Activist says Flint won’t make lead pipe replacement deadline
Flint, Mich. (WNEM) -Flint resident and activist Melissa Mays is, in her words, enraged that it appears Flint will miss a court-ordered deadline to replace and excavate all lead service lines in the Vehicle City by Friday. Mays says there are 1419 homes the city hasn’t contacted yet, and that’s not all.
“A couple thousand homes also that have been reached out to that had already put in their forms, everything was good to go but work never got started. And then there’s an estimated over eight to ten thousand homes that never got restored. Their yards never got done. So, I’m not sure how that’s supposed to be done in the next three days, but I’m pretty sure it’s not going to happen,” Mays said.
Mays tells us Flint has been trying to get this done since 2017. Meanwhile, she says a city on the west side of the state is nearing completion of its lead pipe replacement in a fraction of the time.
“We helped Benton Harbor get theirs moving, and they are going to be done before we are, and they started this year. And so, they didn’t have issues with labor shortages, or materials, or whatever it is, or arguing back and forth, they just got in there and got the job done,” Mays said.
Cyndi Roper is the Senior Policy Advocate with the Natural Resources Defense Council. The NRDC and Mays are two of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the City of Flint to get all the lead service lines replaced. Now, it appears Flint is going to miss another deadline tied to Flint Lead Pipe Water Settlement of 2017.
“We need a serious plan from the City of Flint, a clear plan of how they’re going to finish this job. Everything is on the table and we’re looking at every possible option to make that happen,” Roper said.
As for Mays, she wants to go back to court if that’s what it takes.
“I’m sure that federal judge is really tired of seeing us. But I’m sure he’s also really tired of residents still sitting here with water that’s not going to get better by itself without these pipes being replaced,” Mays said.
We reached out to Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley’s spokesperson for comment. At the time this article was published we were still waiting to hear back.
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