NAACP Wants the EPA To Investigate Jackson Water Crisis

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A sign marks the road leading to the City of Jackson, Miss., J.H. Fewell Water Treatment Plant at the edge of the historic Belhaven neighborhood, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. Two new lawsuits filed Tuesday, Oct. 19, claim hundreds of children have been exposed to dangerous lead levels through the drinking water in Mississippi's capital city, which has been facing water system problems for years. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
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The NAACP is calling for a civil rights probe into the Jackson Water crisis, currently happening in Mississippi. The organization filed a 25-page complaint to the EPA requesting they investigate the use of federal funds related to drinking water in Jackson and also to seek a solution.

Benjamin Williams, with Garrett Enterprises, fills up a five-gallon jug for an area resident from a water tanker at Forest Hill High School in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. The tanker, is one of two placed strategically in the city to provide residents non-potable water. The recent flood worsened Jackson’s longstanding water system problems and the state Health Department has had Mississippi’s capital city under a boil-water notice since late July. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Jackson, Miss., is a majority Black community. The lawsuit says federal funds awarded to ensure safe drinking water and unpolluted surface water and underground water were diverted away from Jackson by state officials.

The discrimination, the complaint says, is evident in the state repeatedly having deprived Jackson of funds to maintain its public drinking water system in favor of funding smaller, majority white communities with less acute needs.

A sign taped to the door of the closed Mama’s Eats and Sweets restaurant is one of the casualties of the water crisis Friday Sep. 2, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

The suit list grievances that date back nearly half a century. If a plan to fix Jackson’s water system is not reached, the U.S. Department of Justice is also prepared to file action against the city under the Safe Water Drinking Act, which regulates harmful substances in tap water.


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