Snyder reveals plan to replace lead pipes in Flint

Gov. Snyder says he expects the process of removing pipes to start in the next month.

- Governor Rick Snyder shared his plan to finally begin replacing pipes in Flint but not everybody is on board: the mayor of Flint says start the project sooner.

The governor, along with a Flint engineering firm and DEQ, held a press conference from Flint on Wednesday, detailing his plan to replace the pipes and estimated that there are 10,000 lines that could be problematic

"We think there's 10,000 service lines where we don't know there composition that are connected to active residences and we want to address that situation as best as possible," Snyder said.

The firm is Rowe Professional services and they're based in Flint. They'll be coordinating an "infrastructure study" to prioritize what lead lined pipes need replacing. Gov. Snyder says the timetable is quick to get this problems fixed.

"The timeline is roughly a month - to do this over the next month and then to do a long-term asset plan over the next three months," Snyder said.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver did not attend the press conference but wants to start replacing pipes a lot sooner. She wants to start next week and the Department of Environmental Quality says it's possible.

"That's a possibility. If she can get some contractors, if we can get a plan together, we'll try to meet her timeline," DEQ Director Keith Creagh said.

Snyder has asked for the legislature for $25 million but Weaver said she wants $55 million. Who will pay that extra $30 million? Snyder said federal money could supplement it.

"In terms of the financial resources to help pay for that, I think they're looking to the federal and state government to help supplement and pay for what they're doing. What I would also hope is that people are going to do it in a thoughtful way. I have no reason to believe they won't but let's be thoughtful about this because additional damage has been done in communities where it's just taking out pipes," Snyder said.

The governor said lead in pipes is a national problem and wants to tell Congress about the lessons he's learned in Flint.

"As we learn lesson from Flint we need to be applying this knowledge base to say what are the right answers for the rest of the state," Snyder said. "Stay tuned I'm going to have more to say on this topic. There are a lot more important things to be talking about on this topic, both statewide and nationally"

The governor said he plans to explain how some federal rules don't work.


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