Quantcast

1,700 Flint Residents File Class-Action Lawsuit Against the EPA

Health + Wellness

By Sydney Robinson

More than 1,700 residents of Flint, Michigan, are seeking legal compensation in a class-action lawsuit against the U.S. government for the handling of the lead water crisis in their city.


The litigation has been a long time coming for a community that has suffered well over two years with poisoned water and for most of that time, the state and federal government denied there was a problem at all.

The lawsuit was filed on Monday and it lists more than 1,700 damaged citizens who claim that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed at every level of the crisis. The lawsuit alleges that the EPA failed to notify residents soon enough and did little to force state or local officials to take action to mitigate damages.

According to the lawsuit:

"This case involves a major failure on all levels of government to protect the health and safety of the public. Local, state and federal agencies and employees, working individually and at times in concert with each other, mismanaged this environmental catastrophe."

Already, several local state-appointed emergency managers have been arrested and charged in connection with deliberate decisions to endanger residents' lives in exchange for cost-cutting procedures. These criminal cases will likely contribute to the lawsuit as well.

Despite the fact that poisoned water in Flint has been common knowledge for about a year, residents have been told that they will likely need to continue drinking bottled water until 2020. Even as lead levels fall below the national threshold, the infrastructure for the new, clean water system will take years to complete.

In the meantime, these residents are hoping to receive compensation for the life-altering effects of lead poisoning. Even if the water became crystal clear tomorrow, the effects of their families being poisoned for an extended period of time will never lessen. Lead poisoning is particularly harmful to children who can experience significant cognitive impairments and learning disabilities as a result.

In short, compensation from the federal government is the least these people are entitled to, especially because their lives and the lives of their children will never be the same.

Reposted with permission from our media associate The Ring of Fire.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A dead sea lion on the beach at Border Field State Park, near the international border wall between San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico. Sherry Smith / iStock / Getty Images

While Trump's border wall has yet to be completed, the threat it poses to pollinators is already felt, according to the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, as reported by Transmission & Distribution World.

Read More Show Less
People crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on July 20, 2017 in New York City sought to shield themselves from the sun as the temperature reached 93 degrees. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

by Jordan Davidson

Taking action to stop the mercury from rising is a matter of life and death in the U.S., according to a new study published in the journal Science Advances.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Salmon fry before being released just outside San Francisco Bay. Jim Wilson / The New York Times / Redux

By Alisa Opar

For Chinook salmon, the urge to return home and spawn isn't just strong — it's imperative. And for the first time in more than 65 years, at least 23 fish that migrated as juveniles from California's San Joaquin River and into the Pacific Ocean have heeded that call and returned as adults during the annual spring run.

Read More Show Less
AnnaPustynnikova / iStock / Getty Images

By Kerri-Ann Jennings, MS, RD

Shiitake mushrooms are one of the most popular mushrooms worldwide.

Read More Show Less
Protesters hold a banner and a placard while blocking off the road during a protest against Air pollution in London. Ryan Ashcroft / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Dozens of students, parents, teachers and professionals joined a Friday protest organized by Extinction Rebellion that temporarily stalled morning rush-hour traffic in London's southeasten borough of Lewisham to push politicians to more boldly address dangerous air pollution across the city.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Jose A. Bernat Bacete / Moment / Getty Images

By Bridget Shirvell

On a farm in upstate New York, a cheese brand is turning millions of pounds of food scraps into electricity needed to power its on-site businesses. Founded by eight families, each with their own dairy farms, Craigs Creamery doesn't just produce various types of cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss and Muenster cheeses, sold in chunks, slices, shreds and snack bars; they're also committed to becoming a zero-waste operation.

Read More Show Less
Coal ash has contaminated the Vermilion River in Illinois. Eco-Justice Collaborative / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Jessica A. Knoblauch

Summers in the Midwest are great for outdoor activities like growing your garden or cooling off in one of the area's many lakes and streams. But some waters aren't as clean as they should be.

That's in part because coal companies have long buried toxic waste known as coal ash near many of the Midwest's iconic waterways, including Lake Michigan. Though coal ash dumps can leak harmful chemicals like arsenic and cadmium into nearby waters, regulators have done little to address these toxic sites. As a result, the Midwest is now littered with coal ash dumps, with Illinois containing the most leaking sites in the country.

Read More Show Less

picture-alliance / AP Photo / NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center

The Group of 20 major economies agreed a deal to reduce marine pollution at a meeting of their environment ministers on Sunday in Karuizawa, Japan.

Read More Show Less