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melissa mays

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder opened a conference on water infrastructure by pointing to Flint’s water crisis as a “warning signal.”

More than 300 water quality experts and water system vendors are in Flint for this week’s conference. The city’s lead-tainted tap water crisis has spurred concern about aging water systems across the country. 

In his keynote address, Gov. Snyder says Flint is not the only bellwether for infrastructure problems.

Melissa Mays (right) says she won't feel the water is safe until every home in Flint is tested.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A group of Flint residents and activists is worried government officials are gearing up to declare their water safe to drink without the testing they feel is needed to back it up.

Numbers released this month from the state and Virginia Tech show lead levels are improving overall.

Technically, Flint’s water may already meet federal standards for lead in tap water. Researchers and officials from all levels of government will meet early next month to go over all the data and determine next steps.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan officials are fighting a court order to start delivering bottled water directly to some Flint homes.

But local activists say that water is needed now, even as the case is appealed to a higher court.

Earlier this month, federal judge David Lawson ordered the state and the city of Flint to deliver cases of bottled water to homes without working water filters.  The filters are needed to screen out lead in the drinking water.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor says the city will do everything it can to abide by a federal judge’s order that bottled water should be delivered to households in need.   

Flint residents have been relying on water from distribution centers for nearly a year, since lead contaminated the city’s tap water. But what has become a daily chore for many in Flint can be too taxing for the elderly and disabled.

Mayor Karen Weaver says the city will reach out to the state for help, though she says bottled water is still only a “temporary fix.”  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

About a dozen protesters, many wearing red paint splashed clothes, tried to get Governor Snyder’s attention today. 

They held a ‘die-in’ outside a Flint conference room where the governor met with his top Flint water crisis advisors.

"We have no say over our future, over our recovery, over what’s coming through our pipes, over the pipes still being in the ground,” says activist Melissa Mays, “All we want is to have a voice in this.”

Governor Snyder did not see the protest.  He left the building through a side door. 

Activists form a bucket brigade to carry water from the state Capitol.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Activists came to the state Capitol today to dramatize the need for tens of millions of dollars to fix Flint’s damaged water system.

A line of people passed little buckets of water from a faucet inside the Capitol building to a 20-gallon drum outside. 

Ryan Bates with Michigan United says they wanted to show what it’s like to live in Flint without tap water people can trust. 

Bates says state lawmakers should be doing more to help.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal judge may have dealt a serious blow to people suing over the Flint water crisis.

U.S. District judge John Corbett O’Meara dismissed the class-action suit after finding the claims made by Flint residents couldn’t be resolved in federal court. 

At issue are claims made by the plaintiffs in the case that their constitutional rights and state law were violated by being required to pay for water that turned out to be tainted with lead. They believed that would fall under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

People in Flint say they have questions they want answered at this week’s congressional hearings into the city’s water crisis.

Starting Tuesday, former emergency manager Darnell Earley, former Flint Mayor Dayne Walling and Gov. Rick Snyder are scheduled to testify before the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform committee.  

Current and former officials with the Environmental Protection Agency are also scheduled to appear before the committee.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says she has a list of questions.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Chanting “No pipes, no peace," hundreds of people marched on Flint’s water plant today.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson led the marchers as they protested the city’s ongoing drinking water crisis.

Flint’s drinking water became contaminated with lead after an ill-fated decision to switch the city’s tap water source to the Flint River. Various agencies failed to ensure the water was properly treated to reduce its corrosiveness. The corrosive river water damaged aging lead pipes and lead solder, which has been leaching into the drinking water ever since.

Michael Pitt is one of the attorneys representing the people of Flint in these class action lawsuits
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Attorneys are hoping to sign up tens of thousands of Flint water customers for a class action lawsuit against the city and state.

The suit was filed Friday on behalf of four families.  

Attorney Trachelle Young says they are seeking damages for people suffering health problems because of Flint’s problem-plagued drinking water.

“I don’t think the community has any idea how truly extensive the damages are,” says Young.

Melissa Mays (right) says she won't feel the water is safe until every home in Flint is tested.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s water crisis is now the subject of a federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of four families was filed Friday.

The lawsuit singles out 14 state and local officials FOR “reckless” conduct connected to the decision to switch to and stay with the Flint River for the city’s drinking water source.  The lawsuit names Gov. Rick Snyder, former Flint Mayor Dayne Walling and former emergency manager Darnell Earley, among others.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

People in Flint say the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality needs to do more than admit mistakes in the handling of the city’s tainted water crisis.

Last week, Flint switched back to Detroit water after numerous problems with lead and other issues in the city’s drinking water. The head of MDEQ admits monitoring errors were made and a top agency official has been reassigned.    

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The demand for clean water is growing louder in Flint.

Dozens of people chanted “Fresh, Clean Water” as they jammed the lobby of Flint city hall Monday.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Critics say they have new reasons to demand the city of Flint go back to Detroit water.

“It’s time for us to stand up … speak up and tell this mayor to get out of town,” Pastor Allen Overton told a small crowd gathered outside Flint city hall on Monday. Overton and others are angry with Flint Mayor Dayne Walling and other city leaders for the city’s problem-plagued water system. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Dozens of people braved the arctic cold to march through downtown Flint today. 

Chants of “What do we want? Good water. When do we want it? Now!” echoed through downtown Flint.  

The protesters alternated between waving homemade signs and hunching over to ward off icy winds which knocked the wind chill well below zero.