Inquiry into Jackson, Mississippi, Drinking Water Emergency: U.S. EPA Office of Inspector General Project Notification | Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.

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The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) issued a Project Notification titled:

Inquiry into Jackson, Mississippi, Drinking Water Emergency (“Project Notification”)

The Notification is contained in a memorandum transmitted from Nicole N. Murley, OIG Acting Deputy Inspector General to Daniel Blackman, Regional Administrator, Region 4.

OIG states that it is initiating an inquiry into the drinking water emergency in Jackson, Mississippi. The inquiry is projected to include:

  • Interviews
  • Data gathering
  • Analysis of compliance with regulations, policies, and procedures
    • Overseeing Jackson’s water system
    • Administering the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds

Individuals to be contacted are stated to potentially include:

  • EPA Region 4 Water Division and the Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division
  • State of Mississippi
  • City of Jackson, Mississippi

OIG Inspector General Sean O’Donnell in a press statement accompanying the Project Notification states:

Given the magnitude of the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi, it is critical that the EPA OIG act with a sense of urgency to understand what has happened in that community. I have directed a multi-disciplinary team of oversight professionals to look into Jackson’s drinking water system. We have begun the process of conducting interviews and collecting data related to the oversight of the water system and administration of the state’s water revolving funds. That information will provide a basis for decisions about additional work to follow.

A copy of the Project Notification can be found here and the press statement here.