Flint Residents May Finally Get Water Deal Tuesday

Judge expected to approve settlement on replacement of lines
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 28, 2017 8:30 AM CDT
In a photo from March 10, work continues on the water replacement lines in Flint, Mich.   (AP Photo/Chris Ehrmann)

(Newser) – Flint residents battling tainted water may finally get some resolution on Tuesday. A federal judge is expected to approve a sweeping settlement that spells out a plan to replace water lines for thousands of homes, reports the AP. Under the deal, Flint would replace at least 18,000 lead or galvanized-steel water lines by 2020, and the state would pick up the bill with state and federal money. The cost is expected to be about $100 million. The settlement calls for the replacement of 6,000 lines in each of the next three years, with all the work done by Jan. 1, 2020, reports the Detroit Free Press. More than 700 water lines already have been replaced and work is ongoing, but the agreement would end the uncertainty over how to pay for the enormous task.

The state will set aside $87 million and keep another $10 million in reserve if necessary. Another part of the deal revolves around bottled water. The state would deliver it for free to homebound residents and continue running at least nine distribution centers, reports the Detroit News. But if demand peters out and tests improve, the state can begin shutting down the distribution centers later this year. Plaintiffs wanted door-to-door delivery of bottled water, but the agreement rejected that. Instead, residents can continue to call the city's 211 service and get free bottled water within 24 hours. (Read more Flint water crisis stories.)

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