Media Contact

Margie Kelly, NRDC,, 541-222-9699 
Ann Mullen,, 313-400-8562   

April 24, 2024


DETROIT, Mich. (April 24, 2024) – A decade after the Flint water crisis began and more than seven years after a major settlement was reached in the landmark citizen suit against the City of Flint and Michigan state officials, the City of Flint has failed to finish the lead pipe replacement program.

Earlier this year a federal court held the City of Flint in contempt for violating a February 2023 federal court order requiring the city to reach certain milestones in its lead pipe replacement program. Today, there remain almost 2,000 homes where residents have been living with damaged properties—some for years—caused by the lead pipe replacement program.Residents in several dozen homes are waiting for the City to check their pipes and remove them if they are made of lead.

The following are reactions to the City of Flint’s failure to finish the lead pipe replacement program on the 10-year anniversary of the water crisis:

“Flint's local government unleashed a public health nightmare on its own residents ten years ago. The people of Flint fought for justice, sounding an alarm about the dangers of lead pipes found all over America,” said Melissa Mays, one of the plaintiffs in the case and Operations Manager of Flint Rising.“We won’t stop fighting to fix Flint and stand ready to help others living with the threat of lead contamination from every glass of water they drink.”

“Ten years is too long to wait for safe drinking water and too long to secure justice that has been denied. I grew up in Flint and that experience built both my resolve and faith in the power of people to rise up in service to their community and their nation,” said Pastor Allen C. Overton of Concerned Pastors for Social Action. We will not stop pushing the City of Flint to successfully remove the wrecked lead pipes still delivering water to homes, and restoring yards and sidewalks damaged by the work to replace lead pipes.”

Sarah Tallman, a senior attorney with NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and lawyer in the case said, “Flint residents have been waiting far too long for the City to finish getting the lead pipes out. Ten years into this crisis, we expect the City to finish the job this year. I continue to be inspired by the persistence and fierce advocacy of community members in seeking the justice they are owed from the government.”

“Flint residents have been through enough and the City’s failure to replace all lead service lines has compounded their suffering,” said Bonsitu Kitaba, Deputy Legal Director for the ACLU of Michigan. “Flint residents deserve clean, safe drinking water and to have their properties repaired. We will continue to fight alongside the heroic efforts of our clients – and all the residents of Flint – until the City does what it should have done years ago.”


The 2017 settlement agreement mandated that Flint finish replacing lead service lines and restoring residents’ properties by January 2020. The deadline to finish the required excavations and pipe replacements was later extended to September 30, 2022, due to the COVID pandemic.   

Since then, the City repeatedly failed to finish the work it agreed to on time, missing deadlines and failing to keep accurate records of whether and where it had fixed damage to residents’ properties caused by pipe replacements. The contempt order issued in March 2024 came after plaintiffs filed five motions asking the court to enforce the settlement agreement.

For more information, see this NRDC guide, Flint Water Crisis: Everything You Need to Know.


NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Established in 1970, NRDC uses science, policy, law, and people power to confront the climate crisis, protect public health, and safeguard nature. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, Beijing and Delhi (an office of NRDC India Pvt. Ltd). Visit us atwww.nrdc.organd follow us on Twitter @NRDC.   

The ACLU of Michigan is a nonpartisan nonprofit that works to protect and expand the civil rights and civil liberties of all people.