FLINT, Mich. – The Latest on Flint’s lead-contaminated water crisis (all times local):
Actor Mark Ruffalo says people across the U.S. need to learn more about Flint’s lead-tainted water crisis.
Ruffalo, who is also the founder of a nonprofit organization that advocates for clean water called Water Defense, toured the Hurley Medical Center in Flint on Monday to get a firsthand look.
The Flint Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1TmoW2m ) that Ruffalo said the situation in Flint is “really only the tip of the iceberg of a kind of attitude towards our people and our resources that is happening everywhere in the United States.”
Ruffalo starred in “Spotlight,” which recently won the best picture Academy Award.
At Hurley, he met with Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, who faced scorn last year as she tried to expose dangerous levels of lead in Flint’s drinking water.
A class-action lawsuit stemming from Flint’s lead-contaminated water has been filed on behalf of residents against Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder as well as government officials and corporations.
The suit filed Monday alleges that tens of thousands of residents have suffered physical and economic injuries and damages. It argues officials failed to take action over “dangerous levels of lead” in drinking water and “downplayed the severity of the contamination.”
It seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.
Snyder’s spokesman Ari Adler didn’t immediately respond to an Associated Press email seeking comment.
Numerous lawsuits have been filed on behalf of Flint residents since a public health emergency was declared last year.
Water problems in Flint began after the city switched its water supply from Detroit’s system in 2014 to save money.
Flint’s mayor says Union Labor Life Insurance Co. has committed to bring $25 million in low-cost loans to help remove lead pipes and improve water quality.
Karen Weaver announced the funding Sunday, saying in a statement the investment from the labor-owned insurance and investment company “means that we can move forward to remove more lead lines and renew Flint’s infrastructure” amid the city’s crisis with lead-tainted water.
Weaver says the loans will help her Fast Start initiative that’s designed to replace all lead service lines in the city. The first residential lead pipe removal as part of the program took place Friday.
Water problems in Flint began after the city switched its water supply from Detroit’s system to the Flint River in 2014 to save money.