Four years after the Flint water crisis began, there are some major changes coming to the city. Michigan officials say they will stop providing free bottled water to the city of Flint.
According to the governor’s office, the city of Flint’s water quality has been below the action levels set by the federal Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) for nearly two years, representing four consecutive six-month monitoring periods.
“I have said all along that ensuring the quality of the water in Flint and helping the people and the city move forward were a top priority for me and my team,” Gov. Rick Snyder said in a statement on Friday. “We have worked diligently to restore the water quality and the scientific data now proves the water system is stable and the need for bottled water has ended.”
Karen Weaver, Flint’s mayor, said she found out about the decision shortly before it was made public. She said in a statement that she feels like the governor’s decision was “insensitive” and wants to make sure he’s aware of the additional needs she’s requested for Flint residents.
“We did not cause the man-made water disaster, therefore adequate resources should continue being provided until the problem is fixed and all the lead and galvanized pipes have been replaced,” she continued.
State taxpayers have paid more than $350 million to Flint, in addition to $100 million from the federal government to help with water quality improvements, pipe replacement, healthcare, nutritional food distribution, educational resources, job training and creation, and more. The city is working with contractors to replace all of the affected lines by 2020.
But according to Dr. Pamela Pugh, chief public health advisor for the city of Flint, “the medical community has continuously raised questions as to how special populations, including nursing and bottle-feeding mothers, will receive bottled water while pipe replacement is ongoing.”
The governor’s statement said Flint residents can still obtain free water filters.