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Federal emergency declaration on Jackson water crisis approved by White House

By: Frank Corder - August 31, 2022

This means any eligible expenses paid for by the state could be eligible for federal reimbursement.

Hours after Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves requested a federal an Emergency Measures Declaration from President Joe Biden for the City of Jackson water crisis, the White House approved the request. This means any eligible expenses paid for by the state could be eligible for federal reimbursement.

Under the requested Emergency Declaration, FEMA would be authorized to provide emergency measures, including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program at 75 percent federal funding.

MEMA says this request is a result of the City of Jackson’s O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant failure to produce water for almost 180,000 dependent citizens. Both primary pumps are broken and are currently being serviced. The plant is not producing adequate water pressure, and some residents are experiencing outages. This water treatment plant provides water to the City of Jackson, City of Byram, two major hospitals, multiple dialysis clinics, long-term care facilities, Jackson Public School District, numerous restaurants, daycares, and more.

Upon hearing the news that the White House had approved the request, Governor Reeves took to Twitter to share the development.

“Our federal disaster declaration for Jackson water has been approved. Grateful to @FEMA_Deanne for our long conversation about the crisis this evening, for she and Gracia and @femaregion4 team for their swift work, and the White House for ultimately granting the request,” Reeves wrote.

Earlier on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre shared that FEMA is working closely with state officials to identify needs, and the EPA is coordinating with industry partners to expedite delivery of critical treatment equipment for emergency repairs at the City of Jackson water treatment facilities.

“The city of Jackson is using over $20 million in American Rescue Plan to address water and sewer infrastructure needs. We have also made about $75 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding available this year to provide clean and safe water across the state of Mississippi,” Jean-Pierre tweeted, noting that the President had been briefed and that they had spoken with state and local officials, including Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba.

Governor Reeves visited the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment facility Tuesday afternoon. He held a brief press gathering while touring. You can watch that briefing below.

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications such as the Daily Caller. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: