Millions of federal dollars are being directed toward Jackson as city and state officials meet with the Environmental Protection Agency to discuss a cohesive response to the city’s water crisis.
Several state and local officials are working alongside the EPA to determine what the best plan of action will be to get Jackson’s water system fully operational. The water plant has been able to maintain adequate pressure for several days, with production heavily assisted by temporary pumps and crews. EPA Administrator Michael Regan says millions of dollars are being sent to Jackson and the state to assist with water treatment operations.
“We believe that there are even more resources that we can access but we do know that it will require all of us working together to cut through the bureaucracy, have open lines of communication, and access these resources so that we can put them to work immediately so that we can have some longer-term solutions for the people of Jackson,” says Regan.
Joining the EPA in these discussions are Jackson’s Mayor, 2nd District Congressman Bennie Thompson, and Governor Tate Reeves. In the past week, all three parties discussed their discontent with a lack of communication in planning. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba says having this meeting has helped in that regard.
Mayor Lumumba says “Making certain that we have some frequency of discussion to make certain that everything is flowing as it should and that we can see the ultimate improvements to O B Curtis and more importantly just the water distribution system of Jackson being sustainable, reliable, and important to me being equitable.”
The Department of Health has issued two provisional Class A Water Operator licenses to workers at the O B Curtis facility, increasing qualified staff from two to four.