Michigan tries to block court-ordered water bottle delivery to Flint

© Kevin Lamarque
Michigan officials are fighting a federal court order to deliver water to the residents of Flint to ease the damage of lead contamination. The state argues the bottle distribution would be unnecessary to ensure residents have safe drinking water.

Earlier this month, US District Court Judge David Lawson issued a preliminary injunction ordering the state to provide bottled water in door-to-door deliveries for Flint residents where authorities couldn’t provide functioning water systems. However, on Thursday the state filed a federal court announcing their plans to appeal.

"The required injunction far exceeds what is necessary to ensure Flint residents have access to safe drinking water," attorneys for Michigan state wrote in a filing asking that the deliveries should be paused pending their appeal.

The state is claiming that this service will come with a monthly $10.5 million fee and could result in a series of unpleasant side effects, such as overwhelming the recycling system or undermining the state’s system of distributing water at specific sites and delivering to senior citizens, Detroit News reported.

But some in Flint see this as the state’s way of shirking responsibility. Pastor Allen Overton, a plaintiff and member of Concerned Pastors for Social Action wrote in a statement that the appeal is a sign that the state “continues to disenfranchise the community of Flint.

Judge Lawson heard the testimony of several plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Michigan state who argued that Flint residents were in favor of the home delivery, because they found picking up water on a near daily basis to be a burden. Lawson ultimately ruled in their favor, writing, “Indeed, the endeavor of hunting for water has become a dominant activity in some Flint residents’ daily lives.

The plaintiffs have until November 23 to submit a response.