Lead has been a serious problem for modern-day society. Our hectic lifestyles and the fact that the effects of lead poisoning cannot be seen or felt immediately meant that we kept sweeping the issue under the carpet, but the Flint fiasco gave lead poisoning the attention it deserves the world over. However, while communities and states around the country finally began discussing lead substitute, the people of Flint were still suffering from countless horrors that lead poisoned waters brought into their daily lives.
Flint’s problems might finally be dwindling as residents finally receive timelines on getting their lead pipes replaced thanks to a settlement agreement approved by a federal judge on March 28, 2017. According to the terms of the settlement, the City of Flint and the State of Michigan are required to offer lead alternatives to the city’s poisonous pipes within a period of three years.
The lawsuit was filed as a result of failed decisions that affected thousands of families in the city, allowing lead to seep out of aging pipes and enter countless homes in the city. Dimple Chaudhary, the lead counsel in Concerned Pastors for Social Action Vs. Khouri, believes that this decision should finally result in safe water for the city and its residents. “The people of Flint are owed at least this much,” said Chaudhary after an enforceable commitment was directed by the court to remove lead pipes from the ground and offer adequate lead substitutes.
According to the terms of the agreement, the State of Michigan shall provide $97 million to the city of Flint for lead replacement to replace its lead service lines within three years. The State must also create a door-to-door filter installation and education program, make bottled water available for the city’s residents and continue to monitor tap water for lead.
The court also directed the State to ensure adequate funding for the seven existing health programs to reduce and diminish the effects of exposure to lead. The court also retained authority to ensure that the City and State fulfill their obligations and meet given deadlines.
Pastor Allen Overton from the Concerned Pastors for Social Action says that they brought the lawsuit in front of the federal court to heal the damage caused to the community and to help the citizens get access to lead replacements. Resolving this crisis is one of the first things that the city needs to do in order to thrive again, and this resolution shouldgo a long way in making things easier for the people.
For more than three years, the case of lead poisoning affected all facets of society in Flint and people as forced to live on bottled water and without adequate baths due to the poisoned water flowing out of the city’s taps. After a long ordeal, Flint and its residents finally have a long-term solution to look forward to, as they try to recover from the disaster that wrecked the city and return to leading normal lives.