Read the full story at Mississippi Today.
The Environmental Protection Agency wrote in a letter Thursday that it is opening a civil rights investigation into the state of Mississippi’s role in the breakdown of Jackson’s water system.
The letter is in response to a complaint the NAACP filed on Sept. 27 under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The complaint alleges Mississippi has discriminated against the city on the basis of race, and that the state has “deprived” Jackson of federal funds intended for maintaining safe drinking water systems.
Mississippi, which has no Black statewide elected officials, is 38% Black and 59% white. Jackson is 83% Black and 16% white.
The EPA specified in the letter that it will investigate whether the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and the Mississippi State Department of Health discriminated against Jackson in their funding of water programs. It will also investigate whether the two state agencies have safeguards and policies to protect against discrimination as required by Title VI.