A federal judge ruled that the government can be sued by residents who claim the Environmental Protection Agency took too long to intervene in the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, according to an Associated Press report. Federal Judge Linda Parker said employees at the EPA knew lead from old pipes was seeping into the city’s water supply because it wasn’t being properly treated, and knew the city was misleading its residents about the water’s quality. Judge Parker acknowledged that the city’s “lies went on for months,” leaving EPA employees susceptible to a lawsuit. The agency has not yet responded to the AP’s request for comment. The city of Flint has been the target of multiple class-action and personal injury lawsuits from residents.