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Judge gives preliminary OK to $641M Flint water deal

In this March 21, 2016, file photo, the Flint Water Plant water tower is seen in Flint, Mich....
In this March 21, 2016, file photo, the Flint Water Plant water tower is seen in Flint, Mich. Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, Nick Lyon, former director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and other ex-officials have been told they're being charged after a new investigation of the Flint water scandal, which devastated the majority Black city with lead-contaminated water and was blamed for a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in 2014-15, The Associated Press has learned.(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 1:32 PM EST
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DETROIT (AP) - A judge has granted preliminary approval to a $641 million deal that would benefit Flint residents who were harmed by lead-contaminated water.

The settlement includes $600 million from the state of Michigan, although Flint, an area hospital and an engineering firm are also part of the agreement.

Federal Judge Judith Levy signed off in a 72-page opinion.

Her preliminary approval triggers a monthslong process during which Flint residents can object and pursue their own claims.

State regulators allowed Flint to use the Flint River in 2014-15 without treating the water to reduce corrosion. As a result, lead in old pipes broke off and flowed through taps.

Experts have also blamed the water for an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, which led to at least 12 deaths.

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)