SEBRING, Ohio — An attorney for a former water plant operator accused of failing to notify residents of an Ohio village about lead in their drinking water says state regulators should take the blame.

But an attorney for the state says it was the plant operator who was responsible for telling the public.

Both sides were in court in the northeast village of Sebring this week for a hearing.

The Youngstown Vindicator reports former Sebring water plant operator James Bates is set for trial in May. He has pleaded not guilty to three counts of noncompliance with drinking water notification rules.

Bates came under scrutiny in January 2016 when Sebring schools closed and pregnant women and small children were warned not to drink tap water after high lead levels were detected months earlier.

Information from: The Vindicator,

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