A Federal Judge has ruled that residents of Flint, Michigan, can proceed with the lawsuits they have filed against the federal government in connection with the city’s water crisis
Judge Linda Parker, who serves as a judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan said the government is not immune from a lawsuit.
“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 lawsuits claim the Environmental Protection Agency was too slow to intervene in the crisis.
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.
She also stated that the EPA knew the health risks posed by lead exposure and Flint officials “were not warning Flint’s residents that they were being supplied lead-laced water. On 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.
Flint’s water issues arose after it was found that after switching sources from Lake Huron to the Flint River in 2014, which according to Virginia Tech researchers, is 19 times more corrosive.