(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File - July 9, 2021 - Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The decision to open an investigation does not mean that the EPA has made a determination of whether any wrongdoing occurred.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched an investigation into how the state of Mississippi spent federal funding for infrastructure needs.

The investigation comes after serious issues caused outages and unsafe water in the city of Jackson for over a month for up to 150,000 residents. This most recent issue is preceded by years of outages and boil water notices that residents have become accustomed to living with under this municipal administration.

RELATED: NAACP files discrimination complaint in handling of the Jackson water crisis

The EPA investigation was prompted by a complaint from the NAACP back in October who accused the state of discriminating against the city with racial motivations against the black community. That complaint was filed with the EPA Office of External Civil Rights Compliance and claims that the state has for years discriminated against the city of Jackson.

Jackson has a majority-black population at 82.47%, a white population of 16.19%, two or more races at 0.70% and Asians population of 0.33%.

The Thursday announcement means the EPA will look into whether the state has violated provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits recipients of federal dollars from engaging in discriminatory behavior, whether intentionally or not.

The decision to open an investigation does not mean that the EPA has made a determination of whether any wrongdoing occurred.

City and State officials have gone back and forth with each other placing blame for the failing infrastructure in Jackson.

Most recently, Governor Tate Reeves called Mayor Chokwe Lumumba’s mishandling of the city’s water system “incompetent.”

Governor Tate Reeves

“We have been told by city officials that the Mayor of Jackson is planning to functionally end the city’s cooperation with the Unified Command Structure—the team that has been keeping Jackson water stable—by refusing to participate in the process of selecting a water operator alongside federal and state water experts as the Biden Administration repeatedly asked to be done. That would be a huge mistake by the city. They would be communicating through this action that they no longer desire state assistance and insist on going it alone,” said Governor Reeves in the release this week.

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mayor Lumumba responded by asserting that the Governor’s office has kept the city out of the process.

“We simply do not agree with the governor’s attempt to exclude Jackson from being a part of the selection of an O&M contract paid for by Jackson residents,” said Lumumba.

After the recent disaster, the state intervened in the municipal operations in an attempt to rectify the immediate issues at the O.B. Curtis water plant in Jackson. That same emergency team is now working to secure operators to take over after the state’s emergency declaration ends later this month.

RELATED: Water pressure restored in Jackson thanks to state intervention