Michigan Governor Unveils Plan For Recovery In Flint Water Crisis

Michigan Governor
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, seen here testifying to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on March 17, released a multi-point plan Monday to address the water crisis in Flint. Local residents have been using bottled water since October when high lead levels were announced. The problematic water supply dates back to 2014, when the city switched its water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River. Some 12,000 children have been exposed to dangerously high lead levels. Photo by Molly Riley/UPI

LANSING, Mich., March 21 (UPI) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder unveiled a 75-point plan Monday to address Flint’s water crisis that includes replacing plumbing fixtures in public facilities and professional support for children with high blood lead levels.

The plan stops short of calling for the removal of all lead water lines in Flint, but includes goals to replace 30 lead lines through an ongoing pilot program and prioritizing other replacements based on water and elevated blood level test results.

The plan addresses issues including health, infrastructure, education and economic development with short-term, immediate-term and long-term goals. Those also include expert testing and removal of lead lines going into homes, the construction of three additional child and adolescent health centers and a validation process to make sure children with high lead levels are being treated.

“We are committed to addressing immediate concerns and finding long-term solutions to improve the quality of life for the people of Flint,” Snyder said.

“Many departments have been involved in addressing the immediate crisis in whatever way they could. At the same time, they have been working on longer-term plans that address Flint’s future prosperity. These action plans lay out our next steps as we continue to work together as one Michigan to solve the challenges residents may face.”

Since October, Flint residents have relied on bottled water for all their water needs after dangerously high levels of lead were found in the public water supply. The state had switched Flint’s water supply source in April 2014 from Lake Huron to the Flint River to save money.

Officials have estimated up to 12,000 children have been exposed to lead-contaminated water, which can lead to brain and nervous system development.

Other goals include:

— Partnering with Flint to repair and renew its water-delivery system for proper quality and flow.

— Design developmental assessment screening tool and methods for area children exposed to lead.

— Provide real-time notifications to residents regarding disease report review and analysis.

— Special training for parents, teachers and the community on childhood lead exposure and developmental disabilities.


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