Several groups returned back to federal court Wednesday and pushed for Michigan state and city officials’ compliance with a judge’s order for delivering bottled water to certain households in Flint, reported the Detroit Free Press.
A federal judge ordered state and city defendants to deliver water to homes without a “properly installed and maintained” water filter in November, but the defendants have yet to comply with the order, writes the news outlet:
The state has said the delivery is too expensive, unnecessary, and counterproductive because it would decrease use of filtered tap water, which helps to cleanse the piping system. State officials said in a recent court filing that the order should be revoked because lead levels in the tap water in Flint now meets or exceeds federal safety guidelines. At the same time, state officials continue to tell Flint residents not to drink the tap water without a filter.
Anna Heaton, a spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Snyder, denied the state is dragging its feet. “We continue to work toward compliance with Judge Lawson’s order,” Heaton said Wednesday. “The state does not currently possess the network necessary to immediately provide bottled water delivery to each household.”
Heaton said teams of state workers and Flint residents who perform filter installation, maintenance and education have visited more than 13,000 homes since the judge’s order was issued in November, and the state continues to ramp up those efforts. She said requests for delivery of bottled water and filters are met within 24 hours and nine distribution centers are open, where residents can pick up free water.
U.S. District Judge David Lawson, who is managing the case with plaintiffs including the American Civil Liberties Union and Flint resident Melissa Mays, ordered the city and state to respond by Friday, according to the Detroit Free Press.
In related news, Gov. Rick Snyder approved the addition of $1.5 million to his contract for legal services with the defense firm preparing his case for fighting possible criminal charges stemming from the Flint water crisis, reported MLive.com.