FLINT, Michigan (AP) – Michigan’s attorney general is suing two companies, blaming them for Flint’s lead-tainted water crisis.
Attorney General Bill Schuette says he filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Genesee County Circuit Court against Veolia North America and Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam. The suit says the companies were hired by the state and city, and that their actions and omissions caused the crisis to “occur, continue and worsen.”
Two months ago, the state filed criminal charges against two state environmental regulators and a city of Flint water employee.
The two engineering companies say they’re deeply disappointed and will vigorously defend themselves.
Veolia North America says it was hired nearly a year after Flint began using the Flint River as a water source. The company says its job was to deal with discoloration, taste and issues unrelated to lead.
Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam – known as LAN – says Attorney General Bill Schuette has “blatantly mischaracterized” LAN’s role in Flint. It says it had nothing to do with operating the water plant or failing to add corrosion control to the water.
Flint’s drinking water was switched from a Detroit system to the Flint River in 2014, but the supply was not properly treated, resulting in corrosion of lead pipes and elevated lead levels in some children.