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Flint mayor wants more data considered before cutting bottled water money

Dec 7, 2017

Flint’s mayor says a top aide to Governor Snyder is willing to wait for more information before considering cutting funding for bottled water distribution in her city.

Flint residents have relied on bottled water in the two years since high levels of lead were discovered in their drinking water. Many residents still don’t trust their tap water or government officials who say it’s safe to drink.  

The number of bottled water distribution sites around Flint shrunk from nine to four. The city is now operating the PODs, as well as working with community groups to distribute bottled water. (file photo)
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

But now that tests show lead levels improving, state officials say water distribution sites could close in January.

“If the results of the third consecutive six-month federal Lead and Copper Rule monitoring period continue to trend well below the federal action level through December, the state would likely revisit the availability of state-supplied bottled water at that time,” says Tiffany Brown, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Brown insists no decision has been made.   

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says she wants a team of local medical experts to weigh in before any decision is made.

“We want to have them sign off, before we sign off. I know that’s what I’m going to do,” says Weaver.

Weaver says a top aide to the governor has agreed to consider multiple data points, not just the lead test results, when deciding the future of bottled water funding in Flint.

Improperly treated water damaged Flint’s pipes, which leached lead into the drinking water.