The Jackson City Council has approved a consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as the city attempts to comply with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
On Thursday, the council voted for the decree unanimously after a two-hour-long executive session that was held behind closed doors. Only four of the seven members of the council attended the meeting, including Council President Ashby Foote, Angelique Lee, Brian Grizzell, and Virgi Lindsay.
Although the decree has not been made available to the public, the agreement with the city council and EPA is said to provide several requirements that must be met by Jackson’s water infrastructure in the next 12 months. For over a year, the city has experienced numerous violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act before the complete failure of Jackson’s O.B. Curtis Water Treatment facility in late August.
At this time, other details include a $3 million grant that was approved by the council for any fees involved in the decree, as well as that a third-party manager will need to be hired to uphold the contract.
Now, the decree is being filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.