6 years after Flint water crisis, Michigan's ex-governor to face charges

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The crisis has left parts of the majority Black city unable to access clean water for more than 2,400 days.
Rick Synder was governor of Michigan when the state approved a 2014 cost-saving plan that switched the city of Flint's water source from treated Detroit Water and Sewage Department water to the Flint River while a pipeline was built to Lake Huron. The water, however, was not treated to reduce corrosion, leading the majority-Black community of 100,000 to drink and use water laced with heavy metal neurotoxins, coliform bacteria, and lead. Some homes still lack access to clean water today.

Six years, 8 months, and three weeks since Flint's drinking water became contaminated, Snyder, his health director Nick Lyon, and at least seven other ex-officials have been told they're being charged for their role in the scandal.

In a 2016 testimony, the city's utilities chief explained the city's water treatment plant wasn't capable of adding corrosion-control treatment without equipment upgrades the budget-strapped city "couldn't afford." The untreated water then flowed through aging lead pipes used in much of the city, adding to the contamination.

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