News Briefs: Flint Residents Get Settlement Money for Flint Water Crisis

Also in this week's sewer and water news, the city of Los Angeles shuts off utility service at a party house in Hollywood Hills that violated COVID-19 orders

The State of Michigan agreed to a $600 million settlement of the civil lawsuits brought against the State of Michigan by Flint residents after the Flint Water Crisis that began in April of 2014.

“Protecting all Michiganders and their access to clean water is a priority for my administration to make sure nothing like this ever happens again,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement Aug. 20. “What happened in Flint should have never happened, and financial compensation with this settlement is just one of the many ways we can continue to show our support for the city of Flint and its families.”

The money will be put into a qualified settlement fund and dispersed after paying out attorney’s fees and other court expenses. Approximately 80% of the remainder will go to Flint’s children, while adult claimants will receive 18% of the total. Another 2.5% will go to businesses with economic losses.

EPA Awards California $6.1 Million to Test for Lead at Child Care Centers

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced an award of $6,137,000 in grant funding to assist the California Department of Social Services with identifying sources of lead in drinking water in child care centers.

“Testing for lead in drinking water is critical for the protection of our children,” says EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. “EPA is pleased to support California in its efforts to detect and reduce lead in drinking water, thereby protecting children’s health at child care centers and elsewhere.”

The State of California has been proactive in testing drinking water for lead in child care centers. In 2018, California’s Legislature passed AB2370, expanding the state’s lead testing program to require testing of more than 15,000 child care centers serving over 800,000 children; EPA’s funding will support testing at these child care centers.

Los Angeles Shuts Off Utilities at Party House for COVID-19 Violations

The city of Los Angeles followed through on the mayor’s recent threat, shutting off utility service at a home in Hollywood Hills that hosted several large parties in violation of COVID-19 social distancing orders.

“Despite several warnings, this house has turned into a nightclub in the hills, hosting large gatherings in flagrant violation of our public health orders,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a news release. “The City has now disconnected utilities at this home to stop these parties that endanger our community.”

In early August, Garcetti said he would allow utility shutoffs at houses hosting large events. In this case, he gave the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power authorization to disconnect utility services at the house, which he referred to as a “party house.”


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