Flint Residents Seek $700 Million From EPA Over Water Crisis
As Flint, Michigan, continues to try and treat the water quality of the city after being affected by lead levels that has made the water unsafe, residents and property owners have put the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to task.
In a report from the Associated Press, over 1,700 people from the city are seeking more than $700 million in damages from the agency, for the city's handling of the crisis.
The complaint is calling for $722.4 million in health and property damages, and claims that the EPA "failed to follow several specific agency mandates and directives." The statement also adds that the EPA failed to immediately determine if local and state officials were taking proper steps to address the crisis.
The lawsuit was made in the U.S. District Court in Michigan this past Monday, after the EPA failed to respond to an administrative claim filed last year.
Three months ago a Michigan judge had determined that the people of Flint could sue state officials over the contaminated water. Michigan Court of Appeals judge Mark T. Boonstra gave the official approval, which allowed resident to sue Michigan Governor Rick Synder; two former Flint emergency managers; and Michigan's departments of Health and Human Services and Environmental Quality.
Boonstra disagreed against arguments made by state officials who felt that since the lawsuit was filed six months after the beginning of the water debacle, they should be dismissed.
"Were the court to accept defendants' position, it would have to find that the plaintiffs' claims are barred because they should have filed suit (or notice) at a time when the state itself was stating that it lacked any reason to know that the water supply was contaminated," Boonstra's ruling read.
At the very least a number of artists and entertainers have helped in fighting the Flint water crisis. Big Sean recently appeared on The Daily Show, where he revealed that he donated $100,000 to the cause.