FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jonah Bryson | email@example.com
Today, NAACP President Derrick Johnson was joined by other complainants in praising the EPA for being responsive to the NAACP and the families of Jackson, MS, and agreeing to open a federal civil rights investigation into the State of Mississippi for its decades-long pattern and practice of discriminating against the City of Jackson when it comes to providing federal funds to improve local water systems. For months now, residents, schools, businesses, and community groups have lacked access to clean, safe water due in large part to decades of systemic neglect and underfunding by the state. Last month, NAACP filed a discrimination complaint on behalf of numerous Jackson residents whose health, safety, and livelihoods had been threatened by the ongoing water crisis. The decision by EPA adds to growing federal scrutiny of the state's practices: earlier this week, two Congressional committees began investigating Governor Reeves on how federal dollars were spent amid the Jackson water crisis.
"We applaud the EPA, Administrator Regan, and the Biden Administration for taking this issue seriously and opening a federal civil rights investigation into the state's racially discriminatory use of federal funds for the City of Jackson's water systems," said NAACP President Derrick Johnson. "This action is only the first step. NAACP and its partners will continue to press the Biden Administration and Congress to hold state officials accountable and ensure that Jackson officials and residents are active participants in the decision-making that will be required to fix the unacceptable problems with Jackon's water."
"Today's decision by the EPA is a significant first step in holding the state accountable for its role in exacerbating the Jackson water crisis," said NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Director Abre' Conner. "For far too long, residents of Jackson, like Black communities across this country, have had water access weaponized against them. The NAACP and our partners will continue finding and holding those in power accountable to ensure that all communities have access to clean drinking water."
- Letter from EPA