Court Says Citizens Can Sue Feds for Clean Water

A federal judge ruled on Friday (April 19, 2019) that residents of Flint, Michigan, can move forward with a lawsuit against the federal government regarding the city’s lack of clean drinking water. The government is not immune from legal action, ruled Judge Linda Parker of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.  She didn’t rule that the government was negligent in 2014 when Flint’s drinking water first became contaminated with lead, but said the Environmental Protection Agency could be sued by residents who have criticized the slow response to the crisis. EPA employees knew lead was leaching from old pipes, said Parker, saying the “lies went on for months while the people of Flint continued to be poisoned.” [The Associated Press, The Hill]

also from Jay Connor, The Root

The Flint, Mich., water crisis has weighed heavily on the hearts of those of us within the black community. But five years after its onset, it would appear that the city is now one step closer to finally leaving its deadly water infrastructure in the past.

Colorlines reports that on Monday, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality provided Flint with the remaining $77 million of a $120 million federal and state loan that was granted to the Vehicle City in March 2017, courtesy of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act of 2016.

The funding will be used for a number of projects, including installation of water quality monitoring panels, improving the Dort and Cedar Street Reservoir and Pump Station, construction of a new chemical feed building, water meter replacements for homes, replacement of the Northwest Transmission Main, and completion of a pipeline that will connect to a secondary water source.

According to state officials, this funding will help to ensure that Flint’s inadequate water system meets the quality standards that have been imposed to protect public health.

“These projects will help the short and long-term sustainability of the water system in the city of Flint,” Department of Public Works Director Rob Bincsik told MLive. “But as stated in the Water Distribution Optimization Plan, the water system needs in excess of another $300 million in capital improvements over the next 20 years.”

It’s estimated that Flint’s FAST Start pipe program, which will replace lead and galvanized steel water service lines throughout the city, will conclude in 2020 and replace approximately 20,000 lines.

Count this as another thing that Donald Trump had nothing to do with, but will more than likely take credit for.

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