Safe Water for the People of Flint

September 14, 2016

After the State of Michigan stripped the residents of Flint of their ability to elect local representatives, state-appointed officials decided to use the Flint River as a water source without adding corrosion controls.  As a result, lead leached from the water pipes and poisoned the drinking water, causing untold harm to the people of Flint. 

After ACLU of Michigan investigative journalist Curt Guyette helped to expose the water crisis, the ACLU of Michigan and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a federal lawsuit against state and city officials seeking a court order requiring them to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act.  The goal of the lawsuit, filed in January 2016, is to require the state and the city to replace the lead pipes and, in the meantime, ensure that officials deliver safe drinking water. 

In July 2016 Judge David Lawson denied the state and local governments’ motions to dismiss.  In September 2016 we presented evidence at a hearing on why the court should order the government to deliver bottled water to vulnerable residents and conduct a door-to-door audit to make sure that all resident have properly working water filters. 

(Concerned Pastors for Social Action v. Khoury; Michael J. Steinberg and Brooke Tucker of the ACLU of Michigan; Dimple Chaudhary and Sarah Tallman of NRDC; co-counsel Glenn Simmington.)

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