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EPA Charging Jackson, Miss. $400 Million over Sewer Improvements
by Ali Papademetriou
The city of Jackson, Mississippi is being forced to pay 400 million dollars in sewer damages to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Over the next 17 to 20 years, the city will have to rummage up the funds to pay the federal agency after being accused of dumping raw sewage into the Pearl River. In addition Jackson will have to cover EPA fines and improvements to its maturing sewage system.
City council president, Tony Yarber commented about the river dumping, “The Pearl River is actually something that’s been happening for quite some time; however, just rest assured that if it was indeed as bad as the print made it seem, the EPA would have shut us down a very, very, very long time ago.”
Since the late 1990’s, Jackson taxpayers have spent 155 million dollars on water improvements and the city council only has a little over a year to develop a proposal for their method of mandatory EPA payments.
Jackson’s mayor Johnson even noted that the amount of taxpayer money that is going to be spent is unnerving and said, “It’s a lot of money and a rate increase concerns me. It concerns people who are in the system, but we’re trying to do all we can to make sure that we don’t dig any deeper into the pickets of ratepayers.”
Mississippi’s capital is not the only city in the U.S. that’s being forced to pay damages to the EPA. The city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana owes the agency over one billion dollars and Atlanta, Georgia has to pay the EPA an estimated whopping three billion dollars.