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Federal emergency declaration ending Sunday

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The federal emergency declaration for the Flint water crisis ends Sunday.

One big change will be who’s paying for all the bottled water and filters being handed out to Flint residents.

The feds have been picking up 75% of the cost, with the state chipping in 25%.  

Now the state will have to pay 100% of the costs. 

Capt. Chris Kelenske is the deputy state director of emergency management and homeland security for the Michigan State Police. He helps coordinate the state’s response to the water crisis. Kelenske says he did push through a few big ticket purchases before the switch, including buying expensive water filters.

“With those costing anywhere around $20 to $24 a cartridge, I would much rather get that at a lower cost,” says Kelenske.

Kelenske says Flint residents shouldn’t notice any changes, since the state has been managing the relief effort for some time now.

“The state has been doing the deliveries. We’re doing the commodity distribution. It’s our personnel in the warehouse,” says Kelenske.

Kelenske says he will continue to work with a FEMA liaison.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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