ICYMI: Flint Water Crisis Hearings

Jul 16, 2021 | BM4F Spotlights, Uncategorized, Young, Gifted & Green Blog Series | 0 comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 16, 2021

Media Contact: Jasmine Hall | jasmhall2@gmail.com | (810) 908-0650

ICYMI: Fairness Hearings Underscore Flint Residents’ Concerns And Objections To Water Crisis Settlement For The First Time

We wanted to make sure you’d seen that earlier this week, Flint residents voiced their concerns and objections to the Flint Water Crisis Settlement and its stipulations for the first time in a long-overdue series of hearings that began on Monday, July 12. The hearings, which took place over the course of three days, underscored the very real concern of Flint families that Michigan elected officials have not provided the necessary resources to access the settlement, nor does the settlement itself constitute equitable compensation for years of untreated lead poisoning in people’s drinking water. 

Though the hearings were the first time elected officials heard directly from Flint residents, this is not the first time the community has advocated for a reassessment of the settlement and requirements for accessing it. Earlier this year, The Coalition for a Fair Water Settlement sent an open letter to Michigan elected officials and the Biden Administration urging them to address barriers people face in accessing the Flint Water Crisis Settlement and in receiving justice, namely Medicare for All exposed to Flint Water for life. 

“This week, we really wanted to show up for people who have suffered from a gross example systemic racism over the past 7 years,” said Jasmine Hall, member of the Coalition for a Fair Water Settlement member, BM4F Lead Prevention Ambassador and Flint native. “It’s already bad enough that residents have to endure the Flint Water Crisis, which took a tremendous toll on the mental and physical health of the community, but the settlement as written manufactures barriers to equitable distribution of settlement funds. No human being exposed to the Flint Water Crisis deserves only $1000 from a settlement; it simply does not make sense. After listening to residents and lawyers express their objections to medical documentation, settlement amount, distribution, and lawyer fees, Judge Levy must determine whether the settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable. The residents of Flint deserve justice and this is one of several paths we will take to achieve that.a ”

Below are some of the many objections community members have to the settlement and its stipulations. 


At the Fairness Hearing on Monday, July 12 (for attorneys) and Tuesday, July 13 (for those not represented by counsel), Flint residents discussed the motion for approval and any objections they have to the settlement, including: 

  • The allotted time frame for filing necessary paperwork was too short. People’s ability to meet the registration deadline and communication to understand all of their options (register, opt-out, or file objections) was hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic and mail delays; 
  •  One of the tests used to determine the level of lead poisoning in individuals – a bone scan – was not approved by the FDA for use in humans and has been repeatedly shunned by the test’s manufacturer. This unreliable test has also not been made widely available for Flint residents who do want to take it;
  • Only 1% (30 of 3,000) of children referred for a neuropsychological assessment have had the assessment done. This assessment is one route for significant higher compensation in the settlement and all options presented have major barriers to access; and
  • The $1,000 cap per household is too low and doesn’t take into consideration the payments of water bills, replacement of hot water heaters, installation of whole house filters, and/or replacement of appliances due to corroded water.

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