Vol. 15 Issue 9 November 2018
Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Newsletter
MDEQ Announces 10 Restoration Projects
Gary Rikard, MDEQ Executive Director

We recently announced 10 new and supplemental restoration projects that will add approximately $37.8 million to the total being spent on restoration projects in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This brings the total to approximately $508 million of restoration projects that have been announced. 

These projects address both natural resources improvement and economic development which are clearly intertwined and will make the Coast better than it was before.

More information about the projects can be found here as well as our presentation from the projects announcement press conference at the Mississippi Restoration Summit.

Thanks to all who attended the summit and shared their ideas and feedback.

MIP Amendment #3 and 2018 MSEP Amendment Available for Public Review and Input
The projects announced at the Restoration Summit are included in two plans now available for public review and comment through January 18, 2019:

The MIP is a list of projects and programs proposed for funding under Bucket 1 of the RESTORE Act.

The MSEP is a list of projects and programs proposed for funding under Bucket 3 of the RESTORE Act.

To view the documents and to learn how to provide input, please visit www.restore.ms .
Staff Change
Erica Scarbrough is the new director of the Laboratory in MDEQ's Field Services Division. She replaces David Singleton who recently retired. She started her tenure with the agency in 2002 as an environmental scientist in the Organics section of the Laboratory. She became the manager of the Air/Metals section in 2012 and the Quality Control Officer in 2015. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry from Millsaps College, a Master’s of Science in Chemistry from Mississippi College, and is currently enrolled in the Environmental Engineering Graduate Program at Jackson State University. MDEQ's Laboratory is a full service environmental laboratory providing the agency with accurate and timely analyses of pollutants. The staff solves analytical problems, provides expert witnesses in environmental litigation, and offers technical support and information to agency programs, the regulated community, and the public.
Seeking Water from Above: Low-Level Helicopter to Fly Above Mississippi Alluvial Plain
Beginning in early November and lasting for several months, a low-level helicopter will begin flying over parts of seven states in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain to acquire a more robust picture of aquifers in the area.
This high-resolution, airborne geophysical survey, coordinated by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists in partnership with local agencies, will provide critical data for the evaluation and management of groundwater resources in the region.

Data gathered will be used to improve the USGS regional water availability computer model, which will assist state and local water management agencies like MDEQ and the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Joint Water Management District (YMD) in making decisions regarding the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer (MRVA).

The MRVA supplies most of the water for irrigation, aquaculture, and wildlife habitat enhancement in the Mississippi Delta. Water levels in this aquifer have declined as demand has increased since the 1980s. The Delta Sustainable Water Resources Task Force , led by MDEQ, was formed in 2011 to develop strategies to assure that the Delta will have adequate agricultural water resources for the future.

Read the USGS Press Release for more information about the survey.

MDEQ to Launch Online Reporting for Solid Waste Facilities in 2019
The MDEQ Waste Division is pleased to announce the 2019 launch of a new online reporting format for solid waste management facility annual reports. State solid waste laws and regulations require the owner of a solid waste management facility to submit an annual report to the MDEQ each year on or before February 28 th detailing information on the solid waste disposal activities conducted during the preceding calendar year. Solid waste management facilities required to submit annual reports include commercial and noncommercial landfills and rubbish sites, transfer stations, processing facilities, composting facilities, and land application sites. Additionally, all holders of a Beneficial Use Determination (BUD) are also required to submit annual reports for their beneficial use activities in the state. Read More
MDEQ Raises Funds for American Cancer Society
In October and November, MDEQ raised funds for breast cancer and prostate cancer research. Using various fundraising methods, more than $9,240 was donated to the American Cancer Society in honor of family, friends, and co-workers.

Photo of the Month

Taken by MDEQ's Matthew Carr near Bay St. Louis during the Renew Our Rivers cleanup in October.