Flint residents receive update on lead pipe replacement

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 10:35 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) – A town hall meeting in Flint gave residents an update on the status of the lead pipe replacements.

“Some renters have just completely given up and said, ‘They’re not going to fix it.’ We don’t want the residents to think that’s the answer. The answer is, ‘It’s supposed to be fixed,’” said Allen Overton Sr., a member of Concerned Pastors for Social Action.

Flint residents came together Tuesday evening, March 28 for a town hall meeting at the public library for an update on the lead pipe replacement program and lawsuits that were filed.

Representatives from the Natural Resources Defense Council and the American Civil Liberties Union gave an update on another agreement approved by a federal court.

“We’re seven, eight years into this and we would have thought that this would have been done,” Overton said.

This was the fifth time the group has taken the city of Flint to court for failing to meet set deadlines. With the new agreement, the city has until Aug. 1 of this year to finish all pipe excavations and replacements, and it has until May 1 to check the properties to see which ones still need to be repaired.

“Federal Judge Lawson has said, ‘It has to be fixed.’ So, we want to make sure that residents know that their lead lines still should be removed if they have a lead line. Also, we want them to know that their homes and their property should be repaired and back to the condition that it was before they started,” Overton said.

During the meeting, many residents were upset at what they believe is a lack of accountability by local and state officials.

“Up until this point, there has not been any accountability and there has to be accountability for your actions. Everybody else has to be accountable for their actions and their decisions. Why not our city and our state and our government? They hold us accountable,” Flint resident Bishop Bernadel Jefferson said.

According to the group, as of January the city of Flint has dug up more than 27,000 service lines and replaced more than 10,000 lead and galvanized steel pipes from more than 31,000 eligible homes.

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