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Flint lawmakers ask Michigan attorney general to restart water distribution program

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Two state lawmakers are asking Michigan’s attorney general to intervene in the decision to end bottled water distribution in Flint.

Governor Snyder announced last week that the bottled water hand outs were ending because state tests showed Flint’s drinking water was now well within federal and state quality standards. Within a few days of the announcement, long lines of city residents depleted the remaining supplies of bottled water. The centers closed Tuesday.

Rep. Sheldon Neeley calls the decision to end the program “irresponsible and heartless.”

Neeley and Rep. Phil Phelps, both Democrats from Flint, sent a letter to Michigan’s Republican attorney general, Bill Schuette, asking for his help restarting the distribution program.

Earlier this week, Schuette said the state should continue to distribute bottled water in Flint until the city finished its lead pipe replacement program.  

Rep. Phelps is asking Schuette to back up that statement with action.

“We’re hoping that he can take some kind of legal action against the administration to prove that they need to continue to supply water to the city of Flint residents,” says Phelps.

Phelps says Schuette’s office has acted against those allegedly responsible for Flint’s problem-plagued water supply. But the Flint Democrat insists Schuette has not acted to directly help those Flint residents who have been hurt during the water crisis.

A Schuette spokeswoman says they have received the letter from Neeley and Phelps and they are reviewing it. 

A governor’s spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawmakers’ request.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.