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Flint Local NewsFlint, EGLE forge new agreement to further water infrastructure improvements

Flint, EGLE forge new agreement to further water infrastructure improvements

Flint, Michigan – The City of Flint, together with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), have drafted a new administrative consent order (ACO) that builds upon and refines the existing voluntary agreement they’ve had since December 17, 2018. Flint has achieved significant milestones in its water infrastructure projects, and this agreement marks a key step toward the EPA rescinding its emergency order.

No new violations have been noted under this agreement. Flint’s water continues to comply with both state and federal standards for water quality, a benchmark consistently met since 2016. The latest weekly water quality results are readily accessible on the State of Michigan’s website.

The updated ACO clarifies how Flint will keep improving its water infrastructure to satisfy the needs outlined by EGLE in August 2017. This agreement empowers Flint with a voice in the legal process. The city’s leadership values working with EGLE to ensure compliance with all regulations and strategize for future infrastructure requirements.

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Currently under review by the Flint City Council, the ACO will become public once it is approved by the council and signed by the mayor. While legal discussions aren’t usually open to public input, Flint and EGLE are making this agreement publicly available beforehand in response to calls for transparency and collaboration from the Water System Advisory Council and Flint residents

“We agree with Flint residents who have expressed the need for transparency around the City of Flint’s water infrastructure,” City Administrator Clyde Edwards said. “The fractured public trust in local government created by the Flint Water Crisis may take generations to mend, but our goal is transparency and trustworthiness in all aspects of public service. We are listening and we are taking action with the goal of restoring trust and collaboration with community members.”

“Flint’s drinking water system has seen tremendous improvements over the past several years, but there is still work to be done to ensure healthy, reliable water for generations of Flint residents,” said Eric Oswald, director of EGLE’s Drinking Water and Environmental Health Division. “This agreement highlights expectations for that work into one document, provides public transparency, and ensures that all parties share the same expectations. We are eager to move forward with the work and look forward to City Council’s approval of the plan.”

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The City of Flint is committed to delivering safe, clean water to Flint residents, and while major investments and upgrades have been made in Flint’s water infrastructure, there is still more work to do. The new draft administrative consent agreement reflects some of this remaining infrastructure work.

Water infrastructure improvements completed through previous iterations of this ACO include:

  • Constructed a new chemical feed building, completed in 2021
  • Installed water quality monitoring stations throughout the city, completed in 2021
  • Constructed a new secondary/emergency backup water source pipeline, completed in 2022
  • Upgraded household water meters, completed in 2022
  • Renovated Dort Reservoir and Pump Station, pending final testing this Spring

The updated ACO outlines plans for implementation of the Cross Connection Control Program; pending completion of the Dort Reservoir and Pump Station upgrades; the Cedar Street Reservoir and Pump Station upgrades scheduled to begin this summer, and the Torrey Rd. Pump Station upgrades.

It also includes plans to replace the Northwest Transmission Main, hire additional staff, implement several new Standard Operating Procedures, and complete demonstrations of Technical, Managerial, and Financial Capacity. Some of this work will extend through 2028, as outlined in the draft agreement.

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The City of Flint has worked with EGLE to plan and implement these capacity-building measures since 2019, and the administration looks forward to continued collaboration in these efforts.

Read more here.