Michigan to pay nearly $100 million in Flint lawsuit settlement
The state of Michigan will set aside $97 million for lead or galvanized steel water lines to be replaced in the City of Flint, according to a settlement filed Monday in US District Court.
The state will cover the cost of replacing water lines — the pipes that connect household plumbing to the main distribution pipe running beneath the street — for at least 18,000 Flint households by 2020, according to the settlement, which resulted from a lawsuit over lead-tainted water in the city.
Michigan 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. In addition, $10 million in federal funds will be put aside in case replacements cost more than expected.
The state will also monitor the water quality of a sampling of homes after the replacement, and hire an independent third party to test and monitor a sampling of at least 100 homes for at least three years.
The City of Flint has agreed to a timeline stipulating they will have replaced pipe lines in a minimum of 6,000 households by 2018, 12,000 by the next year and finally all 18,000 households by 2020, according to the settlement.
Flint will also continue to operate at least nine Community Water Resources Sites around the city, where they distribute bottled water as well as filters, filter cartridges and water testing kits to residents free of charge. These sites will be phased out as need and demand drops according to the settlement.
The lawsuit was brought against representatives of the city of Flint and the state of Michigan by Concerned Pastors for Social Action, a local group of religious leaders in Flint and the surrounding areas, the ACLU of Michigan and the Natural Resource Defense Council.
US District Judge David Lawson will review the proposed settlement during a hearing in Detroit on Tuesday.