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Photo: Bill Pugliano via Getty Images

A federal judge on Wednesday signed off on a $626 million settlement for people who were exposed to lead-contaminated water in Flint, Michigan.

Driving the news: The terms will see nearly 80% of the settlement go to children who were younger than 18 when they were first exposed to the contaminated water.

  • People who paid water bills and adults who ingested the water are eligible. Certain businesses that underwent economic losses due to the crisis can also make settlement claims.
  • Most of the money will come from the state. The settlement is one of the largest in the state's history, according to U.S. District Judge Judith Levy.

Flashback: In 2014 and 2015, children in the city, many Black and under the poverty line, experienced a surge in lead poisoning after the city switched its water source to the Flint River without treating it to reduce corrosion.

  • In the aftermath, state leaders were accused of ignoring the risks and dismissing claims of illness.

What they're saying: "The settlement reached here is a remarkable achievement for many reasons, not the least of which is that it sets forth a comprehensive compensation program and timeline that is consistent for every qualifying participant," Levy wrote in the 178-page order.

Don't forget: The contaminated water was blamed for an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease that killed at least 12 people.

The big picture: A government-appointed civil rights commission found in 2017 that systemic racism going back decades contributed to the water crisis.

Go deeper

Nov 24, 2021 - Health

Juul reaches $14.5 million settlement in Arizona vaping suit

A sign advertising Juul products displayed in a store in New York City. Photo: Stephanie Keith via Getty Images

E-cigarette giant Juul Labs will pay Arizona $14.5 million as part of a settlement for a lawsuit alleging it illegally targeted young people in its marketing.

Why it matters: The company faces over 2,000 lawsuits related to its marketing practices, which included fruit-flavored liquid pods and ad buys on youth websites like Cartoon Network, per Reuters. State and local governments have said it fueled a vaping epidemic among teens.

Updated 16 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."