Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

"For most Americans, getting safe drinking water is as easy as turning on the kitchen faucet. This is still not true in Flint, more than two years after the crisis began," said Dimple Chaudhary, a senior attorney with the NRDC. (Photo: George Thomas/flickr/cc)

Emergency Action Sought in Flint, Where Some Still Can't Get Clean Water

As Donald Trump visits city, activists and environmental groups refuse to be his photo op

Nadia Prupis

Emergency action needs to be taken for Flint, Michigan residents, two years into its lead poisoning crisis, as many residents still don't have access to clean water, a coalition of environmental and human rights groups said on Wednesday.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Concerned Pastors for Social Action, and Flint resident Melissa Mays on Wednesday are filing a preliminary injunction for emergency action in Flint to "ensure everyone has access to safe water—as well as the trust and confidence that their water is safe, a guarantee that most every other community in America has assumed for decades," as Pastor Allen Overton said. The two-day hearing begins Wednesday in a federal courtroom in Detroit, where a judge will hear arguments for the motion.

"Churches and volunteer organizations are struggling to keep up with the demand for services—bottled water, filters, and more—as money and volunteers dry up and leave us to fix this mess on our own," Pastor Overton said, adding that the guarantee of safe water "is still a long way off in Flint."

The injunction seeks to secure delivery of bottled water to homes in the city.

"It's unconscionable that, more than two years after the public learned that the water in Flint was poisoned with lead, so many residents still don't have safe drinking water."
—Michael Steinberg, legal director ACLU-Michigan

"For most Americans, getting safe drinking water is as easy as turning on the kitchen faucet. This is still not true in Flint, more than two years after the crisis began," said Dimple Chaudhary, a senior attorney with the NRDC. "Many residents, including the elderly and those without cars, are struggling to travel to bottled water distribution sites, and confusion remains about how to install and use home faucet filters. This situation will not improve until a federal court steps in to compel state and city officials to act."

"It's extremely important that improvements be made on the current recovery 'efforts' in Flint made by the City and State of Michigan," said Flint resident Melissa Mays. "Residents are still going without access to safe water. Those who do not have reliable transportation or cannot lift a 26.5 pound case of bottled water are slipping through the cracks during such a precarious and dangerous time. This must end."

Michael Steinberg, legal director of ACLU Michigan, added: "Without the court ordering the city and state government to deliver bottled water, children, the elderly and the poor in Flint will continue to struggle to find consistent access to clean, safe water. It's unconscionable that, more than two years after the public learned that the water in Flint was poisoned with lead, so many residents still don't have safe drinking water."

The injunction came as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump headed to Flint for a campaign rally, ostensibly seeking to reach out to black voters.

But Flint residents were not interested in being his photo-op, and, in fact, had a question regarding his newfound interest in the community—where the hell have you been?

Desiree Duell, a Flint mother and activist with the organization Flint Rising, said during a press conference Wednesday, "I'm here to call on Donald Trump to stop using the Flint water crisis as a prop for his campaign. Not once since the beginning of his campaign has Trump addressed the crisis, despite ample opportunity. We have been denied clean, safe water for more than two years and we want Donald Trump to know that we need a real solution to this crisis, not empty rhetoric or more of the same 'run government like a business' mentality that led to this crisis in the first place."

Ron Bieber, president of the Michigan AFL-CIO, also said, "Less than 60 days before the election and now Donald Trump rolls into town for a photo op. Give me a break. Where the hell have you been?"

Trump has vowed to slash funding to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the NRDC pointed out. Under a Trump administration, warned the group's Action Fund president Rhea Suh, every community could be Flint.

"Donald Trump's belated show of concern for Flint rings hollow," she said. "This is a man who wants to gut the Environmental Protection Agency and roll back our bedrock public health safeguards. In a Trump regime, every community will be a potential Flint."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Wall Street-Funded Democrat PAC to Spend $1 Million in Bid to Unseat Tlaib: Report

"Imagine spending $1 million to oust Rashida Tlaib instead of organizing in Detroit to make sure Michigan goes blue," quipped one progressive group.

Brett Wilkins ·


Parents Demand Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty 'For the Sake of the Children'

"We cannot remain silent as the fossil fuel industry and world leaders rob our children of a livable future," parents from 32 nations wrote in an open letter.

Brett Wilkins ·


'We Can Do Better' Than Biden's Paltry Student Debt Relief Plan, Says AOC

The president's approach, said the New York Democrat, is "just enough to anger the people against it *and* the people who need forgiveness the most."

Julia Conley ·


Right-Wing Supreme Court Poised to Make US Gun Carnage Even Worse

The U.S. Supreme Court's right-wing majority could soon "obliterate even the mildest of gun regulations in service of its gun lobby masters."

Kenny Stancil ·


'Enough Is Enough!': Thousands Protest Outside NRA Convention in Texas

"I'm just tired of the NRA subordinating children's rights for gun rights," said one gun lobby opponent just three days after the school massacre in Uvalde.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo