Tuesday, 25 April, 2017

Flint Mayor Wants To Avoid Water Switch After Lead Crisis

Flint-Water-190 Flint mayor says water switch 'too risky' after lead crisis
Stacy Diaz | 21 April, 2017, 03:28

April 25 marks three years since the city of Flint switched its water source from the city of Detroit to the Flint River, causing a massive lead-contamination crisis that has not been resolved, and on Tuesday, the city's mayor said switching water sources as previously planned would be too risky and expensive.

She said past year that the city of 100,000 residents would stick with a plan to draw from a pipeline to Lake Huron that is still under construction. It could be that EPA rules requiring more corrosion control studies may have played a role in Weaver "reevaluating" her stand on KWA.

Flint and Genesee County communities split off from Detroit's water system in 2014 to build the KWA pipeline in a bid to become independent of Detroit's water system, which was spun off into the new Great Lakes Water Authority in Detroit's 2014 bankruptcy restructuring. Those following today's announcement will likely find tomorrow's Metro Times cover story of interest: ACLU reporter and MT alum Curt Guyette looks into the controversial pipeline's history, from the perspective of its opponents and its champions.

The mayor said all pipes will be replaced in the city by 2019.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver speaks during a press conference, Tuesday, April 18, 2017, at City Hall in Flint, Mich., where Weaver officially recommended that the city remain a long-term customer of what was the Detroit water system and abandon an effort to treat its own raw water again. The second annual Hoop 4 Water celebrity basketball game scheduled for May 20 will raise money for Flint.

There will be a 30-day public comment after which officials hope the city council will approve the deal.

Bob Kaplan, acting regional director for the Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago, said the agreement is the "best long-term solution".

"I'm concerned about that", he said.

Flint will also reportedly receive about $1.8 million in savings during the 30-year contract.

Follow David Eggert on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DavidEggert00.

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