1,700 Flint Residents Sue U.S. EPA for $722 Million in Damages

Flint residents are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for damages caused by exposure to lead in the city's drinking supply.

2 minute read

February 1, 2017, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Linda Parton / Shutterstock

"More than 1,700 Flint-area residents and property owners have filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the 'mishandling' of the city’s water crisis in a legal action seeking more than $722.4 million in damages," reports Jim Lynch.

The U.S. EPA cleared the way for the lawsuit when it failed to respond to an administrative claim last year, explains Lynch. The article includes a breakdown of the failings of the EPA, as alleged by the complaint. The $722.4 million figure "is a cumulative figure representing total damages claimed for various property and health issues," according to Michael Pitt, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, who is quoted in the article.

The article also includes a detailed history of the back and forth between the U.S. EPA and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality regarding the blame for the disaster with Flint's water—as well as the blame for the slow response to the crisis.

"A year ago, former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy vigorously defended her agency before a U.S. House of Representatives committee hearing," according to Lynch. "The crux of her March 17 defense was that the EPA was kept in the dark about details of the water crisis through poor communication from Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality."

Earlier in January, the Associated Press reported that Flint's water system had been restored to minimum federal standards for quality. That news was met with skepticism by many observers of the Flint crisis, however.

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