Jackson, Mississippi, residents now get a voice in negotiations over city’s water crisis

April 4, 2024

...“Residents have been left in the dark when it comes to public health,” said Jessica Vosburgh, a senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights. Intervenor status might change that.

On March 18, a federal judge granted the intervention, a legal move that allows third parties to take part in discussions even if they’re not listed as plaintiffs or defendants in a case. In late 2022, the EPA sued the city of Jackson for violating the Safe Drinking Water Act, which removed management of the water system from the city and placed control in the hands of a court-appointed manager, Ted Henifin...

The formal intervention will ideally allow residents to enjoy a level of participation and transparency of information that has never been offered before. 

“The aim is to disseminate information not to just the community but to provide information to the court,” said Mikaila Hernández, a Bertha Justice Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Before this point, conversations about the future of Jackson’s water took place between federal agencies like the Department of Justice and EPA along with state representatives—excluding Jackson residents, who know firsthand what it means to purchase bottled water to fulfill everyday tasks like cooking and cleaning...

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Last modified 

April 4, 2024