis, campaigning, and state funding, the city is making concrete efforts to correct the problem, starting with the underground piping systems. As part of an agreed settlement, Michigan will reportedly replace 18,000 aging and lead-contaminated pipes by 2020, The Washington Post reports.
The settlement, which was reportedly filed on Monday, (Mar. 27) will require the state to fund Flint’s replacement program over the next three years. Under that agreement, the state will reportedly pay $87 million for the reconstruction. An estimated $30 million of that money will come from the $100 million that Congress approved to help Flint last year, according to the Post. A Detroit federal judge will reportedly decide on Tuesday, (Mar. 28) whether to approve the remainder of the fund.
“The proposed agreement is a significant step forward for the Flint community, covering a number of critical issues related to water safety,” Dimple Chaudhary, senior attorney with one of the environmental and civil rights groups behind the lawsuit, said. “It provides a comprehensive framework to address lead contamination in Flint’s tap water.”
Other terms under the settlement include provisions to help Flint residents, including free bottled water distribution centers and water delivery for housebound residents. Flint has been without clean water since 2014, when the city switched its water source from Detroit River to Flint River. Many locals have reportedly been poisoned by the lead that has seeped into their water supply. While the crisis is far from over, the latest settlement is definitely a step in the right direction.