The state of Michigan will no longer supply free bottled water to Flint, the city once plagued with lead-tainted drinking water in a crisis that drew national attention, officials said on Friday.
For nearly two years, tests have shown that Flint’s water is the same or better than similar cities across the state, a statement from Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s office said. When the current supply of state-funded bottled water is depleted, the distribution centers will close and deliveries will end.
“The scientific data now proves the water system is stable and the need for bottled water has ended,” the Republican governor said in the statement. “Since Flint’s water is now well within the standards set by the federal government, we will now focus even more of our efforts on continuing with the health, education and economic development assistance needed to help move Flint forward.”
Michigan State Representative Sheldon Neeley, a Democrat whose district includes most of Flint, a predominantly black city of about 100,000, denounced the decision to end free bottled water, calling it cruel.
“Governor Snyder has failed to address the psychological trauma that his administration put the people of Flint through. The fact is, the people of Flint don’t trust the Snyder administration or the science they pay for -– science that previously allowed our city to be poisoned,” Neeley said in a statement.