Governor's office preparing to unveil action plan in response to Flint water issues

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FLINT (WJRT) - (09/28/15) - The message inside the City Council chambers was clear, Monday night. Enough is enough.

Studies showing lead coming from Flint taps and making its way through the bodies of Flint children are re-igniting calls for change. City leaders say they're working to find an immediate solution.

"That solution could be DWSD. That's not the plan right now. However, plans can change," said Flint City Administrator Natasha Henderson.

DWSD, or the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, was Flint's source of water until the Emergency Manager switched to the Flint River in 2014.

With the river's corrosive nature being what's putting lead into the water, Henderson says the city is looking at two solutions - treatment for corrosion, but also going back to Detroit water until the KWA pipeline is finished next year.

"Both of those options are great options. However, I know the city didn't have this problem when we were with DWSD. Therefore, that is what I would like and the option I would like to utilize, if at all possible," she said.

At a cost of $1.5 million a month, she's reached out to the governor for help.

"I think it's feasible if we have the assistance to do so," Henderson said.

There also has to be permission from the city's Receivership Transition Advisory Board and the City Council. Some say there's no time to waste.

"I think we have the money where we should start right away, while we wait for state and federal help," said Councilman Eric Mays.

We asked Gov. Snyder about Henderson's request for state aid. This is the response from his Deputy Press Secretary David Murray:

"The governor continues to work with city leaders and their representatives at the state and federal levels on efforts to ensure everyone in Flint -- and other cities -- has safe, clean water...Switching the water source might not have the effect some people expect. Flint has an aging water infrastructure and many homes still have lead pipes and connections."

At least in this statement, the Governor's office did not answer whether or not the state would be willing to give any money to Flint to go toward a reconnection to the Detroit system.

However, Gov. Snyder's office does confirm it's holding ongoing discussions with state and federal agencies while looking at a variety of approaches. A plan of action is in the works and is expected to be unveiled soon.

Also on Tuesday, the Governor's office confirmed to ABC12 they worked with a corporate sponsor to provide 1,500 faucet filters earlier this month. Concerned Pastors for Social action distributed the filters. A spokesman in the Governor's office says the program could be expanded in the future.

Meanwhile, the city's water discussion is expected to continue, Wednesday, at the council's Public Works Committee meeting. It starts at 4:30 p.m.



 
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