Flint, MI Residents Can Now Sue the Federal Government Over Water Crisis

Flint, MI Residents Can Now Sue the Federal Government Over Water Crisis

By Linda Parton

photo credit: Linda Parton // Shutterstock

For years, Flint, Michigan has not seen clean water. The water running through their city has been contaminated with lead since 2014, and the residents have now been given the green light to take legal action against the federal government over the issue.

Judge Linda V. Parker has ruled that Flint residents can proceed with lawsuits they have filed against the federal government in connection to the water crisis. The lawsuits against the federal government allege that the EPA “negligently responded to the water crisis,” according to the court ruling.

“The impact on the health of the nearly 100,000 residents of the City of Flint remains untold,” Judge Parker wrote in Thursday’s opinion and order. “It is anticipated, however, that the injury caused by the lead-contaminated public water supply system will affect the residents for years and likely generations to come.”

The judge didn’t rule on the EPA’s negligence, but she wrote that “The EPA was well aware that the Flint River was highly corrosive and posed a significant danger of lead leaching” into residents’ homes. Adding that the EPA also knew the health risks posed by lead exposure and that Flint officials “were not warning Flint’s residents that they were being supplied lead-laced water. Quite to the contrary, the EPA learned that State and local officials were misleading residents to believe that there was nothing wrong with the water supply,” the judge wrote.

An EPA employee noted that lead contamination could have been avoided by adding corrosion control chemicals to city water.

Written by Clarke Jones

Source: The Hill