Press Release

Flint Drinking Water Fails to Meet Federal Standards, Yet Michigan Ready to Close the Case on the Water Crisis

Michigan officials’ recent assertions that Flint’s water system is in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act are false; the data simply do not show that the system’s lead pipes have fully recovered from the damage caused by the switch to the Flint River nearly three years ago.

CHICAGO – State of Michigan officials met with regional Environmental Protection Agency staff behind closed doors to discuss water safety data for Flint yesterday and will share data with community members in a town hall meeting tonight.

Michigan officials’ recent assertions that Flint’s water system is in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act are false; the data simply do not show that the system’s lead pipes have fully recovered from the damage caused by the switch to the Flint River nearly three years ago.

The City of Flint and State of Michigan are currently under a court order requiring them to verify that all homes served by the Flint water system have properly installed water filters and that the filters are periodically maintained. If officials cannot verify that a home has a properly functioning filter, they must deliver bottled water to the home on a weekly basis.

Following are reactions from groups and Flint residents who are suing the City of Flint and State of Michigan under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act:

“Telling people the water was safe when it wasn’t created this disaster in the first place. Given the history of the State’s deception about the water, I’d hope they’d be proceeding with more caution, rather than making statements that may worsen the community’s deep distrust of the government,” said Pastor Allen Overton, of the Concerned Pastors for Social Action.

“Lead levels in Flint’s water have not yet been minimized as the law requires. The State’s claims reflect the same kind of careless interpretation of EPA regulations that got Flint into this mess in the first place,” said Henry Henderson, Midwest Program Director with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “Everyone is looking forward to the day when the people of Flint will be served safe drinking water that meets requirements set forth under the law. But that day isn’t here yet,” said Henderson.

Concerned Pastors for Social Action, Flint resident Melissa Mays, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the ACLU of Michigan filed for a preliminary injunction as part of a case brought under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.  More at: https://www.nrdc.org/media/2016/160324

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For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country. The ACLU of Michigan was officially established in 1959 as part of that mission.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us atwww.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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