Judge says US government can be sued for Flint water crisis

National/World
Flint Water_235915

FILE – In this March 21, 2016 file photo, the Flint Water Plant water tower is seen in Flint, Mich. Michigan environmental officials announced Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, that Flint’s water system no longer has levels of lead exceeding the federal limit. The finding by the Department of Environmental Quality is good news for a […]

A judge says the federal government can be sued by Flint residents who blame the Environmental Protection Agency for waiting too long to intervene in the city’s water crisis.

Federal Judge Linda Parker didn’t determine whether EPA employees were negligent when Flint’s water system became contaminated with lead in 2014 and 2015. The decision at this stage is more narrow, with the judge saying Thursday that the government isn’t immune to a lawsuit.

Parker says EPA employees knew lead was leaching from old pipes because Flint’s water wasn’t being properly treated. She says the EPA also knew that Michigan regulators were misleading residents about the quality of the water.

The judge says the “lies went on for months.”

The Associated Press sent an email to the EPA seeking comment Friday.

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