More than 1,700 residents living in the Flint-area in Michigan are suing the the US Environmental Protection Agency for the handling of its man-made water crisis.
Residents and property owners filed a lawsuit on Monday at the US District Court in Michigan, the Associated Press reports. They’re seeking $722.4 million in health and property damages claiming the EPA failed to follow “specific agency mandates and directives.” The suit also claims the EPA did not hold local and state officials accountable so they would take immediate steps to fix the toxic water.
Last week, the city reached its 1,000th day without safe drinking water. It’s been nearly two years since high-levels of lead were discovered in the city’s water supply and the lead content has finally fallen below the federal limit. Still, state authorities are urging residents to refrain from drinking the water and to use filtered water when drinking and cooking.
“It is nowhere near the end of the story,” Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician who helped expose the lead crisis, recently told the Washington Post, adding the city still needs to replace thousands of lead pipes that could take years to address.
“Once those lead pipes are replaced,” she added, “then hopefully the people of Flint will regain the trust that has been shattered in their drinking water.”