JACKSON WATER CRISIS COVERAGE
MOST RECENT JACKSON WATER STORIES
Jackson officials have estimated that the cost to fully repair the many issues afflicting the capital city’s dilapidated water infrastructure could cost well over $1 billion.
A complaint filed with the Environmental Protection Agency on Sept. 27, 2022, claims that Mississippi’s capital city has not received the federal funding needed to address its water needs partly because of “a long history of discrimination through years of neglect and the repeated denial of requests for federal funds.”
The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking an enforceable agreement with the City of Jackson to address multiple violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act, many resulting from long-standing deficiencies at O.B. Curtis, Jackson’s primary water treatment plant.
Congressman Bennie Thompson is seeking up to $200 million in direct federal funding for the City of Jackson to address its beleaguered water system, potentially bypassing the State of Mississippi entirely.
U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a Sept. 15, 2022, press release that the federal disaster loans available for businesses in and around Hinds County that the Jackson water crisis has affected will help the “communities recover and rebuild.”
Plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed on Sept. 16, 2022, are seeking immediate attention to the water problems affecting Jackson, Miss.
HR 3339, a current bill in Congress, would create a $5-trillion National Infrastructure Bank to finance projects that federal, state and local governments cannot. This plan would allow Mississippi to receive up to $47 billion over 10 years to cover all infrastructure improvements, including roads, bridges, levees and dams, affordable housing, public transport and more, Alphecca Muttardy writes.
The Mississippi State Department of Health today lifted a boil water notice for the entire City of Jackson for the first time since July 29, 2022. Gov. Tate Reeves announced at a press conference today.
Jackson businesses that have suffered losses amid the Mississippi capital city’s ongoing water crisis will be able to apply for as much as $2 million in federal Economic Injury Disaster loans, Gov. Tate Reeves announced Wednesday.
At College Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Jackson, Miss., on Sept. 13, 2022, Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba opened the possibility of a new water treatment plant for the capital city after explaining ongoing challenges running and staffing the O.B. Curtis water treatment center to the people gathered there for a town hall meeting.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves is asking the federal government to step in and help Jackson businesses overcome economic hardships that the capital city’s ongoing water crisis.
“These white folks don’t want us all to own our role and to work together; they want to finger-point at a Black mayor who inherited a billion-dollar-plus water-sewer crisis, fixate only on recent missteps and, thus, abdicate all other responsibility,” MFP Editor and CEO Donna Ladd writes. “That simplistic approach continues the old cycles.”
For the first time in recent memory, virtually all stakeholders in the future of Mississippi’s capital city came together Wednesday to discuss the Jackson water crisis that has left more than 160,000 residents without clean water for over a month.
The State of Mississippi is now in talks with a private company about managing its capital city’s struggling water system, Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba said during a press conference Tuesday. The City of Jackson was also in discussions with the company before the State took over, he added.
“Our team covered the deep causes of the first round of the Jackson water crisis, and are covering this one, like both professional journalists and Mississippians who love their home state and its capital city.”
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced “significant” improvements in the City of Jackson’s water system on Labor Day while telling reporters he is open to numerous long-term solutions, including leasing its management to a private company.
The City of Jackson reported on Thursday, Sept. 1., 2022, that more than half of the surface tanks across the city were filling as efforts are underway to fix problems at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant.
Rhea Williams-Bishop, director of Mississippi and New Orleans programs at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation writes that “together, we can be the ones who create the environments and communities that build up our children, rather than tear them down.” She encourages Mississippians to come together to solve the Jackson water crisis—and then to repair the systems that led to it.
A viral video showing a tanker truck parked across from the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion in Jackson has sparked speculation online that Gov. Tate Reeves’ home is enjoying special access to clean water while most residents of the capital city go without safe running water. But the speculation is wrong.
Mississippi House Rep. Ronnie Crudup Jr. told the Mississippi Free Press on Wednesday that Monday’s water failures reminded him of the 2021 crisis. Gov. Tate Reeves’ press conference on Monday, he said, “gave me a little hope.”
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves formally asked President Joe Biden to declare a federal emergency for the State of Mississippi in a letter Tuesday night as Jackson residents continued to deal without access to safe, running water in the capital city.
For the second day in a roll, the breakdown in operations at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Center in Jackson, Miss., has caused water pressure reduction throughout the capital city, disrupting activities as the city and state declared a state of emergency.
Only days before the effective collapse of Jackson’s water system, the Environmental Protection Agency highlighted a critical failure on the part of the capital city’s leaders in pursuing new water operations staff and in implementing an alternative water plan.
Jackson’s water system is failing and all water across the city is entirely unsafe to drink, officials said at an emergency briefing Monday night. State leadership have warned all residents of Mississippi’s capital city to boil water before drinking or even brushing their teeth.
