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State puts Flint on notice for not fixing water system deficiencies

  • 18 June 2018
  • ckearns

State puts Flint on notice for not fixing water system deficiencies
By Ron Fonger rfonger1@mlive.com

FLINT, MI -- The city has failed to fix water system problems identified by the state more than nine months ago and now must agree to a schedule for correcting them.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has told Mayor Karen Weaver that the city will receive a proposed administrative consent order in the next few days but did not spell out which of 15 previously identified trouble spots haven't been fixed.

In August 2017, the DEQ notified the city of 15 recommendations for and deficiencies in the water system, including "significant deficiencies" in the water distribution system and its management and operations staff.

"The city has not resolved all of the identified deficiencies at this time," Eric Oswald, director of the DEQ Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance Division, wrote in a May 31 letter to Weaver.

State says Flint water system is riddled with 'significant deficiencies'

State says Flint water system is riddled with 'significant deficiencies'

"The city has failed to select a long-term water supply source ... The city's failure to do so resulted in legal action by the DEQ," a summary of the problems and recommendations says.

Oswald urged Weaver to review the draft consent order when she receives it and to "develop realistic dates the city can achieve to bring your drinking water system back into compliance.

"The MDEQ commits to assisting the city in resolving these issues; however the city is primarily responsible for the operation of its system in compliance with applicable laws."

MLive-The Flint Journal could not immediately reach a representative of the city for comment on the notice of the consent order, about 15 of which have been issued by the state in the past year.

When the initial state survey resulted in last year's finding of significant deficiencies, spokeswoman Kristin Moore said many of the "items noted for improvement have been long standing in Flint's water system and were inherited by the current administration."

State has 'significant concern' with some of Flint's pipe replacements

State has 'significant concern' with some of Flint's pipe replacements

"The MDEQ is emphasizing that, moving forward, all service lines that are to be replaced utilizing federal or state funding should first be hydro-excavated to determine material type," Oswald told Weaver.

Many of the problems areas are well known to the city, the DEQ and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, including the state's lack of confidence "that the city can continue to demonstrate the technical, managerial and financial capacity necessary to consistently operate the water system" in accordance with the law after current technical and training assistance contracts expire.

Using federal and state money, several contractors continue to work for the city, performing critical tasks that involve oversight of the water plant and planning for current and future projects.

One issue that was resolved since August was the city's commitment to a new 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority, a source water decision that had concerned the DEQ.

This article was taken from http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2018/06/state_puts_flint_on_notice_for.html

 

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