A judge has ruled that the city of Flint can now move forward with their lawsuits against the federal government in connection to the years-long water crisis.
Federal Judge Linda V. Parker ruled this week that the federal government was not immune from legal action. More than a dozen lawsuits have accused the Environmental Protection Agency of not intervening in time.
The judge, however, did not rule on the EPA’s negligence, only saying that the EPA “was well aware that the Flint River was highly corrosive and posed a significant danger of lead leaching“ into residents’ homes, the Associated Press reports.
“The impact on the health of the nearly 100,000 residents of the City of Flint remains untold,” Parker wrote in Thursday’s opinion and order. “It is anticipated, however, that the injury caused by the lead-contaminated public water supply system will affect the residents for years and likely generations to come.”
In April 2014, officials from the office of former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder approved funneling water from the Flint River for resident’s supply, reports CNN. The change from Lake Huron, the town’s previous water supply, provided a new water source that reportedly contained more salt and flowed through corroded pipes that were pulling lead into the water stream.
The EPA has yet to respond to the ruling.