The Stream, April 23: Flint Residents Can Sue EPA Over Water Crisis, U.S. Judge Rules

The Global Rundown

A federal judge rules that the city of Flint, Michigan, can sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its failure to quickly intervene in the Flint water crisis. Australian lawmakers call for a royal commission to investigate controversial Murray-Darling Basin water buybacks. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) allots $118.2 million to Mozambique for rebuilding after Cyclone Idai. A water utility in Des Moines, Iowa, completes a new nitrate removal system. Drought and heat in Germany raise the likelihood of forest fires.

“(The court) can today state with certainty that the acts leading to the creation of the Flint Water Crisis, alleged to be rooted in lies, recklessness and profound disrespect have and will continue to produce a heinous impact for the people of Flint.” –Linda V. Parker, a U.S. District Judge, in reference to the city’s lead contamination crisis, which began in 2014. Parker ruled last week that Flint residents can sue the Environmental Protection Agency for its delayed intervention into the crisis. MLive

In context: Circle of Blue’s coverage of the Flint water crisis.

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By The Numbers

500 million Trees that died in Germany during last summer’s scorching heatwave. Now, drought and another round of heat, plus the millions of dead trees, are raising the risk of forest fires. The parched conditions are also disrupting the country’s crops. Deutsche Welle

$118.2 million Credit being given to Mozambique by the IMF to help reconstruct infrastructure in the wake of Cyclone Idai. The massive cyclone, which struck near port city Beira more than a month ago, left hundreds dead and wiped out entire villages. Rebuilding costs in Mozambique and other affected countries are expected to top $2 billion. Reuters

Science, Studies, and Reports

Des Moines Water Works recently completed a $2.5 million upgrade to its water system that will enable nitrate to be treated when it is removed during the purification process, instead of deposited into the local Raccoon River. The treated material can be utilized at farms, according to the Iowa utility. U.S. News & World Report

On the Radar

Controversy has emerged about $200 million in Murray-Darling Basin water buybacks that occurred in 2017, including unexplained dealings with a company domiciled in a tax haven. Several Australian lawmakers are calling for greater information, and possibly a royal commission into the situation. The Guardian

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