DETROIT –A federal judge today signaled that the first federal safe drinking water case on the Flint water crisis could proceed over protests from the City of Flint and Michigan state officials.

“We’re elated that the court has rebuffed efforts by state and city officials to skirt their legal and moral duty to provide Flint residents with safe drinking water,” said Michael J. Steinberg, Legal Director of the ACLU of Michigan, which filed the lawsuit along with the National Resources Defense Council, Flint activist group Concerned Pastors for Social Action and Flint resident Melissa Mays. “State-appointed emergency managers and other government officials poisoned the people of Flint and there is still no plan to replace the lead pipes. We desperately need this citizens’ lawsuit to force the government to fix this disaster and force the government to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act.”

“Safe drinking water is a right currently being denied to the people of Flint. We are ready to move ahead with our case so we can get lead out of our water and ensure that the children and families of Flint have safe water to drink in the future,” said Pastor Allen Overton of Concerned Pastors for Social Action.

“Unbelievably, Flint tap water is still not safe to drink more than two years after this crisis began. Now that the Court has rejected these first attempts by the City and state officials to dismiss our lawsuit, we’re focused on moving forward as quickly as possible to help secure safe drinking water in Flint,” said Dimple Chaudhary, Senior Attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.