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Motion filed to force water deliveries in Flint

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

A federal court is giving the state of Michigan and the city of Flint until Friday to show how they are complying with a court ruling ordering the immediate delivery of bottled water to Flint homes without working water filters.  

A federal judge issued the order more than a month ago.   Last week, a federal appeals court rejected a state request to put the order on hold.   Plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed a motion Wednesday to force the deliveries to start.  

Attorneys for the state argued complying with the judge’s order would cost $10 million dollars a month, and require resources to be diverted from other needs.

Henry Henderson is an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. He takes issue with state’s claims that the order to deliver water would be expensive and difficult.

“Either they have not read it, they’ve misinterpreted it, or they are deliberately misrepresenting what the order says,” says Henderson. “It’s not too much to ask to public officials to actually obey the laws of the United States and a court order.”

A governor’s spokeswoman says steps are being taken to comply with the order.

“The teams of state workers and Flint residents who perform filter installation, maintenance and education have visited more than 13,000 homes since the judge’s order was issued in November,” says spokeswoman Anna Heaton, “and the state continues to ramp up those efforts. Recruitment of Flint residents for these jobs is ongoing, with the goal of 160 outreach workers trained and working in each neighborhood by the end of January.”

She also notes that nine distribution centers continue to provide bottled water.  

But the state does not currently have the network needed for large scale water deliveries.  

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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