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President Joe Biden allocates $115 Million to Rebuild Jackson’s Water System $115 million to support crucial investments in the reconstruction of Jackson, Mississippi’s water infrastructure, the Grio reveals. These federal funds are part of the $600 million approved by Congress last year through appropriations funding.
Jackson, a predominantly Black city with nearly 150,000 residents, has been grappling with the aftermath of its water system’s near-collapse last summer. The incident was caused by severe flooding and years of neglecting the city’s infrastructure.
During the initial failure in August 2022, residents were left without clean and safe drinking water for several days. Since then, they have continued to face ongoing disruptions. To provide assistance, the federal government has stepped in, offering emergency support and technical guidance to the state.
Most recently, a federal court ruled in favor of the U.S. Department of Justice, allowing the installation of a third-party external manager. This decision came as part of an agreement between the city and the Mississippi State Department of Health, as various federal, state, and local entities collaborate to address the long-standing issue in one of the country’s poorest cities.
President Biden expressed his concern over the aging water infrastructure that has plagued the people of Jackson, stating, “All Americans deserve access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s why I directed my Administration to ensure that the people of Jackson have the resources they need and deserve.” The president’s statement was released to theGrio.
Mitch Landrieu, senior advisor to President Biden and coordinator for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, shared that the initial $115 million award would be promptly allocated to support Jackson. Landrieu, the former mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana, also highlighted that substantial funding has already been directed to the state, including $25 million at an early stage, an additional $450 million to the state, and an extra $75 million.
Furthermore, Landrieu emphasized the potential for further financial support through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which became law in November 2021. He explained that significant funds can flow to states via the Environmental Protection Agency to address water and sewer system improvements in cities.
Landrieu assured that the court-appointed manager of the water system is collaborating with the mayor, Congressman Bennie Thompson, city council members, and the State to ensure the appropriate allocation of funds. Their goal is to provide the people of Jackson with clean air and safe water.
President Biden expressed his gratitude to Congressman Thompson, stating that this historic investment “would not have been possible” without him. The president acknowledged Thompson’s leadership, advocacy for his constituents, and partnership in serving the Jackson community.
While progress has been made in repairing Jackson’s water system, President Biden acknowledged that there is still much work to be done to ensure all Americans have access to clean water. Through his Investing in America agenda, record resources are being deployed nationwide to replace lead pipes, enhance water quality, and rebuild the nation’s drinking water infrastructure, making it resilient to the impacts of the climate crisis.
The president concluded by affirming, “Until all our children can safely drink water from the tap, our fight for clean water must, and will, continue.”