Officially, 12 Flint residents died from Legionnaires’ disease between 2014-2015. A task force concluded in 2016 that Michigan's environmental agency bore primary responsibility for the water crisis in Flint. The state of Michigan and other defendants have reached a $600 million settlement in the Flint water crisis lawsuit that will provide hundreds of millions in payments to city residents. Thus, shigellosis cases in Flint are still on the rise, and public health officials continue to look for viable solutions. For example, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC have struggled with lead contamination over the years. Rick Snyder. Snyder said that General Motors' concern "was not a lead issue." Separate litigation is also ongoing against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In this March 21, 2016, file photo, the Flint Water Plant water tower is seen in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) ... More Flint Water Crisis Stories ... Over … But legionella was not alone in tormenting local residents: several different strains of the shigella bacteria were also found in Flint’s water supply, which is a bacteria that can cause a serious gastrointestinal infection known as shigellosis. While lead gets the bulk of the negative press when it comes to water safety, myriad other threats also exist. DETROIT (CN) — The city of Flint, ravaged by a contaminated water crisis since 2014, has agreed to join a massive $641 million settlement with residents announced by Michigan officials over the summer. The state is now agreeing to pay $600 million to resolve lawsuits over the crisis. Biden taps as climate czar former EPA chief who came under fire over Flint water crisis freep.com - Todd Spangler. The residents of Flint, Michigan, are famously aware of how the right to drinking water access can be blocked, ignored, and worse. The agreement would include defendants who were part of the state government when the problems occurred, such as former Gov. A couple years ago, you couldn’t turn on the news without the headlines being all about Flint and its water crisis. A task force concluded in 2016 that Michigan's environmental agency bore primary responsibility for the water crisis in Flint. The preliminary agreement would resolve all lawsuits against the state related to the Flint water crisis. Fighting for Fresh Water Access, in Flint and Beyond. The situation sparked additional outrage because officials had initially rejected complaints about the water, insisting that it was safe. A task force concluded in 2016 that Michigan's environmental agency bore primary responsibility for the water crisis in Flint. Flint’s persistent water quality problems have attracted national attention, but the city of 96,000 is far from alone in the realm of unsafe drinking water. FLINT, MI — The Michigan House has approved bills allowing the state to issue bonds to cover Michigan's $600 million portions of a settlement relating to the Flint water crisis. The Flint water crisis notwithstanding, water conservation topics tend to get much more attention than quality or safety. This new water was highly corrosive. Help get others’ heads out of the sand by making a secure tax-deductible donation to EarthTalk Inc., the 501(c)3 behind Emagazine.com, the syndicated EarthTalk Q&A column and Sea Change Radio. Business Insider reports that while rural areas are more susceptible to contaminated water supplies, a number of cities actively pump unsafe drinking water through aging pipes. Unfortunately, it’s not easy for Flint residents, or those in any area with a contaminated water supply, to practice hygienic hand-washing. The plaintiffs' attorneys are urging Flint residents who may be able to secure money from the settlement to visit flintwaterjustice.com or call 866-536-0717 for more information. ", The summary also says anyone who owned or rented a home in Flint and received city water between April 25, 2014, and July 31, 2016, "will be eligible to recover property related compensation.". The Flint water crisis may be the most serious lead contamination in drinking water to date, but other water supplies across the United States have been affected, too. Activists must continue to fight for clean water access and, as Copeny reminds us, keep Flint in the forefront of our minds as an example of how bad it can get, even in America. What’s more, residents of those cities may not even be aware of the dangers lurking in their tap water. The shigellosis infection is typically treated with antibiotics, and is normally easily prevented by proper hygiene and hand-washing. Sometimes, national platforms are used to bring social and environmental issues to light, and the Flint water crisis is no exception. Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images The “companion resolution” aims at proper water refunds within the WCS. In addition to court approval, the settlement also requires several preliminary conditions to be met. Residents of Flint, Mich., still reeling after the city’s tainted-water crisis, are now tackling coronavirus worries. Michigan has reached a $600 million agreement to compensate Flint residents for the state's role in failing to protect them from lead-tainted water, the state's attorney general says. If the plaintiffs agree to the deal and it gets court approval, "it will likely be the largest settlement in the history of the state of Michigan," Nessel said. Your email address will not be published. And years later, Michigan residents refuse to allow the water crisis to fade into obscurity. For instance, Flint’s drinking water was contaminated by lead, but the damaged pipes also effectively turned into a bacteria breeding ground. Flint residents sue investment banks over water crisis. But it does not extend to private parties or federal agencies that have been sued. The preliminary settlement announced by the state in … Last summer, prosecutors dropped all charges against eight government officials, saying they would instead launch an expanded investigation. She called it a "step forward in the healing process" for Flint. Mari Copeny is another outspoken advocate for the citizens of Flint, as well as other communities facing water crises. Copeny, who once held the title of “Little Miss Flint,” is only 11 years old and has actively championed for clean water in Flint since the age of 8. Pipes are now being replaced and officials say the water is safe, but residents still worry, drink bottled water and doubt their elected leaders. Some even died. Sam Bowman Unfortunately, the lead levels in Flint’s water are so high that filtration isn’t an effective measure. FLINT, Mich - Flint City Council held a special meeting Thursday evening to discuss the city's $20 million contributions through insurers to the water crisis settlement. Help up keep preaching beyond the choir on green living, sustainability and climate change with your contribution today. The deal "puts the needs