Judge denies man's request to reinstate free water program in Flint
A judge has denied a man's request to resume the program that distributed free bottled water to the residents of Flint, Michigan.
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The case involved a Flint man who said his home’s tap water is contaminated with high levels of lead, according to local outlet MLive. But it is also part of a larger view of the water crisis that has impacted residents in Flint for nearly four years.
The argument made April 20 was not convincing enough for U.S. District Judge Judith E. Levy, MLive reported. If compelled, Levy could have ordered the state to immediately resume the state-funded bottled water distribution in Flint.
The requests for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction were denied, according to MLive.
Resident Allen Bryant Jr. filed the lawsuit seeking the continued distribution of free water. According to the complaint, Bryant’s home registered more than 1,300 parts per billion (ppb) of lead when tested earlier this year, MLive reported. The federal action limit is 15 ppb.
But Bryant is no longer living at the home, and when asked, turned down an opportunity to have a water filtration system added, Levy noted, MLive reported.
The hearing held in downtown Ann Arbor lasted a couple hours, according to MLive.
It came two weeks after the program providing free water stopped.
At one point there were nine free bottled water distribution points in Flint, referred to as “water pods” by residents. There were only four left when the centers were closed earlier this month.
Republican Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said then the state would stop supplying free bottled water to Flint residents because the water quality there had “tested below action levels of the federal Lead and Copper Rule for nearly two years.”
But resident Arthur Woodson said promises haven’t been kept and people still need help. “It seems like we worse now than when the crisis first started,” he told ABC News.
Resident Juani Olivares told ABC News folks just aren’t ready.
“The children don’t want to touch the faucets, they are traumatized," Olivares said. "We are all traumatized.”
Olivares, who is the president and CEO of the Genesee County Hispanic Latin Collaborative-La Placita, said there’s still a lot of work to do.
High levels of poverty and illiteracy have compounded the issue, in addition to deeply rooted trust issues, according to residents who spoke to ABC News.News - Judge denies man's request to reinstate free water program in Flint