The city of Flint, Michigan, has introduced an extensive plan to combat the city’s ongoing water crisis.
Earlier today, Mayor Karen Weaver unveiled a $55 million effort that would replace all lead-ridden pipes with copper ones within a year, effectively solving the city’s 2-year-old water problems.
“We are going to restore safe drinking water one house at a time, one child at a time until the lead pipes are gone,” Mayor Weaver said at a press conference. “We are ready to roll up our sleeves and get the lead out of Flint.”
The plan, which will take effect in the next month and will be free for homeowners, will replace approximately 15,000 contaminated service lines that have been running water laced with lead into local homes.
The residents of Flint have been dealing with lead in their water for nearly two years, since the city made the decision to switch its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River in an effort to cut costs. Since the switch, an estimated 8,000 children have been exposed to lead.
Though a federal investigation has been opened and residents are demanding that Michigan Gov. Rick Synder be charged for endangering citizens, no one has been indicted for the crisis, which has left thousands of residents without clean drinking water.
“The success of the fast-start plan will require coordination between the city, state and federal officials as well as funding from the Michigan Legislature, the U.S. Congress or both,” she said. “…We’ll let the investigations determine who is to blame for Flint’s water crisis, but I’m focused on solving it.”