JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and the president of the NAACP discussed the EPA’s investigation into Jackson’s water crisis.
Hundreds and hundreds of people showed up to a town hall to discuss the recent developments with the water infrastructure and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) investigation into Jackson’s water crisis. The investigation stems from a Title 6 complaint submitted by the NAACP that alleges decades of neglect and underinvestment by state government into Jackson’s water infrastructure.
“The goal of our complaint was to elevate the conversation and to target the entity that caused the injury. Out of 25 years out of clean water federal funds have come to this state, the city of Jackson has only received funds 3 years out of 25 years,” said Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP.
The investigation will take about four months. Jacksonians hope this will help bring some resolution when it comes to fixing the city’s aging infrastructure.
Thompson said the federal government has given the State of Mississippi more than ten billion dollars this fiscal year, including $429 million for water infrastructure projects. He said the resources are there, and he sent a letter to Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) asking him to fairly allocate the funds. Thompson also asked for documentation related to the state’s role in addressing Jackson’s water crisis.
“I would hope that if the governor wants to continue to receive the benefits of the federal government, that he’ll comply with the request. The state is guilty of not treating Jackson like all the other municipalities is a problem,” said Thompson.
In the meantime, leaders said a plan has been submitted to Thompson outlining what needs to be fixed at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility and how much it will cost.