Saturday, June 19, 2021

More Mayoral Malarkey

 The Health Department wasn't buying any of the Jackson Mayor's malarkey about the EPA and Jackson's water system.  

The Health Department tried to get Jackson to address its water safety problems since 2016 but to no avail.  The Department had enough and reported Jackson to EPA.

 The EPA inspected Jackson's water treatment plants a little over a year ago and found them to be quite wanting.  Chronically malfunctioning equipment, neglected detectors, and vacant key positions were just a few of the problems EPA discovered at the O.B. Curtis and Fewell water treatment plants.  EPA saw enough and issued an Emergency Administrative Order against Jackson on March 27, 2020.  WLBT reported last night:

Emails obtained by WLBT shows that a Mississippi State Department of Health official slammed Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba over the mayor’s comments regarding an EPA emergency administrative order.

Emails also show state health officials lamenting news reports calling into question the city’s water quality, and that news of the mayor’s decision to keep the EPA order being only the tip of the iceberg of a larger story looming.

“The depth of the story will be coming out with time,” State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs wrote.

We asked the department to clarify what that statement or any of the statements contained in the emails mean, and they have declined to share details.

In April, it was revealed that the mayor for more than a year had sat on an emergency administrative order handed down by the Environmental Protection Agency that outlined numerous deficiencies at the city’s two water treatment facilities.

As a result, Lumumba faced backlash from several members of the Jackson City Council who said they had been kept in the dark on order and its details.

Members were particularly concerned that the order outlined numerous deficiencies at the plant that could have impacted water quality.

Lumumba, though, said water quality was never questioned and the state wouldn’t allow Jackson to deliver unsafe water to its customers, telling the council “it would be not only a failure of the city of Jackson, (but) it would be a failure of the Mississippi State Department of Health … for us to OK bad water for the residents of Jackson.”

Lester Herrington, director of MSDH’s Office of Environmental Health, referenced those comments in an email to numerous MSDH officials, including Dobbs and Jim Craig, senior deputy, and director of the Office of Health Protection.

“The mayor is trying to play semantics in the first highlighted statement, and hoping to deflect the spotlight.”

Semantics indeed.  The Mayor squawks to anyone who listens that Jackson's water is safe and had always been safe.  However, the EPA order focuses not on the safety of Jackson's drinking water but the neglected and poorly maintained conditions at the water treatment plants.  Such concerns are no small matter when the plants failed in February.  Earlier post with copy of order. 



Anonymous said...

" director of the Office of Health Protection "

Laughing my ass off.

However, I do have some serious questions: ... when was this position (and office) created ? What are the basic qualifications for this Director's job ? ... How much does this Director of the Office of Health Protection make per year ? Why was there not a rep from this department at the last City of Jackson "job fair" ?

What does the Office of "Health Protection" even do ?
Where is their location ?

Anonymous said...

There is a huge difference in quality of drinking water and quality of water treatment (post-use). I think the mayor is incompetent but let’s not confuse the two issues. Totally separate.

Anonymous said...

Attn 8:48 Apparently the health protection dept. is in charge of preventing murders in the capitol city. How are they doing?

Anonymous said...

I believe this has been referred to the Ministry of Silly Walks. They have since issued a press release stating: blah, blah, blah....meh, meh, meh.

Anonymous said...

Can we please stop focusing on minor things like this and come together to ban gun shows? That’s what the real problem is.

Anonymous said...

Even bathing in this water is Harmful to those with open cuts or weak immune systems! The Mayor is a Disgrace but the people who voted for him are worse. To not want more for your children, friends and parents is crazy!

Anonymous said...

Remind me...Wasn't he recently re-elected to a new four year term?

Isn't that 'the rest of the story' and 'the bottom line' all at the same time?

Anonymous said...

Does the Mayor drink Jackson water?? Probably bottled water only, someone should ask him this question!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh goodness!

I must have missed the State Health Dept.'s press conference in 2016 or since.

I did get water reports regularly from the city and did read them. It's why I don't drink or cook with water that isn't filtered or bottled.

Of course, in the mid '80's, I was aware that Jackson isn't the only bad water system in the State.

Indeed,I'm aware of the myth that well water is immune to leaching from all the toxic chemicals that find their way into our aquifers.

Now, do tell what exactly the mayor had the funds to do to fix a problem that any and all elected and appointed officials ought to have known we had back in the 1980's?

And,by the way,once upon a time, the CDC published " cancer hot spot" maps. It was pretty obvious they could be linked to contaminated water near hazardous waste dumps and leaching of toxic chemicals into the water supply sources in this country.

Did you also know that the USMC hid the fact that asbestos contaminated the water and Camp Lejeune and Marines died and had serious health problems from the drinking that water?

Yeah, so let's blame A guy rather than all the politicians protecting the sources of pollution and contamination and who wouldn't direct funds to solve expensive problems few cities have the ability to solve.

Our infrastructure didn't decay overnight!

But,calling environmentalists who tried to warn us, "tree huggers" or "Commies" made it easy to give subsidies to industries and build planes and tanks that didn't work.

Anonymous said...

@9:00 AM, for the apologists like yourself it is all about the power and control but not about results. So the bottom line, if you must have one, is that you helped return a total zero-results incompetent to power and control. Congrats.

Say it ain't so said...

Oh, oh, it's on now. 9:53, has brought out the what abouts. That automatically clears anyone they are defending. After all, everyone knows two wrongs make a right.

Anonymous said...

9:53 Hey Lumumba, be sure to click an ad when you post.

Anonymous said...

9:53 - to answer your question as to 'the mayor who had the funds to fix the problem" - let me start and work backward: Yarbor, Lumumba Sr, Johnson, Melton, Johnson, Ditto, Danks and keep going.

They all 'inherited' old infrastructure, but they didn't let it go to hell under their administrations. They all had the money to maintain the system because ---- hold on, wait for it ------ they all required the users to pay for their water; and the use of the sewer; and their garbage collection.

Under each and every one of those previous mayors (and btw, in case you missed it, I named all of the previous mayors of what was once the fine Capitol City but is now the New Radical City, going back over forty years) the city was able to maintain the water system, do the maintenance, and in many cases build new facilities while upgrading others.

And, while doing that, they maintained a cash reserve balance in the water fund that was able to take care of emergencies and keep up with necessary repairs.

But this mayor has chosen to not require the citizens of our Radical New City to pay their utility bill - unless of course, they want to do so. This has caused the water system fund to deplete its entire reserve fund as well as to not have the money to hire adequate workers at the treatment plants, or to provide scheduled maintenance required to keep the system operating.

Yes - he complains constantly about having an "old system" - but frankly, only parts of it are old (as are systems throughout the country) but properly maintained those systems are adequate and do not shut down or operate in absolute disregard of the required health parameters.

There is no defense for this administration's absolute failure to keep the water system (both the treatment plants, the wells, and the distribution lines) all functioning. Just as there is no escuse for not having done diddly-squat about the collapsing sewer system that has been under a consent decree for eight years but has not moved forward toward resolving the problems there as well.

We can say though that the garbage has been collected - twice a week, which is a nice extravagance - but that happens only because there is a contract with an outside vendor who does the work. Too bad that a quarter of our citizens choose not to pay for that service either.

Anonymous said...

Well said 3:38.

And while we are approaching mid Summer with temps soon to be over 100 degrees every day...serious Winter weather will be back during January, February and early March of 2022.(That's only about eight months away).

Then it will be the "same ole/same ole"

Pipes will burst, everyone will be without water for over a month.
Chokawey [sic] will blame dead White Mayors, Reeves will have to activate the National Guard, CNN & MSNBC will rush down ... and it will be a repeat of 2021.

Although sad for the good folks that are trapped in Jackson, I do hope Councilman Stokes will call another "smells like boo-boo/dope boys" press conference.

That was the funniest presser ever to be seen all over the planet.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:53 -- Bravo! Was the monologue below your inspiration?

"Ladies and gentlemen, I'll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our female party guests - we did. But you can't hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg - isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but I for one am not going to stand here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America!" -- Otter

Wow said...

8:48pm educate yourself about basic public health.

Go to a third world country and then you will be grateful for things like Offices of Health Protection.

Jimmy B said...

No running water but re-elected with 70% of the vote. I think that sums it up pretty good. If they don't care why should anyone else.

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