Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan, the first African-American in the role, has met with Jackson, Miss. officials about the water crisis.
Regan met with Gov. Tate Reeves and Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba. They discussed the long-term goals for fixing Jackson’s water system, which has been suffering for decades. According to WJTV, financing options were discussed, specifically renovations at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility.
An official plan has not been released yet, but Regan stated, “We do need to have applications in place from cities like Jackson to make them competitive for these historic investments that we have at our fingertip.”
Jackson now has solid water pressure, according to Gov. Tate Reeves, but the water is still mainly unsafe to drink, which has been the case for nearly 40 days. Residents are advised to boil the water before ingesting. The recent flooding of the Pearl River resulted in more than 150,000 people without safe drinking water.
Jackson is 82.5 percent Black. Additionally, one out of every 3.5 Jackson residents lives below the poverty line. While President Joe Biden signed a historic Infrastructure Bill last month to assist areas like Jackson, Republican state lawmakers, like many red states with predominantly Black cities, decide where Mississippi’s funds go, and Black areas are often ignored.