Leaders from around the globe gather for conference on Flint Water Crisis
The Flint Water Crisis is front and center this week as leaders from across the globe are gathering in the Vehicle City to hopefully learn from what went wrong.
"Mistakes were made. It's case of changing a water source and having aging infrastructure and some bad decisions but what you do is, you say how do we learn from that. How do we move forward and how do we make Flint a better and stronger place,” said Governor Rick Snyder, (R) Michigan.
In 2014 the City of Flint switched its drinking water source to the Flint River, but because the water was not properly treated lead from the pipes leeched into the tap water.
Nayyirah Shariff is attending the conference but unlike many of the people there she's actually lived this crisis since 2014, and is still unable to drink her tap water without a filter.
"I really felt it was important that someone from Flint was actually in the room,” said Shariff.
Addressing the crowd Governor Rick Snyder said he's going to push for new legislation now to change the lead and copper rule in Michigan, pointing blame at the federal rule.
"It's dumb and dangerous it needs to be updated,” said Snyder.
While Shariff agrees changes need to be made she feels it's not exactly the federal government's fault this crisis happened.
"States have always had the power to move above and beyond federal standards,” said Shariff.
One thing everyone agrees on is this crisis is not over. General Mike McDaniel is in charge of the city's FAST start pipe replacement program.
Despite missing the mark of wanting 1,000 lead service lines replaced in Flint last year he says they will have 6,000 switched out in 2017.
“I am confident that we'll be able to reach that goal,” said General Mike McDaniel, Coordinator of FAST Start Program.
This conference continues through Thursday.On Thursday part of it is open to the public in the afternoon. While people can just walk through the door and come in the DEQ is asking people to pre-register online.
There is still no timeline for when the city will be ready to end using pretreated water from Detroit, and begin treating raw lake water from the new KWA pipeline.
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says in early April she expects to have a better idea of that timeline, but says even if testing is to begin soon that phase will take at least six months.