The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App

Senate Democrats propose $600 million plan to help Flint

A group of Democratic lawmakers from Michigan's congressional delegation is proposing legislation that would provide $600 million in aid to help Flint recover from its water crisis.

Offered by Sens. Gary Peters, Debbie Stabenow and Rep. Dan Kildee, the proposal is an amendment to a major energy bill under consideration in the Senate.

The measure would provide up to $400 million in new federal emergency funding to the EPA to help replace or fix lead-contaminated water pipes, hire new personnel and cover the cost of technical assistance.

The bill would also establish and fund a $200 million Center of Excellence on Lead Exposure that would address long-term needs of children and adults who have been exposed to lead.

In a letter to President Obama in mid-January, Michigan's Republican governor, Rick Snyder, estimated that the cost of replacing Flint's water supply infrastructure would be more than $767 million.

Last week, Mr. Obama said the federal government would make $80 million in federal funding available to Flint.

The crisis dates all the way back to 2014 when a state-appointed emergency manager decided to switch Flint's water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River to save money. But the water from that river was corrosive and caused lead to seep into old pipes.

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.