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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Pending decisions by two federal courts could affect Flint water crisis

For many Flint residents, trips to a nearby water distribution center is a regular part of life.
Steve Carmody
/
Michigan Radio
For many Flint residents, trips to a nearby water distribution center is a regular part of life.

Two federal courts are weighing legal arguments over requiring the government to deliver bottled water to Flint residents.

A federal judge ordered the state to make weekly home deliveries. The Snyder administration and water activists have filed dueling motions over the judge’s order.    

Attorneys for the state say the order would create an “insurmountable burden.”

“The state has decided that every bit of effort they are putting into this rather than complying with verifying that every home has safe water have instead sought to stay the order,” says Henry Henderson, with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Monday, the NRDC filed a motion with a federal appeals court to block the state’s request to overrule the lower court.

Both courts are expected to rule in the next few weeks.  

People in Flint can get bottled water from distribution centers around town, but for many elderly and other residents without cars or trucks to carry heavy cases of bottled water home, getting to and from the centers presents a challenge.  

Flint's drinking water remains unsafe to drink without a special filter due to the potential of lead contamination. Mistakes made treating Flint River water between 2014 and 2015 damaged pipes which continue to leech lead into people's tap water.   

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