Sunday, April 14, 2024

Flint, Michigan, got scolded by a judge because they didn’t finish changing the lead pipes fast enough. These pipes are causing trouble because they’re at the heart of the city’s water problem

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A judge found the city of Flint, Michigan, guilty of not following rules to replace lead pipes in people’s homes. This happened because the city didn’t meet deadlines set last year by a court order. This order aimed to change the lead pipes that caused high levels of lead in the water, which is very dangerous for residents.

The judge’s decision came almost seven years after Flint agreed to fix the lead pipes by 2020 and repair any damage caused during the process. But the city kept missing deadlines, so the judge said they weren’t obeying the court’s orders, which were given in February 2023.

Now, the judge’s ruling lets the people who sued, like Concerned Pastors for Social Action, the ACLU of Michigan, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, get money back for their legal expenses.

Flint says they’re still working on replacing lead pipes, even beyond what they agreed to in the settlement, as long as they have money. They claim they’ve already replaced pipes in thousands of homes, but there are still some left.

This latest decision is another step in the ongoing problem with Flint’s water. It highlights how America’s old water systems are causing issues, especially for poorer and non-white communities.

The Flint water crisis started in 2014 when the city switched its water source to the polluted Flint River to save money. But officials didn’t treat the water properly, so it corroded the pipes, letting lead into the water.

Lead is harmful, especially for children, affecting their health and development. The people of Flint have been waiting for years for this nightmare to end.

Nearly 2,000 homes in Flint have been damaged during the pipe replacement work, making life harder for residents.

Across the country, from 2016 to 2019, many communities, especially those with people of color, low-income families, and non-English speakers, faced water problems. This shows that marginalized communities often have more trouble accessing clean water and staying within the law.

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