News Feature | April 17, 2017

Flint's Mayor Needs More Time To Finalize Sources For Drinking Water

Dominique 'Peak' Johnson

By Peak Johnson

flintregular

Mayor Karen Weaver of Flint, MI, recently said that her city needs more time before making a final decision about its backup sources for drinking water.

Weaver, according to MLive.com, told the U.S. EPA in a letter that “she is still reviewing alternatives to initial plans for the city to treat raw water from the Karengnondi Water Authority as its permanent water source.”

"Since more alternatives are now being evaluated than previously presented to the public, additional public input will be sought," Weaver's letter to Chris Korleski, director of the EPA's Water Division, said.

MLive reported that last week, “a city spokeswoman said the mayor was revising her schedule for making a final decision on where Flint's water will come from in the future.

The city's new schedule calls for an April 20 town hall and May 4 announcement of recommended drinking water sources.”

In February, “Weaver had told the EPA that the city expected to have held a press conference by now, announcing its alternatives and a town hall to hear from residents.”

The alternatives that have been discussed have been “remaining connected to pre-treated water the Great Lakes Water Authority until at least 2019, purchasing water permanently from the GLWA, purchasing treated water from the Genesee County Drain Commissioner's Office and city treatment of raw water from the KWA, of which Flint is a partner.”

Earlier this month it was announced that Michigan would spend $47 million in order to provide safe drinking water in Flint by replacing lead pipes and giving away bottled water.

According to The Detroit News, the recently announced funds come “in addition to $40 million previously budgeted to address Flint’s widespread lead-contamination crisis.” The total will come to $97 million, as Michigan also plans to put $10 million aside in order to cover unexpected costs.

The funds were secured as part of a settlement to a lawsuit filed last year.

“We think this proposed agreement provides a comprehensive framework to address lead contamination in Flint’s tap water,” Dimple Chaudhary, a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, told The Detroit News. “It covers a number of critical issues related to water safety.”

Image credit: "Lake Michigan Fury, December 2008" Tim Gill © 2008 used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/