JACKSON, Miss.—The O.B. Curtis Water Treatment facility is experiencing significant challenges due to the increased
John Tierre can count the days since Jackson received a citywide boil water notice. He can count the money, too. Every day his restaurant, Johnny T’s Bistro & Blues on Farish Street, bleeds a little more profit thanks to a water crisis with no end in sight.
Erica Jones, president of the Mississippi Association of Educators, writes that the capital city is at a “critical juncture,” calling on leaders to collaborate and take advantage of the funds available for necessary infrastructure work and decide upon a viable solution.
On Monday, the Mississippi Association of Educators made recommendations for resolving the water crisis in the city, including asking the mayor to proclaim resolving the water as the number-one priority, developing a plan with proposed legislative action, and making it available for public input by Sept. 1, 2022.
Capital-city residents could be dealing with rolling precautionary boil-water notices for up to another year, as the winterization process at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant continues. But Jackson’s mayor and an expert consultant from Cornerstone Engineering remain adamant that the water remains entirely safe to drink.
Our state is one of four that have not begun obligating their funds. If we wait another year to appropriate ARPA, we have less time to complete the jobs and we have fewer available contractors, subcontractors and civil engineers.
The capital city is once again without clean water, after the City of Jackson announced that a bad batch of coagulant chemicals forced the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant to shut down a significant portion of its water production system.
An ailing water system brought EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan to Jackson in the first place, and that same system had displaced the students of Wilkins Elementary to Van Winkle Elementary. Later in the day, Jackson residents would learn of a third crisis: yet another citywide boil-water alert.
Michael S. Regan, the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is touring Jackson today and addressing topics on the environment with an emphasis on the city’s longstanding water infrastructure woes.
Lawyers representing hundreds of Jackson children have sued the City of Jackson, Trilogy Engineering Services, and dozens of individual employees and public officials over allegations of persistent failures to address corrosion control in the Jackson water system. The lawsuit claims that spiking lead levels over the last decade and inaction on the part of public officials has resulted in lead-poisoned children in the city.
Regulators and public-works officials agree that Jackson’s water-treatment facilities have completed key improvements ahead of a looming Environmental Protection Agency deadline, but much work remains to bring the capital city’s system into compliance with public health regulations.
Beginning on May 18, Mercadel lost access to water for three days, had low pressure for two weeks and unsafe drinking water for over a month at his Maddox Road home. It was a miserable continuation of the Jackson water crisis not much easier to endure than the city-wide outages of February and March.
The City of Jackson has completed repairs on the Siwell Road Well in south Jackson, the first of two wells in the Jackson Maddox Well System to receive a full replacement after mid-May failures left thousands in the Jackson metropolitan area with low water pressure, potentially unsafe for consumption.
The Mississippi Free Press met with Public Works Director Dr. Charles Williams on May 3 to discuss the EPA’s 2020 emergency order, the ongoing effort to improve the city’s water treatment plants, the documentation of the city’s water treatment violations, and transparency over water quality and safety.
Jackson residents have safe water again this week, after the city announced today that it was lifting the boil-water notice put in place after a control-panel fire at O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant.
Jackson residents are without clean water yet again, as an early-morning electrical fire at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant depressurized the city’s transmission system just ahead of the weekend.
The reaction to integration, which included white Jackson families immediately pulling 5,000 of their children out of local schools, was but one piece of the water-infrastructure puzzle. Another came in 1972, an unintended consequence of necessary environmental reform. That year, the Water Pollution Control Act steamrolled through a veto from President Richard Nixon. Few took notice.
The Mississippi Legislature’s effort to assist in the Jackson water crisis has been pared down to a single bill on water-payment flexibility and $2 million from the capital expense fund, a far cry from the ambitious plans that emerged at the peak of the outages. But legislators involved in the ongoing deliberations over the crisis say the federal government is expected to provide significant support for the City of Jackson and Hinds County, between the disaster declaration and the American Rescue Plan.
It was Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, when it all went wrong at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant. Dr. Charles Williams, public works director for the City of Jackson, could see the writing on the wall. “We started losing system pressure. Everything bottomed out. We had to figure out why,” he says now. A war, of sorts, lay ahead.
The City of Jackson may receive federal assistance for its ongoing water crisis after U.S.
What does it mean to be without water? It is innumerable small humiliations: the splash of a toilet flushed with a bucket, days on end without a shower, no clean clothes. It is weeks without a cooked meal, a sink full of unclean dishes, brushing one’s teeth with water from a bottle, if a bottle can be found. For Tamiko and Otis Smith and many others, it is something far more dangerous.
Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba and Lt. Gov Delbert Hosemann met today at the Capitol for a “respectful conversation,” in the mayor’s words, to discuss a concrete plan to address Jackson’s short-term water-system needs. The meeting was a preface to the much more complex discussion of how to permanently address the city’s aging water infrastructure.
Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said Mayor Kane Ditto, the capital city’s last white mayor, was also the last leader on Jackson’s infrastructure. Former Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. begged to differ. “I don’t know what the impetus is behind all of this misinformation,” Johnson said. “I hope it’s not demographics.”