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3 To Be Charged in Flint Water Crisis

Rick Snyder flint water

Michigan’s attorney general will announce criminal charges Wednesday against two state regulators and a Flint employee, alleging wrongdoing related to the city’s lead-tainted water crisis, according to government officials familiar with the investigation.

The charges are the first to be levied in a probe that is expected to broaden. They will be filed against a pair of state Department of Environmental Quality officials and a local water treatment plant supervisor.

The charges include violating Michigan’s drinking water law, official misconduct, destruction of utility property and evidence tampering.

For nearly 18 months after Flint’s water source was switched while the city was under state financial management. Residents drank and bathed with improperly treated water that coursed through aging pipes and fixtures, releasing toxic lead.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder announced in October that the city would return from the Flint River to its earlier source of treated water, the Detroit municipal system. But by that time, dangerously high levels of the toxic metal had been detected in the blood of some residents, including children, for whom it can cause lower IQs and behavioral problems.

The city has been under a state of emergency for more than four months, and people there are using filters and bottled water.