FBI joins probe of Flint drinking water crisis

Getty Images

The FBI is joining with other federal agencies in investigating the circumstances behind how lead got into Flint, Mich.’s drinking water.

The law enforcement agency’s addition to the ongoing probe adds a new level to the potential outcome of the high-profile water pollution scandal.

Gina Balaya, a spokeswoman for the United States Attorney's Office in Detroit, said Tuesday that prosecutors are "working with a multi-agency investigation team on the Flint water contamination matter, including the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the EPA's Office of Inspector General ... and the EPA's Criminal Investigation Division."

Malaya did not say what potential charges could stem from the probe.

Apart from the federal probe, the state has its own ongoing investigation, as does the House Oversight Committee.

Flint’s lead crisis exploded in recent months as more data has come out about lead levels and poisoning of city residents.

The city, under an emergency manager appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder (R), switched to using the Flint River for its water in 2014 but never applied the correct corrosion controls to its pipes to prevent lead from leaching into water.

The state’s environmental agency repeatedly said the water was safe.