MI to Pay Nearly $100 Million in Flint Lawsuit Settlement


The state will also guarantee bottled water delivery through September this year, fund seven existing health and medical programs for those affected by lead exposure, and educate Flint residents by door-to-door visits through December 2018. Lawson is expected to approve the agreement, subject to his oversight of its enforcement.

This is the latest move in a lawsuit several groups-including the ACLU of MI, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Concerned Pastors for Social Action-launched against the city and state on January 27, 2016, to secure safe drinking water for Flint.

Recent tests showed lead levels in the water to be within federal limits, though residents are still advised to use filters.

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The $87 million will be drawn from a number of sources, including up to $20 million from the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, which was passed by Congress a year ago and signed by former president Barack Obama.

The man-made water crisis began in 2014 when city officials swapped the water supply from the Detroit River to the Flint River.

"When the government fails to uphold democracy and protect our rights to clean water, we have to stand up and fight", Mays said. The lawsuit was filed in response to the Flint water crisis, the result of failed government decisions that caused lead to leach out from aging pipes into thousands of homes in Flint. It includes much of what a coalition of civil rights activists, religious leaders, and the National Resources Defense Council initially sought and would force Flint and MI to commit to long-term plans for rectifying the lead crisis. They've agreed to dig up services lines at 18,000 homes and replace lines made of lead and galvanized steel. A court ruled to replace water lines by 2020 - but the damage has already been done.

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In September 2015, studies confirmed what residents had feared: that the water contained risky levels of lead.

The deal also requires the state to continue to operate nine bottled water and filter distribution centers until at least May 1 and outlines procedures for closing them based on demand.

All this comes on the heels of the environmental protection agency awarding a $100 million emergency grant to the state. The state will make its best efforts to have at least 90 filter education specialists at work throughout the city, eight hours per day, Monday through Saturday, with specialists also available on Sundays by appointment and for follow-up.

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The settlement is a major victory for the residents of Flint.