Michigan Rep: Flint Water Still Unsafe

Flint Water Plant / Getty Images

Rep. Dan Kildee (D., Mich.) says Flint, Michigan's water quality is improving, but that it would be too optimistic to say it is safe to drink.

"They were told the water was safe once before when it really wasn't," he said during a Wednesday appearance on Hill.TV. "I think until those lead lines are gone, it's going to be pretty difficult to have full confidence, but we are getting there."

Kildee predicted that Flint's water should be safe by the end of July, when the city replaces all of the lead pipes that have been the source of widespread poisoning. Investigators first revealed in 2014 that Flint's water is unsafe.

Replacing the lead pipes has been a slow process, and the Flint City Council just rejected a resolution to pay an additional $4.8 million to AECOM, the engineering firm in charge of the project, MLive reported. The funding was requested so AECOM could continue to oversee pipe replacement for the next year.

The council rejected the bid because it believes AECOM has been moving forward too slowly, only replacing 1,614 lead service lines in 2018, whereas the original FAST Start team was able to manage the removal and replacement of 6,280 lines between 2016 and 2017.

Those in favor of renewing AECOM's contract argued additional funds would push the work forward, even if slowly. They voiced fears otherwise, pipe replacement would stop entirely.