The town’s residents were left with water contaminated with lead, which was blamed for a fatal outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease that killed 12 people.
Snyder, a Republican, becomes the first governor or former governor to be charged with crimes related to their administration in the state’s 184-year history.
The misdemeanor charges filed by Attorney General Dana Nessel include a sentence of up to one year in prison and a US $ 1,000 fine.
Former officials serving as state health directors and senior advisors are also expected to face charges, the Associated Press reports.
Most of Black City’s water problems began in 2014 when a Snyder-appointed manager made a money-saving decision to use water from the Flint River while a pipeline from Lake Huron was under construction.
But the caustic water was not treated properly and lead was released from old plumbing in houses.
Despite requests from local residents, it took Mr Snyder’s government 18 months to take significant action after a doctor reported elevated levels of lead in Flint children.
Residents had to queue up with their parents for bottled water because they feared their children might have suffered permanent health problems.
Authorities have now replaced 9,7,000 utility lines in the city’s homes, and Flint’s water, sourced from a regional agency in Detroit, is now getting high marks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.