Home Muhammad Lawmakers tackle Benton Harbor water crisis at Thursday’s hearing

Lawmakers tackle Benton Harbor water crisis at Thursday’s hearing

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LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) – As crews work to repair an old broken water pipe in Benton Harbor, lawmakers in Lansing will address questions on Thursday about the city’s main water crisis.

(Crews from Benton Harbor are working to fix a burst water pipe – leaving the town completely without water – on October 20, 2021.)

Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad and Reverend Edward Pinkney of the Benton Harbor Community Water Council are expected to attend the Michigan House Oversight Committee, which will be broadcast live on woodtv.com Starting at around 10:30 a.m., House committee members are also expected to question Michigan Director of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy Liesl Clark about the Benton water crisis Harbor.

The hearing comes as the teams work to repair a main break that impacted the entire city water system, forcing at least six schools in the Benton Harbor area to close. In a tweet Thursday morning, Muhammad said the broken pipe was 89 years old “and is taking longer than expected to be processed.”

Monday evening, the Benton Harbor City Commission declared a local state of emergency in response to high levels of lead contamination in water.

Michigan’s level of action – when heads of state step in and respond – is 15 parts per billion. City of Benton Harbor Data shows that the highest reading of sampled homes rose from 60 parts per billion to 889 parts per billion in the past three years, more than 59 times the state limit.

Last month, Whitmer signed on the last piece of the state budget which provides $ 10 million to replace the lead water pipes in the port of Benton. The state has also started to provide free bottled water and filters for residents of Benton Harbor.

The state’s response changed earlier this month when it began urging residents of Benton Harbor to use bottled water for cooking and drinking.

The county health department says residents can pick up free bottled water Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency, located in 331 Miller Street, and Benton Harbor High School, located in 870 avenue Colfax. There will also be water tankers that residents can use to fill their own containers for things like washing and flushing toilets.

The state aims to replace all lead pipes in the city’s century-old infrastructure by the next 18 months.

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