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By June, the EPA completed their testing of water filters in Flint and determined the filters “effectively remove lead or reduce it to levels below EPA’s action level of 15 parts per billion.” The filters decreased the need for infants, pregnant and nursing women to drink bottled water.
But the Flint Water Crisis probably one of the biggest issues of the year hasn’t gone away for the people who are affected by it, so it’s time to update where things are.The situation has become a legal mess that Michigan Gov. Several lawsuits have been filed against state and city government officials, including Governor Snyder, in regards to their negligence in the crisis.A Federal lawsuit against Snyder and other Michigan officials was filed in November 2015 and remains pending.The lawsuit alleges that the government’s decision to switch to the Flint River water has resulted in members of the families suffering skin lesions, hair loss, convulsions, autoimmune disorders, hypertension and depression.Each of the families are requesting lifetime medical monitoring for the children effected by the contaminated water, damages, and a private overseer of future city water operations.A team of lawyers from across the state of Michigan have also filed two separate class-action lawsuits.
One lawsuit is aimed at stopping city officials from charging residents for past and future water deemed undrinkable on water bills.
Less than two weeks later, President Barack Obama declared the situation a state of emergency, prompting federal support for the embattled city.
Though filters and bottled water have been distributed, city and state officials say they cannot gauge a timeline for the end of the crisis. District Judge David Lawson’s court order, city and state reps are required to deliver at least four cases of water per resident every week, unless the residence has working water filters or decline the services. Water filters, cartridges, and bottled water have been available for Flint residents since January at select locations throughout Genesee County.
A handful of officials, including Flint’s emergency manager, regional EPA director, and several Michigan Department of Environmental Quality employees have either resigned, been fired or charged for their roles in the crisis. Filters have been used as one of the few safe solutions, but not everyone can use them.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, FEMA began donating more than 50,000 filters and over 243,000 filter replacement cartridges to the State of Michigan in January.
An opinion poll, conducted by Target Insyght/MIRS News in May found that 70% of Flint residents polled don’t trust the Government’s promises that filtered water is safe to drink.