While it’s absolutely the state of Michigan’s fault for the debilitating water crisis in Flint, officials on behalf of Gov. Rick Snyder believe that being forced to deliver fresh water to residents is too much of a burden.
According to the Detroit Press, last week, U.S. Circuit Judge David M. Lawson handed down a 37-page opinion that requires the state to provide four cases of water per resident each week unless state and city officials can prove that each resident has a properly installed and maintained faucet water filter. He also ruled that the state and city have to provide information to residents “about the current state of the water distributed through the system, proper use and maintenance of filters, and points of distribution of bottled water.”
Now, state officials are fighting against that order, arguing in court that these efforts would require a “Herculean effort” that would cost Michigan at least $10.45 million a month.
In addition, state attorneys recently asked Judge Lawson to hold off on his recent order, while the state prepares an appeal. In a motion lawyers filed in court, they wrote that this particular requirement increases “the scope of the State’s emergency response to an unnecessary and insurmountable degree, particularly in light of the injunction’s time constraints,” the newspaper noted.
“The required injunction far exceeds what is necessary to ensure Flint residents have access to safe drinking water,” attorneys for Michigan Treasurer Nick Khouri and the Flint Receivership Transition Advisory Board said in court on Thursday.
But, the state’s Democratic leader Jim Ananich pointed out the obvious.
“If the governor had made a Herculean effort to address this crisis from the start, they wouldn’t need to continue this legal maneuvering,” Ananich stressed.
Oh, and did we mention that residents have been told that they should only drink water that is bottled or filtered. So without assistance, what are they supposed to do?
As HelloBeautiful previously reported, in April 2014, in order to save money, Gov. Snyder switched the water supply from the Detroit water system to the Flint River, a body of water known to have copious amounts of trash, pollution and iron. And despite residents complaining for 18 months afterwards that something was “funny” about the water, officials assured them that everything was fine, offering them water filters to relieve their anxiety.
During this time, there have been numerous reports of hair loss, thousands exposed to dangerous toxins and thousands of children have been diagnosed with lead poisoning. And while the water was switched back in October of 2015, Flint residents continue to stand up and speak out, most notably filing a class-action lawsuit against Gov. Snyder and the State of Michigan.