Michigan is expected to announce a settlement that would pay $600 million to the victims of the Flint water crisis, The New York Times reports.
The $600 million, which comes out to around $6,000 per Flint resident, would largely be designated for children who were poisoned by lead-tainted water.
Details were not released on Wednesday but tens of thousands of Flint residents are expected to be eligible to receive a portion of the settlement, which would still have to be approved b a federal judge.
The amounts received by residents would depend on how much they were impacted by the crisis.
The settlement comes after more than a year and a half of negotiations over how much victims were owed.
What happened in Flint?
In 2014, Flint’s state-appointed emergency manager switched the city’s water supply from Lake Huron to the polluted Flint River as a cost-cutting move.
The water corroded the pipes, resulting in lead and other chemicals entering the city’s water supply.
Residents soon began to experience mysterious illnesses but concerns were dismissed by city officials.
Researchers later showed the dangerous amount of lead levels in the water.
The water source has since been switched back to Lake Huron but many residents still rely on bottled water due to suspicion of the government.
The project to repair the city’s pipelines remains in progress.
80% of money will go to kids:
Nearly 80% of the money will go to people who were under 18 at the time of the crisis, CNN reported.
"This partial settlement is the result of 5 years of litigation and 18 months of court supervised negotiations. Interim Co-lead Counsel will continue to pursue claims against the remaining defendants on behalf of certain residents and local businesses in the City of Flint harmed by the water crisis," the state said.
A federal court previously ruled that residents could sue city officials over the crisis.
"Knowing the Flint River water was unsafe for public use, distributing it without taking steps to counter its problems, and assuring the public in the meantime that it was safe is conduct that would alert a reasonable person to the likelihood of personal liability," the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.