EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-winning producer Paul Haggis (Crash) and his producing partner Michael Nozik have teamed with director William Hart on Lead and Copper, a documentary on the ongoing water contamination crisis in Flint, MI.

The issue began in 2014 when Flint switched its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River. The water from the river was not treated with corrosive inhibitors, and as a result thousands of children were exposed to lead contamination. A number of people involved with the conspiracy and cover-up have been charged with crimes, and it was a key issue during the presidentialial election cycle.

“Once I learned of the depth of the problem and the extent of the cover-up, I was compelled to take a closer look and tell this story in the way it deserved to be told,” Hart said.

Producers Alex Olsen and Patrick Letterii are also behind this documentary as well as Glen Zipper of Zipper Bros Films and venerable publicist Howard Bragman, a Flint native.

“To me this is not something that is just a tragic news story — it’s real and it’s affecting my family, my friends, people I love,” said Bragman. “This is not an isolated story for fiscally challenged Rust Belt cities; it’s the ‘canary in the coalmine’ for other cities.”

The docu is written by All Things Must Pass scribe Steven Leckart. Olsen, Letterii, Zipper and Leckart are the producers, with Haggis, Nozik and Bragman executive producing the project, which will hit the festival circuit next year. Lead and Copper is being produced in association with Highway 61 Films.