Flint has a plan to sign a long-term deal with Detroit's water system after the city's departure from it four years ago set in motion one of the nation’s worst drinking water crises, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver made her recommendation Tuesday, which marked a reversal from the city's original plan to detach from the Detroit-based water system and move to a new regional authority in the hopes of keeping a lid on spiraling costs.
The first-term mayor needed to reevaluate her original decision as a condition of receiving $100 million in federal funding to address the Flint water crisis.
The proposed deal will still need formal approvals from several city, state and federal government bodies, officials said.
The mayor said city, county, state and federal leaders worked on a possible solution for securing the future water supply by analyzing a dozen options over the last six months.
Flint's three-year drinking water crisis erupted when the city under the rule of a state-appointed emergency manager switched from Detroit water to the Flint River in April 2014.
At the time, the state Department of Environmental Quality failed to require the use of corrosion control chemicals -- which the department later acknowledged was a grave mistake -- as part of the treatment process.
The corrosive water caused lead to leach from joint pipes and fixtures, resulting in a spike in toxic lead levels in the blood of Flint children. The city switched its water supply back to Detroit in October 2015, but a risk remains because of damage to the water distribution infrastructure.
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Lead poisoning in children can lead to very serious consequences. Many of these conditions can be remain with the child for the rest of his or her life.
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The injuries caused by lead poisoning prevent many children from reaching their full intellectual and earning potential. These children often need special education services for many years. As a result, the damages suffered by a lead poisoned child are significant. We have won large lead poisoning settlements throughout Michigan and Ohio for children and their parents.
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