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Flint may wind up in court over its water problems

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

In the next month, a Flint attorney expects to file for an injunction to force the city go back to getting its tap water from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

A year ago, the city of Flint flipped a switch, cutting off the DWSD pipeline. Since then, Flint has gotten its water from the Flint River.

The city’s water system has been plagued with problems ever since. Its tap water has at times been discolored, with an odd taste and smell. There have also been questions about the water’s safety.

Attorney Trashelle Young says it’s time to go back to Detroit.

“At this point … the decision has been made that legal action is necessary,” Young told a community meeting last night at Saints of God church on Flint’s north side. 

Young represents a group of Flint ministers. 

She’s collecting information from dozens of people who claim their health has been negatively affected by the city’s water.

Young says the injunction request is the first step. She’s hazier about the next step.

She says a class-action suit seeking damages for people affected by Flint’s water issues is a possibility. It depends on how many people provide information about their experiences with the city's tap water. 

Flint officials concede there have been problems.  

Flint’s emergency manager says the city, with the state treasury department’s OK, plans to spend $5 million to fix problems in the water system.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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