Flint mayor targets lead pipe removal for next week - WNEM TV 5

Flint mayor targets lead pipe removal for next week

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Source: WNEM Source: WNEM

Flint's mayor, Karen Weaver, announced a lead pipe removal plan on Feb. 17.

Her administration intends to start replacing the pipes on the week of Feb. 22.

The mayor called on Gov. Rick Snyder to pressure the legislature to approve funding for the plan. Her Fast Start pipe replacement plan is estimated to cost $55 million.

In a press release, Weaver said she is training local Flint workers on pipe removal, with the help from the Lansing Board of Water & Light. The training session will start the week of Feb. 22 and pipe removal will begin shortly after.

"I will not accept anything less than full removal of all lead pipes from our water system," Weaver said.

TV5 has learned the state and Rowe Professional Services in Flint have come to terms to begin the process of identifying high-risk areas and removing the lead pipes.

Jim Redding, a high-ranking employee at Rowe said, in a TV5 exclusive, the discussions include providing assistance with the planning and work dealing with the Flint water crisis.

The governor said during a press conference in Lansing there are some 10,000 pipes in Flint that need to be investigated to determine if they contain lead.

He said an infrastructure study will determine the high priority areas that need replacement.

But for the first time, he is making a commitment of replacing at least some of the lead lines.

"I want to come up with solutions," said Gov. Rick Snyder. "But we want to do it in a thoughtful fashion at how do you look at pipe replacement and how do you prioritize that, and we want to find the high priority for replacement as soon as we can and then work on longer term solutions."

In addition to the pipe removal, Snyder said recoating of the service lines is part of the long-term plan.

Snyder also addressed the concerns of many residents who said they won't trust recoated pipes. 

"The person that was best in raising the alarm, not the only person, but in terms of pipes themselves was Professor [Marc] Edwards," Snyder said. "And actually we're following the advice he's giving us, in terms of you recoat the pipes, you do the study, and then you go through the process of prioritizing and thoughtfully replacing pipes over time, so again, I hope people listen to the people that raise that bell, because he's the expert, and one of the experts in the country, and we're hearing the same thing from other experts."

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