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EPA loses key ruling as Flint residents pursue water claims

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DETROIT, MI (AP)— A judge has blocked the Environmental Protection Agency from appealing a key ruling in a long-running lawsuit claiming negligence by the federal government in Flint’s lead-contaminated water.

U.S. District Judge Judith Levy ruled in 2020 that Flint residents could sue the EPA. Now, two years later, she said she won’t put the case on hold to allow the government to appeal that decision to a higher court.

Starting in April 2014, Flint pulled water from the Flint River for 18 months without treating it to reduce corrosion. The water caused lead to be released from old pipes and into kitchen taps, bathrooms, and water heaters.

Much of the blame rested with regulators in Governor Rick Snyder’s administration, who didn’t require corrosion control. The state agreed to pay much of a $626 million settlement with Flint residents—mostly children—who were exposed to the water.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.