The city of Flint is set to receive a sizable windfall from the Trump administration in order to combat its ongoing water crisis, one that has plagued the city since 2014 when over 100,00 residents were exposed to high levels of lead in their drinking water due to aging infrastructure.
“The people of Flint and all Americans deserve a more responsive federal government,” said EPA head Scott Pruitt in a Friday statement. “EPA will especially focus on helping Michigan improve Flint’s water infrastructure as part of our larger goal of improving America’s water infrastructure.”
In all, Flint has been awarded $100 million under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, which was approved last year and will allow city officials to more quickly replace contaminated service lines and make badly needed upgrades to Flint’s water treatment plant. The state of Michigan will contribute $20 million in matching funds.
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver expressed gratitude to the Trump administration for authorizing the transfer of the funds.
“The city of Flint being awarded a grant of this magnitude in such a critical time of need will be a huge benefit,” she said. “As we prepare to start the next phase of the … pipe replacement program, these funds will give us what we need to reach our goal of replacing 6,000 pipes this year and make other needed infrastructure improvements. We look forward to the continued support of the EPA and federal government.”
Back in early 2016, it was revealed that former President Barack Obama’s EPA was aware as early as April 2015 that Flint residents could be at risk for lead contamination, but they were allegedly unable to go public about the problem due to an ongoing dispute with Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality.