/Jackson Mayor Lumumba pushes back on EPA letter

Jackson Mayor Lumumba pushes back on EPA letter

Jackson was informed last week by the EPA that the EPA had failed to repair an electrical panel at O.B., in violation of state health department regulations. Curtis water treatment facility. Last spring, the panel fell on top of the plant during a fire. This caused water pressure to drop in some areas of the city and took the pumps out of service. The Mississippi State Department of Health sent a December notice to the city advising that officials had 30 days to come up with a solution and 120 days to do so. According to the EPA notice, Jackson had missed Jan. 14th’s deadline. Lumumba stated that the city had placed an order for the panels, but there are widespread supply chain problems which have delayed the delivery. Lumumba stated that she agreed with the EPA’s overall approach to environmental justice and that it aims to provide resources to cities that face these challenges. “But, with that being said I want to make it clear that the City of Jackson is pushing back against the latest letter of noncompliance. We are still waiting for the parts, just like everything else in the world’s distribution chain. Jackson is not in the position to fix a panel that isn’t being provided by a single source. Charles Williams, City Engineer, said that Jackson won’t be meeting the deadline set by MSDH. He stated that the city ordered the parts Jan. 13 and expected them to arrive around 22 April. Williams refused to answer a WAPT reporter’s question about why the city took so long to order the parts, but said instead that the city had followed protocol. Lumumba said that the delay shouldn’t have been surprising considering the city’s communication between General Electric and the EPA. Lumumba also stated that despite their disagreement, he is generally in agreement with the federal agency’s approach. They communicate every other week. Williams also spoke out about the ongoing problems with south Jackson’s water supply. Williams stated that the city made some progress last week but had to reduce the amount of water it sent after noticing turbidity. This means that the city doesn’t have enough water in its storage tanks to restore pressure. Williams said that he expects to make progress over the next week but did not give a timeline. He stated that he expected to have all six O.B. Curtis will have Curtis’ membrane trains up and running in the next two weeks. After failing an integrity test by MSDH, the city shut down one of its trains two weeks ago.