The current emergency declaration was originally set to expire at the end of October.
After consultation with the leadership of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Mississippi State Department of Health, I am extending the State of Emergency regarding Jackson’s water system until November 22, 2022.
Since I first declared a State of Emergency on August 30, the state has invested nearly $13 million to prop up Jackson’s failing water system, distribute water, and restore clean running water to the residents of the city. Over this time, the state of Mississippi entered the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant, identified the rampant issues that existed due to years of neglect, and immediately began repair operations.
Jackson’s mayor has announced that the city will have a private operator in place by November 17, stating, “we anticipate having a contract in place by November 17th.” Recognizing this, I have decided to end the emergency on November 22, to allow for a five-day transition period between the state’s management team and the chosen private operator.
At that point, the State of Emergency must, by statute, end as the water system can be managed solely by local control, as has been insisted upon by the City of Jackson. The State of Emergency must only exist when a situation is beyond local control and the City of Jackson has demanded local control.
I am incredibly thankful for the continued role the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Mississippi State Department of Health have played to fix the many issues found within Jackson’s water system.