Environmental Law

Federal judge approves $97M settlement to replace lead water pipes in Flint

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Flint water plant

A federal judge on Tuesday approved a settlement in which the state of Michigan will disburse up to $97 million to replace lead water pipes in Flint.

U.S. District Judge David Lawson found that the settlement is fair, adequate and reasonable on the same day that he held a hearing on the agreement. NPR, the Washington Post, the Associated Press and the Detroit News have stories; the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan posted a press release describing the agreement (PDF).

Under the funding agreement for pipe replacement, $47 million will come directly from the state, and $50 million will come from federal and state funding directed to Flint by Congress.

The settlement calls for replacement of the pipes within three years and extensive monitoring of tap water in Flint. The state also will guarantee availability of bottled water at distribution centers until at least September 2017, will continue delivery of bottled water to homebound residents until at least July 2017, will visit Flint residents to ensure they have water filters, and will guarantee funding of seven medical programs to mitigate the effects of lead exposure from Flint water.

Lead began leaching into Flint water when the city switched from Lake Huron water to Flint River water in 2014 to save money.

The case is Concerned Pastors for Social Action v. Khouri.

Related article:

ABA Journal: “Who’s to blame for poisoning of Flint’s water?”

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