Detroit offers to reconnect Flint to its water system, but Flint
leaders insist the water is safe.
Sept. 24, 2015:
A group of doctors urges Flint to stop using the Flint River
after finding high levels of lead in children's blood. State
regulators insist the water is safe.
Sept. 29, 2015:
Then-Gov. Rick Snyder pledges to take action in response
to the lead levels—the first acknowledgment by the state that
lead is a problem.
Snyder announces the state will spend $1 million to buy water
filters and test water in Flint public schools, and days later
calls for Flint to go back to using water from Detroit's system.
Dec. 29, 2015:
Snyder accepts the resignation of Department of Environmental
Quality Director Dan Wyant and apologizes for what
occurred in Flint.
Jan. 5, 2016:
Snyder declares a state of emergency in Flint, the same day
federal officials confirm they are investigating. A week later,
the Michigan National Guard begins helping to distribute bottled
water and filters.
Jan. 14, 2016:
Snyder, a Republican, asks the Obama administration for a major
disaster declaration and more federal aid. The White House
provides aid and an emergency declaration on Jan. 16, but not
the disaster declaration.
Jan. 15, 2016:
Then-Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette begins an
March 23, 2016:
A governor-appointed panel concludes that the state of Michigan
is ``fundamentally accountable'' for the crisis because of
decisions made by environmental regulators.
April 20, 2016:
Two state officials and a local official are charged with
evidence tampering and other crimes in the state attorney
general's investigation—the first charges to come from the
Aug. 14, 2016:
The federal emergency declaration ends, but state officials say
work continues to fix the drinking water system.
Dec. 10, 2016:
Congress approves a wide-ranging bill to authorize water
projects across the country, including $170 million to address
lead in Flint's drinking water.
Dec. 16, 2016:
Congressional Republicans close a yearlong investigation,
faulting both state officials and the Environmental Protection
Dec. 20, 2016:
Schuette charges former emergency managers Darnell Earley
and Gerald Ambrose with multiple felonies for their
failure to protect Flint residents from health hazards caused by
contaminated water. He also charges Earley, Ambrose and two
Flint city employees with felony counts of false pretenses and
conspiracy to commit false pretenses in the issuance of bonds to
pay for part of the water project that led to the crisis.
Feb. 17, 2017:
The Michigan Civil Rights Commission issues a report that
finds ``systemic racism'' is at the core of problems that caused
the water crisis in the majority Black city.
March 27, 2017:
Water lines in Flint homes will be replaced under a landmark
deal approved by a judge.
June 14, 2017:
Michigan Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon is
accused of failing to alert the public about an outbreak of
Legionnaires' disease in the Flint area that some experts
believe resulted from the poorly treated water. He and four
others are charged with involuntary manslaughter. The state's
chief medical officer, Dr. Eden Wells, is charged with
obstruction of justice and lying to an investigator.
Snyder ends Flint water distribution, saying the city's tap
water has improved.
July 19, 2018:
A federal watchdog calls on the EPA to strengthen its oversight
of state drinking water systems nationwide and to respond more
quickly to public health emergencies like Flint's. The EPA says
it agrees with the inspector general's recommendations and is
adopting them ``expeditiously.''
Jan. 7, 2019:
Liane Shekter Smith, Michigan's former drinking water
regulator, pleads no contest to a misdemeanor—disturbance of a
lawful meeting—in the Flint water investigation. Smith had been
facing felony charges, including involuntary manslaughter.
April 16, 2019:
Todd Flood, a special prosecutor who spent three years
leading a criminal investigation of the Flint water scandal, is
fired in the fallout from the discovery of 23 boxes of records
in the basement of a state building.
June 13, 2019:
Prosecutors drop all criminal charges against eight people in
the Flint water scandal and pledge to start the investigation
from scratch. Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud, who took
control of the investigation in January 2019 after the election
of a new attorney general, says ``all available evidence was not
pursued'' by the previous team of prosecutors.
July 29, 2020:
The Michigan Supreme Court says Flint residents whose
health and homes were harmed can proceed with a lawsuit against
officials for decisions that caused the scandal, a crucial
procedural step in long-running litigation.
Aug. 20, 2020:
A $600 million deal between the state and residents of Flint
harmed by lead-tainted water is announced after more than two
years of negotiations.
Jan. 13-14, 2021:
Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is charged with misdemeanors,
and his health director and other ex-officials are charged with
various misdemeanors and felonies after a new investigation of
the Flint water scandal.