Statement by Administrator Regan on the Ongoing Water Crisis in Jackson, Mississippi
WASHINGTON – Today, EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan returned to Jackson, Mississippi with Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim to address the ongoing water crisis. Following a meeting with Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Administrator Regan issued the following statement:
“The people of Jackson, Mississippi, have lacked access to safe and reliable water for decades. After years of neglect, Jackson’s water system finally reached a breaking point this summer, leaving tens of thousands of people without any running water for weeks. These conditions are unacceptable in the United States of America.
When I became EPA Administrator, I made a commitment that EPA would prioritize the health and safety of underserved and overburdened communities across this country. That’s why Jackson was the first stop on my Journey to Justice tour last year and why I’ve returned to the city multiple times since, meeting directly with families affected by this crisis and with State and local officials.
As a public health agency, EPA has a responsibility to protect people’s health. As evidenced by the roughly 300 boil water notices that have been issued over the past two years, the multiple line breaks during the same timeframe, and the recent drinking water crisis, it’s clear this community has suffered long enough.
Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim from the Department of Justice and I met today with Mayor Lumumba to discuss the actions the federal government is prepared to take to help remedy this longstanding injustice. During that meeting, I conveyed our desire to work with the City to reach a judicially enforceable agreement that ensures a sustainable water system in the mid- and long-terms.
The people of Jackson, like all people in this country, deserve access to clean and safe water. They also deserve more than words – they need action. I look forward to working together with the Mayor and City of Jackson to deliver long overdue relief for Jackson residents.”