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Flint, MDEQ reach voluntary agreement on city's water system

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The city of Flint has reached a deal with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality on an agreement concerning oversight of the city’s water system.

The voluntary agreement announced Monday comes after months of disagreement over the MDEQ’s insistence on greater oversight of Flint’s water system.

The dispute dates back to August 2017, when the MDEQ informed the city of more than a dozen problems with Flint’s water system.

In October, the agency issued a consent order putting in place deadlines for specific work on Flint’s water system. The voluntary agreement will take the place of the consent order.

Under the agreement, Flint will need to meet specific deadlines to fill water department vacancies and make upgrades to reservoirs.

The MDEQ’s director says the agreement will ensure progress on improving Flint’s water quality will continue.

“DEQ is pleased to reach this agreement with the city of Flint,” said MDEQ Director C. Heidi Grether. "Our ongoing cooperation has resulted in Flint’s water quality testing meeting the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act for more than two years.”

The city of Flint did not comment. 

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.