UMich study finds correlation between Flint water crisis and poor academic performance

Read the full story in the Michigan Daily.

A recent University of Michigan study found a correlation between the Flint water crisis and a decrease in academic performance for school-age children.

In April 2014, the city of Flint switched its drinking water supply from Detroit’s system to the Flint River to save money. However, later studies revealed elevated levels of lead in the blood of the city’s residents. The city switched its water source to Lake Huron in 2015, but the damage had already been done—approximately 99,000 residents had already been exposed to lead poisoning. Former Governor Rick Snyder and eight former state officials faced criminal charges for the Flint water crisis in 2021. 

Samuel Owusu, a research analyst at the Educational Policy Initiative, said one of the defining aspects of the study was its use of non-educational data—data not relating to academic, educator, demographic and student information—to show the effect the Flint water crisis had on student performance.

Lawyers may get close to $180 million in Flint water crisis settlement

Read the full story at Bridge Michigan.

Lawyers who helped win a $626-million legal settlement tied to the Flint water crisis could receive close to $180 million for their work, according to terms set forth in a federal judge’s ruling Friday. It’s less than they requested, but considerably more than critics say should go to lawyers for such a large class-action award.

In her decision, U.S. District Court Judge Judith Levy adjusted some of the lawyers’ requested fees downward, leaving them to collect expenses and fees coming to what she described as “less than 31.33 percent” of the total settlement amount of $626.25 million.

Nine Former Michigan Officials, Including Ex-Gov. Rick Snyder, Charged in Flint Water Crisis

Read the full story from PBS.

It was a moment many in Flint, Michigan, feared would never come.

More than six years after residents learned they had been exposed to lead-contaminated drinking water and a deadly disease outbreak, top leadership in the state and city at the time have been indicted on criminal charges in connection with their role in the crisis.

The sweeping criminal cases announced Thursday include Rick Snyder, the former Republican governor; Snyder’s top aide and his chief of staff; as well as both the state’s top doctor and health official during the crisis, who face the most severe charges: nine counts of involuntary manslaughter each, as well as official misconduct and neglect of duty for “grossly negligent performance.”

Years After Flint Water Crisis, Lead Lingers in School Buildings

Read the full story at Great Lakes Now.

The federal appropriations bill for the 2021 fiscal year, signed into law this week, included $26.5 million to test for lead in schools and child care centers, a nod to the legacy of the Flint water crisis, which lifted the issue of lead in drinking water into the national spotlight.

The bill was signed a week after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency introduced new requirements for water utilities to test water in elementary schools and day cares for lead.

The Flint crisis spurred a national conversation on the dangers of exposing children to lead. “It really alters the entire life-course trajectory of a child,” Mona Hanna-Attisha, a Flint pediatrician, told Circle of Blue. Hanna-Attisha’s research helped uncover the extent of the city’s lead contamination, revealing elevated lead levels in the blood of children who ingested drinking water supplied from the Flint River.

Flint’s water is now being mended and its lead pipes are nearly all replaced. But the toxic metal still lingers elsewhere. A 2019 report from Environment America, a national network of environmental groups, showed elevated lead levels in the water systems of schools across the country.

Michigan plans to charge ex-Gov. Snyder in Flint water probe

Read the full story from the Associated Press.

Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, his health director 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, The Associated Press has learned.

Most of $600 Million Settlement in Flint Water Crisis Will Go to Children

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Since contaminated water began running from taps in Flint six years ago, perhaps the biggest worry was the lasting effect on the Michigan city’s 25,000 children.

Along with skin rashes and illnesses, some children showed elevated levels of lead in their blood, raising the alarming prospect of irreversible damage to their developing brains. In the schools, requests for special education or behavioral interventions began rising.

As the state of Michigan on Thursday announced a $600 million settlement for the victims of the water crisis that upended Flint, the deal was another reminder of the damage and debt to thousands of children: Almost 80 percent of the settlement will go to people who were younger than 18 during the crisis, the officials said, and much of that will go to those who were younger than 7.

OmniSci Powers New Website Enabling Public to View House-by-House Information On Flint Water Crisis

Read the press release.

OmniSci, the pioneer in accelerated analytics, working in close partnership with water infrastructure analytics consulting company BlueConduit, today announced the debut of Flint Service Line Map, a public website that maps up-to-date information about residential water service line replacements in the city of Flint, Michigan. These water service lines are the pipes that deliver each home their water. If the pipes are made of lead, they can contaminate that home’s water with lead. The problem: Flint, like most other cities, did not know exactly which pipes were lead. Presented in house-by-house detail, the map allows residents to easily find out about their known or likely water service line material, along with repair dates and other useful information.

Flint’s Children Suffer in Class After Years of Drinking the Lead-Poisoned Water

Read the full story in the New York Times.

The city’s schools, stretched even before the lead crisis, are struggling with demands for individualized education programs and behavioral interventions for children with high lead exposure.

EXCLUSIVE: Before Flint’s Water Crisis, One Man Warned That “People Are Gonna Die”

Read the full story from Frontline. The full documentary airs Tuesday, September 10.

After the state of Michigan switched Flint’s water supply in April 2014, thousands of children were poisoned by lead and at least a dozen adults died from one of the largest outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in U.S. history.

It was exactly the sort of outcome that Matt McFarland, the operations supervisor at the water treatment plant, had tried to sound the alarm about, a new FRONTLINE documentary exclusively reveals.

Flint hears from prosecutors who dropped water charges

Read the full story from the Associated Press.

Prosecutors who dropped charges against eight people in the Flint water scandal explained their decision in a public forum Friday night, telling frustrated, shocked and saddened residents they must look at hundreds of mobile devices and millions of documents that a previous investigative team never reviewed.