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Judge gives preliminary OK to $641M Flint water deal

Flint Water Tower photo
Associated Press
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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.