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Flint pipeline chief responds to critical report released this week

KWA pipes
STEVE CARMODY / MICHIGAN RADIO
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In June, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver agreed to hook Flint up to the new Karegnondi Water Authority pipeline, which will bring water from Lake Huron. Water from that pipeline is expected to begin flowing to Flint taps sometime next year.

Earlier this week, Stateside's Cynthia Canty spoke with Wayne State University professor Peter Hammer about a paper he wrote which argued that the Michigan departments of Environmental Quality and Health and Human Services weren't the only players in the events that led to the lead contamination of Flint's drinking water. 

Among the entities mentioned in that paper was the Department of Treasury, which made many of the final decisions leading up to the switch to the Flint River for a water supply. 

It also mentioned the Karegnondi Water Authority, the entity building a pipeline from Lake Huron to Genesee County.

KWA objected to some of the characterizations of its role and asked to appear on Stateside

KWA CEO and Genesee County Drain Commissioner Jeff Wright joined us today. You can hear our conversation above.

Regarding how the city of Flint will pay for upgrades to its water treatment facilities, Wright told us, "the facts are there were $42 million in their water and sewer reserves."

We tried to confirm the $42 million reserve fund that Wright mentioned. We asked Flint's utilities director, but she was not aware of the funds. We reached out to the current and former city finance directors, and the city of Flint spokesperson. They couldn't immediately confirm the existence of the reserve fund. 

We'll keep working on that. 

GUEST Jeff Wright is the Genesee County Drain Commissioner and CEO of the Karegnondi Water Authority.

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