Attorneys Set the Record Straight about Terms of Settlement Agreement in Concerned Pastors’ Safe Water Lawsuit
FLINT, MICHIGAN — Contrary to some rumors, the plaintiffs in the Concerned Pastors lawsuit—including Concerned Pastors for Social Action, NRDC, ACLU of Michigan, and Melissa Mays—have not sent a letter criticizing the city council or demanding that the City of Flint agree immediately to a specific long-term water contract.
The Concerned Pastors lawsuit's settlement agreement does a lot of things to address the water crisis in Flint. It requires the state to pay for and the city to complete thousands of lead service line replacements in Flint within three years at no cost to Flint residents. The settlement agreement also requires the state to provide filters and filter-installation services to residents; offers for tap water monitoring above and beyond the requirements of federal regulations; and requires the city, state, and MDEQ to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Emergency Administrative Order. The settlement agreement does not, however, dictate where the city of Flint will get its water from or on what terms.
On June 23, 2017, the state of Michigan sent a letter to the city of Flint alleging that the city is violating the EPA order, and thus the settlement agreement. Through that letter, the state initiated a dispute resolution process under the settlement agreement.
The state of Michigan—not the plaintiffs in the Concerned Pastors case—made the decision to send the June 23 letter. The Concerned Pastors plaintiffs did not join the letter or even know about it until it was sent. They remain committed to supporting the integrity of democratic decision-making in the city of Flint and to ensuring that Flint residents have safe water now and in the future.