Two days after President Trump met with the mayor of Flint, Michigan, the EPA has executed on legislation signed in December 2016, sending $100 Million in Federal funds to help them recover from the water crisis which began in April of 2014, nearly three years ago. Due to insufficient water treatment and old corroding pipes, over 100,000 residents in the region have been exposed to high levels of lead. Widespread illnesses have been reported, including a spike in waterborne Legionnaire’s Disease – leading to a Federal state of emergency in January of 2016.
The funds were originally authorized on December 16th, 2016 as part of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (better late than never, I guess). While Flint water was given a clean bill of health in January – residents have been advised that it will be at least a year before they can drink it, as corroding lead pipes still need to be replaced.
Flint residents will also be provided with water filters for 3 years while the lead pipes are replaced, according to a letter from state officials:
Due to the ongoing lead service line replacement projects this year, filters and filter cartridges will remain available,” read the letter. “Further, filters and cartridges will remain available for residents during the estimated three years it will take to remove the remaining lead and galvanized iron service lines
Trump’s EPA head Scott Pruit had this to say:
The people of Flint and all Americans deserve a more responsive federal government… …the EPA will especially focus on helping Michigan improve Flint’s water infrastructure as part of our larger goal of improving America’s water infrastructure.
The federal award to comes a month after Flint Mayor Karen Weaver’s proposal for spending the money, along with $20 million in matching funds from the state.
“The city of Flint being awarded a grant of this magnitude in such a critical time of need will be a huge benefit,” said Weaver. “As we prepare to start the next phase of the … pipe replacement program, these funds will give us what we need to reach our goal of replacing 6,000 pipes this year and make other needed infrastructure improvements. We look forward to the continued support of the EPA and federal government.” –Mlive.com
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