After five years of litigation and 18 months of court-supervised negotiations, the victims of the Flint Water Crisis will receive a $626 million settlement, the CNN reports.
District Judge Judith Levy, who approved the order, says that the settlement “sets forth a comprehensive compensation program and timeline that is consistent for every qualifying participant.”
The article mentions that 80% of the money will go to those under 18 at the time of the crisis. The most significant share will go to six or younger. Another $35 million will be set aside for future minor claimants or those children who did not file the claim immediately. About $600 million will be paid by the Michigan state, other state agencies defendants, and the rest from the city of Flint and its associated defendants.
Since the Flint Water Crisis began, we have created several posts about the Flint Water Crisis. In our blog post, “Explaining the “Levels of Service-Cost-Risk Diagram” through Analyzing the Flint Water Crisis,” we provided some background on what happened in Flint and the events that led to the crises.
The community wasn’t able to pay for its water supply. The Governor of the State of Michigan put an administrator to look after things. They swapped their water supply source away from an expensive source but a very good source that was coming from Detroit and from the great lakes and they plugged into the local Flint River, which wasn’t such a good water source to save some money.
They weren’t supposed to do that. Initially, the plan was there’s going to be a new regional water supply developed. It was a bit behind schedule. They came off the Detroit water. They’ve plugged into the local water supply, which was really not very good quality. And what happens was, the levels of service went down, the cost went down and that set of transactions over a few years, and the hidden risks started coming up..what happened was they had lead service lines and the water that they were taking from the Flint River was pretty acidic. For whatever reason, they didn’t neutralize it or not enough. The lead was released into the water supply.
People of a pretty low socio-economic status, we’ll actually a lot of people in the town ended up, particularly children, with lead poisoning, well above recommended safety levels.
Our article, Flint Michigan, Would a Robust Asset Management Program Have Prevented the Disasters discuss the advantages of having an Asset Management Program (AMP) and how it could have prevented the Flint crisis.
However, Flint is still not too late to adopt an asset management initiative. As Flint Michigan – Is it Too Late to Start an Asset Management Program explains, doing so will significantly benefit the city.
Check out our other related blog posts on the Flint water crisis:
- Reviewing the Simple Asset Management Diagram and Lessons learn from Flint Michigan.
- Flint Michigan – Introduction to Infrastructure Asset Management Analysis.
Update on Flint’s lead pipes.
Water and Waste Digest Reports that Flint’s “city officials set a final deadline of July 23, 2021, for residents to consent to get their lead water pipes replaced for free”. The article mentioned that Flint’s lead water pipe removal had entered its final state.
The City of Flint website notes that as of June 18, 2021, officials have checked the service line at 27,092 homes and replaced 10,041 lead or galvanized pipes; the remaining 17,051 homes did not need replacement.
Healthline reports that the recently enacted $1.2 trillion Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) has earmarked $15 billion to replace aging water pipes across the country. On top of this, there is also a yearly allocation of nearly $12 billion to the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, with $4 billion funding for “emerging contaminants” and $5 billion to Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nations grants.
Hopefully, the bill will speed up the process of replacing all of Flint’s aging lead pipes and in other cities facing the same problems and improving the country’s overall drinking water infrastructure for many generations to come.
The article also notes that health experts also welcomed the bill as a significant investment in the long-term health of Flint’s residents.