On Friday (March 17), the Environmental Protection Agency announced it’s awarding Michigan $100 million to assist with upgrades to Flint‘s drinking water system. This, ironically, comes only one day after the Trump administration released its fiscal 2018 budget, which included a cut to EPA funding by 31%.
In 2014, we first learned of Flint ending its 50-year water relationship with Detroit in an attempt to cut costs, and whilst waiting for its new pipeline from Lake Huron, the city tapped into the Flint River. Despite the presence of multiple bacterium, which the city tried to decontaminate with distribution of free water filters (late 2015), residents weren’t left with many drinking options, and sadly, it led to their poisoning and deaths.
Before leaving office, Former President Barack Obama urged Congress last May for emergency funds for the city, including the $100 million to repair the water system. A few months later in December, Congress passed water infrastructure legislation, which Obama quickly signed, to begin providing the funds.
Scott Pruitt, an EPA administrator, overjoyed, mentioned, “The people of Flint and all Americans deserve a more responsive federal government. [The] EPA will especially focus on helping Michigan improve Flint’s water infrastructure as part of our larger goal of improving America’s water infrastructure.”