Flint, Michigan Files Negligence Claim Against EPA
The city of Flint, Michigan, with a population of nearly 100,000, has filed a claim against the EPA, stating that the agency is responsible for the city's lead-contaminated water. Flint residents, 513 of whom made the claim, are demanding $220 million from the EPA.
Earlier this week, Flint residents filed a claim, along with the help of their attorney, Michael Pitt, alleging that the EPA is responsible for the lead-contaminated water in their city. According to Pitt, a researcher said that the lead count was found to be too high in the drinking water last year, but the public wasn't notified. Pitt says that the "injuries to the people of Flint could have been avoided or minimized" if EPA would have taken the correct action last June.
The city residents also claim that the EPA was aware that corrosion control in the city's water system was not being properly conducted – in February 2015. There was even an environmental violation regarding Flint's water dating back to October 2014, resulting in a complaint from resident Jan Burgess. "A timely investigation into her allegations would have caused the EPA to take action," Pitt wrote in the claim. "The investigation did not take place until April 9, 2016. A timely response to the Report of Environmental Violation would have prevented the injuries to the Flint water users."
So far, 513 Flint residents have filed the claim and another 250 residents are expected to be added to the claim soon.
"The EPA's own Miguel Del Toral blew the whistle on this catastrophe at a time when much of the injury to the people of Flint could have been prevented," Pitt said. "The EPA heard the alarm bell loud and clear but chose to ignore the profound environmental and public health issues brought to its attention in the early stages of this disaster."