Fed up with missed deadlines in line fixes that were supposed to wrap in 2020, Flint residents and advocacy groups want a federal judge to impose a new replacement deadline and make Flint do more to restore yards and sidewalks damaged by pipe excavations.
Judges upheld a lower court order dismissing charges against two Flint water crisis defendants. It’s the latest setback in Michigan Attorney Dana Nessel’s efforts to hold state government officials accountable. Prosecutors vow to appeal.
The Michigan Supreme Court unanimously rejected the use of a one-judge grand jury by Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office to indict the ex-governor and other Flint water crisis defendants. Snyder’s lawyers blasted prosecutors as “vindictive.”
U.S. District Court Judge Judith E. Levy denied motions to stop subpoenas for Snyder and four other government officials in a civil lawsuit. The former officials wanted to assert their right to remain silent given their pending criminal cases.
Lawyers’ large cut of the $626-million settlement is justified by the years of difficult, good work on the case, a judge said Friday. Critics argue that’s too much, and that more of the money should go directly to Flint residents.
The percentage of Michigan children with elevated blood lead levels has been falling for decades, but the toxic metal continues to inflict an uneven toll in Michigan cities, from Detroit to Grand Rapids.
New rules, imposed after Flint, forced public water providers to look harder for lead leaching into drinking water. Violations of state lead standards are up nearly 50 percent, with new urgency to remove lead from water lines.
The state’s stepped-up timeline follows pressure from local water activists who argue state and local government officials have been too slow to respond to lead-tainted water that has plagued the city for years.
Dangerously high lead levels have appeared in water tests in this low-income, majority Black community since 2018. Residents and activists say they fear the problem dates back longer, with Flint’s crisis as a backdrop.
It seemed like a good deal: The city offered free replacement of lead water lines to residents. But mistrust of the government, particularly in immigrant communities, and unclear messaging has made the operation a hard sell.