JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael S. Regan visited Jackson and got a close look at some of the increasing clean water issues the city has seen over the past year.
There are over 71,000 water connections in the city of Jackson, and they are all a safety concern.
Back in March 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency issued an emergency order due to Jackson’s water becoming a “safety concern” for its citizens.
Now, EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan is working with city leaders to change that.
“The real issue has been resources, and now that the president has passed the bipartisan infrastructure deal, we will have adequate resources to really invest in our infrastructure so that every person in this country can access safe affordable clean drinking water,” Regan said.
Regan visited some of the most impacted areas to examine the challenges citizens have faced over the last few years.
“The issues that Jackson faces are issues that many communities across this country face. Disproportionately in areas where we have black and brown, and tribal communities,” Regan said.
Regan said President Biden’s deal and the EPA will be looking at both failed and successful infrastructure projects to ensure solutions come quickly and money isn’t wasted.
“We’re using these resources to bolster existing programs, but also we got the freedom and flexibility to design new programs as well. So we’re gonna look at what is working from our existing infrastructure so that we can get the money out as quickly as possible,” Regan said.
Regan said the Mayor of Jackson, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, has been helping the EPA figure out plans for the city in hopes the improvements will help those most in need first.
“The mayor and I were able to stand side by side and talk about how we’re going to partner with the governor of Mississippi to get these federal dollars allocated to those who need it the most,” Regan said.
Regan and Mayor Lumumba visited the O. B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant, Wilkins Elementary School, and some historic sites in the city.
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