Michigan Reaches $600 Million Flint Water Settlement

The money will go to children harmed by lead-tainted water, along with adult residents and businesses that suffered losses. NBC's Sarah Dallof reports.

FLINT, Mich. (NBC News) — The State of Michigan has agreed to pay $600 million to the victims of the Flint water crisis.

“It was our obligation to get the best possible settlement for the children and families of Flint as quickly as we could,” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in announcing the settlement.

The settlement directs the bulk of the money to claims filed on behalf of children who were found to have elevated lead levels in their blood.

Adults and businesses that suffered economic losses are also eligible.

In 2014 the cash-strapped city switched from Detroit’s water supply to the Flint River.

Residents were alarmed by the color and smell of their water after the change, but officials maintained the water was safe until 2015 when researchers at Virginia Tech reported it had abnormally high levels of lead.

That forced Flint families to use bottled water for more than a year. Some still are.

The state is working to replace lead water pipes and has set aside millions for early childhood programs, senior services and lead abatement projects in Flint.

“Healing Flint will take a long time. The uncertainty and troubles the people of Flint have endured is unconscionable,” Governor Whitmer said.

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