Mississippi News

Reeves ends Jackson water state of emergency

Gov. Tate Reeves Tuesday issued an Executive Order officially ending the State of Emergency surrounding the City of Jackson and surrounding areas of Hinds County that receive water from the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant effective 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, November 22, 2022.
In late August, with a nearly month-long boil water alert in place, and the two primary raw water pumps at O.B. Curtis previously removed for repairs and out of commission, the total collapse of the City’s water system was imminent. Governor Reeves declared a State of Emergency in response to this situation.
As the Executive Order notes, “in less than 72 hours after the emergency was declared, water pressure was returned to the City of Jackson, and in less than 15 days the boil water alert was lifted.”
Following the state’s intervention in the crisis, the Environmental Protection Agency has now determined that the water from both the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant and the J.H. Fewell water Treatment Plant safe to drink.
Furthermore, the Jackson City Council has unanimously approved an agreement with the federal government regarding appointing a third-party administrator to operate the city’s water system.

“I’m incredibly thankful to the folks at the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, Mississippi State Department of Health, and the Mississippi National Guard who worked tirelessly to restore clean water to the residents of Jackson and respond to this emergency situation. They have made countless repairs, brought in new equipment, and done heroic work,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “The only remaining imminent challenge is the city’s refusal to hire routine maintenance staff, and that cannot constitute a state emergency. We need new leadership at the helm so that this crisis of incompetence cannot continue.
“It is also clear that the federal government is working to ensure that Jackson political leadership does not have the authority to mismanage the water system any further. That process needs to be completed, and it needs to be completed quickly. As the justification for an emergency under state statute no longer exists and in order for that momentum to continue, we need to stick with our deadline to end our State of Emergency and our operating of the city’s water system for them. I am hopeful that the federal government’s efforts to take control away from incompetent hands will wrap up swiftly.”
The Executive Order can be read in full here.