of Flint's children first," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office said in an announcement Thursday. The Flint Water Plant tower is seen, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 in Flint, Mich. Flint is under a public health emergency after its drinking water became tainted when the city switched … More than a dozen state and city officials were indicted for their part in the crisis; several of them reached plea deals to avoid jail time. Flint has taken important steps toward resolving the lead contamination crisis that made the impoverished Michigan city a symbol of the drinking water problems that plague many U.S. communities, of… Understanding the history of the water refund portion of the Flint Water Crisis is a complex and exhausting task. The city's water quality plummeted after a 2014 change to its water supply, causing more children to have elevated blood lead levels. In consulting with attorneys, activists and authors this summary is offered of the Flint Water refund history. Flint water crisis, public health crisis (April 2014–June 2016) involving the municipal water supply system of Flint, Michigan, which resulted in residents being exposed to dangerous levels of lead. Your email address will not be published. Thus, the political ideologies of state look at economic profit over sustainable practice. Though some city residents are having trouble still. Five years on, the Flint water crisis is nowhere near over As the Michigan city’s water emergency lurches on, pipes are still being replaced—and public trust remains low. In September, Copeny told Today that she doesn’t want Flint to be forgotten, even though the city’s water crisis is no longer front-page news. One bacteria found in the city’s water supply, legionella, causes a severe, atypical form of pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ disease. Flint's water crisis has put a spotlight on the city's other issues, including poverty, unemployment and crime. Yet with a national infrastructure of 156,000 public water systems and more than 700,000 miles of pipes to deliver it, periodic quality problems should be expected. In many communities across America, the idea of water as a fundamental right is laughable. Perhaps that’s because so many Americans take fresh water access for granted. Over a year later, people were still using bottled water to cook, drink and even brush their teeth. Laying out who might receive some of the money, the settlement summary states: "All individuals who were minors in Flint at the time they were first exposed to Flint water during the Exposure Period will be eligible to recover compensation without proof of personal injury, with larger amounts of compensation to those who can show personal injuries, blood or bone lead levels, or who lived in homes with lead service lines. And five years later, the city’s water quality issue persists: Flint’s city-wide water purification advisory remains in place as of the tail end of 2019. On April 25, 2014, officials looking to save money switched Flint, Michigan’s drinking water supply from the Detroit city system to the Flint River. Required fields are marked *. April 18, 2020 @ In October 2014, General Motors stopped using Flint River water at its engine plant because the company was seeing rust of vehicle parts. Unfortunately, the crisis didn’t end there for Flint residents. 8:41 am. Contaminated water poses numerous health risks and can even be fatal, meaning that poor water quality is concerning on both an environmental and a humanitarian level. Flint residents were provided rations of bottled water and otherwise encouraged to purify their tap water. Although it was once a thriving industrial centre, the city of Flint in souteastern Michigan Harlow responded, "It was the same issue of the pipes being corroded by the water, chemicals in the water, just like it is (in Flint.) Details about those requirements were not revealed early Thursday; the settlement summary says the state and plaintiffs will work in good faith to meet the conditions, likely within the next 45 days. As long as a filtration system is carbon-based, it can typically remove most lead and other contaminants from the water supply. So, it’s not over for a long shot,” Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley said. See recent news about Flint Water Crisis at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/z3bdp9/michigans-ex-gov-rick-snyder-knew-about-flints-toxic-waterand-lied-about-it Read and weep!! The entire world knew there was a deadly crisis in Flint. The city’s poor water quality has gotten its fair share of national news coverage, but … A task force concluded in 2016 that Michigan's environmental agency bore the primary responsibility for the water crisis in Flint. ", Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office said. It’s Not Over. A summary of the settlement shows that nearly 80% of the money would go to resolve claims filed on behalf of minors and children. This includes financial hardship, ineffective environmental decision, criminal behavior and health consequences. As long as the nation’s water supply infrastructure remains poor, contamination remains inevitable. Access to clean, fresh water is a fundamental human right, at least according to a 2010 United Nations declaration. Yet more recent data indicates that the city’s legionella death toll is actually much higher: As many as 115 pneumonia deaths during that time period were likely caused by legionella. In 2001, Washington, D.C. changed how it treated drinking water, and lead levels dramatically rose. The city’s poor water quality has gotten its fair share of national news coverage, but the problem has yet to be solved. Flint, MI– The Flint City Council plans to vote Dec. 14 on the city’s involvement in a lawsuit settlement that would pay $641.25 million to residents affected by the Flint water crisis. "Because of those steps, many of the details must remain confidential for the time being," Nessel said. News reports that President-elect Joe Biden is expected to pick former EPA head Gina McCarthy to coordinate climate change policies has some of her … Flint has taken important steps toward resolving the lead contamination crisis that made the impoverished Michigan city a symbol of the drinking water problems that plague many U.S. communities, officials said Monday.A total of $120 million in federal and state funding has helped Flint replace more than 9,700 lead service lines, which carry water from main pipes into homes, In January, Flint's ABC 12 TV news station reported, "For the first time since charges were levied in the Flint water crisis on April 20, 2016, not a single person is currently facing charges. But Sioma isn’t the only Michigan resident who has tried to put a national spotlight on Flint’s tainted water, nor the only one who has seen little reward for her efforts. 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