Speed Reads

Drink up

EPA says water in Jackson, Mississippi, is safe to drink

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed that the water in Jackson, Mississippi, is safe to drink after flooding in August disrupted the city's water treatment plants, reports The Associated Press. Since Aug. 30, Jackson has been in a state of emergency.

After months of sampling at the treatment plants, the EPA has deemed the water to be safe to drink and in compliance with the Safe Water Drinking Act. Despite the news, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves extended the city's state of emergency to Nov. 22, allowing for a "transition period between the state's management team and the chosen private operator," which Jackson's mayor has said confirmed will be in place by Nov. 17. 

The information comes two months after the public water crisis began in the city, which led to a shortage of water to drink or clean with, CNN reports. Since July, even before the plant failure, the city had given a notice for residents to boil water before using it because it was deemed to be cloudy with the potential to cause illness.

The crisis has led to the EPA conducting a civil rights investigation on the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and whether it discriminated against the majority-Black state capital by refusing to fund initiatives to improve the failing water system.

The EPA said in a statement, "The people of Jackson, Mississippi, deserve access to clean and safe water, and EPA is committed to working with state and local authorities to make that a reality."