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Here's what's in the big Flint water settlement

Bottled Water
Mark Brush
Michigan Radio

Flint residents just got a big proposed settlement from the city and the state over the water crisis. A settlement was announced late last week, but more details were released today.

The state is agreeing to pay at least $87 million to pay for at least 18,000 new water service lines in Flint. Under the proposal, which has to get final approval from a judge, the city would have to replace all lead and galvanized steel water lines in the next three years.

The crisis began when state officials tried to save the city money by switching to the Flint River water, which wasn't treated correctly, causing lead to leech into the city’s tap water.

But the residents who filed this lawsuit originally wanted bottled water delivered to every home without a working water filter. Some residents still don’t trust their tap water, even with a filter.

Instead, the state's now promising to go door to door, to make sure everybody's got a filter and knows how to work it.

And they’ve also agreed to keep operating free water distribution sites, at least until September. The state will keep delivering bottled water to shut-ins and anybody who calls the 2-1-1 line through the end of this June.

Also in the settlement: tap water monitoring programs beyond what the federal law requires, and money for health programs to mitigate the effects of lead exposure.

U.S. District Judge David Lawson has called for a hearing on this proposed settlement in Detroit on Tuesday at 1 pm. He'll have to approve the agreement.

Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.
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