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U.S. seeks to appoint manager of water supply in Jackson, Mississippi

Reuters
Reuters
 2022-11-30
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Nov 29 (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department has reached an agreement with the state of Mississippi and the city of Jackson to appoint an interim third-party manager to stabilize the city's drinking water supply after a catastrophic failure over the summer.

The Justice Department also a filed a complaint against the city on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency, alleging the city failed to provide reliable drinking water.

The deal, subject to approval by a U.S. judge, is meant as a temporary measure until the state and the city reach a long-term agreement to maintain the system, the Justice Department announced.

Jackson, the state capital whose population of 150,000 is more than 80% Black, has long suffered from chronically poor water quality, and the supply of water to most of the city was shut down for several days in August when complications from floodwaters knocked a water treatment plant offline.

City and state leaders blamed each other for the crisis, and in October the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency opened an investigation into Mississippi state agencies to determine if they violated civil rights in Jackson.

The troubles revealed tension between the state government of Governor Tate Reeves, a Republican who accused the city of mismanaging the water plant, and the city government of Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, a Democrat.

Reeves in a statement on Tuesday praised the agreement as "excellent news ... that the mayor will no longer be overseeing the city's water system."

A spokesperson for Lumumba declined to comment, saying the city was entirely focused on a tornado watch and the threat of severe weather on Tuesday.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Alan Buckles
11-30

I understand the hast and speed to fix the present issue with water quality in Jackson. I they failed to address the people that let it get this way. 1. The mayor letting his political aspirations get in the way of the safety of the people of Jackson 2. The city council for letting the conflict with the mayor overshadow the problem and it’s affect on the people that elected them. 3. The state and federal government for letting this mess get to the point it has. They should have stepped in years ago. This is what is wrong with politics today.

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