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Seven Years On: The Flint water crisis has yet to conclude

Seven Years On: The Flint water crisis has yet to conclude
October 27, 2021 Natasha Blakely

Although it’s been seven years since the Flint water crisis became one of the state’s biggest public health disasters, Flint’s struggle with both the repercussions of the initial incident and with getting clean water have not ended. The court cases continue to unfold, and the city slowly replaces its lead lines.

A quick review: In 2014, former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Darnell Earley as emergency manager to help the city of Flint cut costs to remedy its financial crisis. One of Earley’s decisions was to switch the source of the city’s water and then not treat it for needed prevention of the corrosion of pipes. Without that treatment, lead leached from the pipes into drinking water, resulting in lead-poisoning in thousands of homes.

As of June, just over 10,000 pipes have been replaced in Flint and the city’s website says it is in the final stage of replacement, but even still residents struggle to trust that the water is safe to drink.

Even once Flint water is safe, there will be some residents who will never trust or drink Flint water again, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician whose research exposed the Flint water crisis, said in a previous interview.

Aside from the status of the pipes, the other ongoing situation relating to the Flint water incident is the court settlement.

U.S. District Judge Judith Levy granted preliminary approval to a $641 million settlement deal for Flint residents, though the planned distribution of the settlement between lawyers and residents isn’t decided.

On a criminal level, nine people, including Snyder, were charged with crimes in January after a new investigation. Their cases are pending.

Catch up with all of Great Lakes Now’s coverage of the Flint water crisis.

Also, Flint Beat is a fantastic source of up-to-date community reporting of Flint and the water crisis.

Watch Great Lakes Now’s latest segment that touches on the lingering impacts of the Flint water crisis on the region:


Catch more news on Great Lakes Now:

Arbitrator: Official wrongly fired in Flint water scandal

Q&A: Doctor who exposed Flint’s lead levels sees similarities in Benton Harbor water crisis

Some Chicagoans Wary of Lead Pipe Replacement


Featured image: The Flint Water Plant was originally constructed in 1952 and renovated in 2014. (Photo Credit: Open Door Co./Nomad Films Inc.)

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