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Flint-area residents seek $700M from EPA over water crisis
By Associated Press
Published February 9, 2017
The Flint Water Plant tower is seen, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016 in Flint, Mich. Flint is under a public health emergency after its drinking water became tainted when the city switched from the Detroit system and began drawing from the Flint River in April 2014 to save money. The city was under state management at the time. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

The Flint Water Plant tower is seen, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016 in Flint, Mich. Flint is under a public health emergency after its drinking water became tainted when the city switched from the Detroit system and began drawing from the Flint River in April 2014 to save money. The city was under state management at the time. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

More than 1,700 Flint-area residents and property owners are seeking more than $700 million in damages from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its handling of the city’s crisis with lead-tainted water.

The Detroit News and The Flint Journal report the agency didn’t respond to an administrative claim filed last year, clearing the way for Monday’s lawsuit in U.S. District Court.

EPA regional spokeswoman Anne Rowan declined to comment on the pending litigation. The EPA, however, has defended its handling of the crisis.

The complaint calling for $722.4 million in health and property damages says the EPA “failed to follow several specific agency mandates and directives.” It says the EPA failed to immediately determine if local and state officials were taking proper steps to address the crisis.

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