More than 1,700 residents of Flint, Michigan, on Monday filed [complaint, PDF] a class action lawsuit against the US, claiming that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] has failed to respond to damage claims arising from the Flint water crisis. The claims total $722 million. The suit alleges that the EPA has failed to fulfill its responsibilities under the Federal Tort Claims Act [text], which allows federal agencies to settle claims against the US. The claim notes that Flint residents were exposed to dangerously high lead contents for nearly 18 months, and that “as of November 25, 2016, the two and one half year anniversary [of the Flint water crisis], the water delivered to the people of Flint remains unsafe to drink, use for cooking or use for bathing.”
These claims are some of the myriad of legal actions taken in response to the Flint water crisis. In December Michigan’s Attorney General announced [JURIST report] that felony charges were filed against four former state officials connected with the Flint water crisis, with maximum prison sentences of 46 years available to the prosecutors. That same month a federal court affirmed [JURIST report] a lower court decision requiring the state of Michigan to provide bottled water to Flint residents. Last September the US Senate approved legislation to provide $100 million in emergency funding to repair pipes in cities suffering from lead contamination.