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Flint resident Matt Hopper holds Nyla Hopper, 5, after she had her blood drawn to be tested for lead in January. Free lead screenings were performed for Flint children 6 and younger. > Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Help for Flint: Senate approves water funding bill

Donna Tam Sep 15, 2016
Flint resident Matt Hopper holds Nyla Hopper, 5, after she had her blood drawn to be tested for lead in January. Free lead screenings were performed for Flint children 6 and younger. > Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The U.S. Senate passed a bill today that authorizes $10.5 billion for water projects, including millions for cities suffering from water issues, like Flint, Michigan.

The funding includes $100 million in loans and grants for replacing lead-contaminated pipes, $50 million for lead testing in schools’ water systems and $70 million for infrastructure loans. The bill will also pay for watershed restoration and repairs for waterways and flood-control systems in other parts of the country. For Flint, the money is sorely needed.

Michigan’s Democratic senators said the funding’s approval comes too late, the Associated Press reported. Flint has been trying to recover from its lead-tainted drinking water system, which led to a reliance on bottled water. The issue not only highlighted the city’s infrastructure problems, but may also result in long-term lead exposure problems for children.

When Marketplace’s Lizzie O’Leary spent some time on the ground in Flint earlier this year, the estimated cost for the city’s repairs was between $700 million and $1 billion.

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