Residents of Jackson, Mississippi are waiting for a response to a proposal sent to the federal government that addressed the city’s failing water system. The city and state health departments, along with the Justice department, have called for intervention after multiple malfunctions that have left the city without clean water.
In February 2021, a barrage of winter storms left potentially 40,000 residents without running water for weeks on end. Jackson, whose population was more than 80% black last year, experienced another collapse when the city’s largest water plant failed this August. If approved, the city and state’s proposal will create a position for a manager to supervise Jackson’s water infrastructure.
An official complaint has been filed by the Justice Department. Michael Regan, an administrator for the Environment Protection Agency(EPA) shared what this means for those within city limits:
“Over the past year, I’ve had the privilege to spend time with people on the ground in Jackson- many who’ve struggled with access to safe and reliable water for years. I pledged that the EPA would do everything in its power to ensure the people of Jackson have clean and dependable water, now and into the future. While there is much more work ahead, the Justice Department’s action marks a critical moment on the path to securing clean, safe water for Jackson residents.″