Vol. 17 Issue 12 December 2020
News from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality
Tips for Going Green this Holiday Season
Jennifer Milner, MDEQ State Recycling Coordinator

It’s that time of year again—special days of spending time with family, watching a little football on TV, and lots of dinners and treats. That’s right, the holidays are here! And while celebrations may be scaled down a bit this year, we’ve got you covered on tips for going green as you prepare your favorite holiday dishes and goodies. Read More.
MDEQ Recognizes 2020 enHance Members

MDEQ recently recognized the new and renewing members of the enHance environmental stewardship program accepting three new members and twelve renewing members into the program for the 2020 class. enHance is a voluntary stewardship program that recognizes committed environmental leaders who initiate waste reduction and pollution prevention efforts that go above and beyond the standard environmental regulatory requirements. enHance is open to manufacturers and other industrial and commercial facilities, to local governments and to other entities who are interested in the program and who meet the eligibility requirements. Applicants are able to apply for membership at one of three tier levels: Leader, Steward, or Associate. Read More.
MDEQ Draft General Permit Revision for Delta Agriculture and Wildlife Water Use at Public Notice

For the 2021 General Permit to withdraw groundwater from the waters of the state, MDEQ, in consultation with stakeholders, has proposed changes that include reducing the time to implement conservation practices from three years to one year, adding descriptions of conservation practices, and informing the permit holder that the permitted acreage may be inspected for compliance with the permit requirements. Read More.
2020 NPS Management Plan

MDEQ recently posted the Mssissippi 2020 Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS) Management Program Plan on its website. It is an update of Mississippi’s 2014 NPS Pollution Management Program Plan and has been approved by EPA. The 2020 Plan is updated and revised to better reflect how NPS pollution is managed to protect and improve water quality while sustaining water resources for wildlife and aquatic animals. The plan includes focused research, widespread education, conservation activities, and cooperation with partners and the public. Read More.
MDEQ Invitation for Bids -- Wolf River Living Shoreline

MDEQ is seeking sealed bids, until January 19, 2021, for the Restoring Living Shorelines and Reefs in Mississippi Estuaries – Wolf River Living Shoreline and Subtidal Reef Construction.

This project is being administered by MDEQ as part of the Phase IV Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment prepared by the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Trustees. The purpose of the project is to construct approximately 30 acres of subtidal reef and 1,600 linear feet of breakwater near the mouth of the Wolf River in St. Louis Bay. Read More.
RESTORE Council's Mississippi Webinar

As part of the RESTORE Council's draft FPL 3b public comment period, a Mississippi-specific webinar was held on November 30. A recording of that webinar and how to provide comments can be found here.
2019 Annual State Solid Waste Report

MDEQ’s Waste Division recently released the 2019 Status Report on Solid Waste Management Facilities and Activities. The annual status report is developed by MDEQ to summarize and provide information on solid waste management and disposal activities that were conducted in Mississippi each calendar year. The report is based on information provided by individual facility owners as required by state law and regulations and/or the facility operating permits. Read More.
MDEQ Awards Fall Competitive Solid Waste Assistance Grants

MDEQ recently awarded more than $365,000 in Fall Competitive Solid Waste Assistance Grants to municipalities, counties, regional solid waste management authorities and other multi-county entities for various types of local solid waste projects and programs. Eligible grant projects include cleanup of unauthorized dumps; establishment of collection programs for white goods or other bulky wastes; support for recycling and waste reduction programs, public education campaigns on solid waste and recycling; salary support for local solid waste enforcement officers; household hazardous waste collection programs; and, other activities that support proper management and recycling of solid wastes. Read More.
McGee-Collier Selected for EPA's NEJAC

MDEQ's Melissa McGee-Collier was recently reappointed by EPA to continue to serve as a member of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC). Melissa was first appointed in September 2015. 
 
The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), an advisory committee to EPA, provides advice and recommendations about broad, cross-cutting issues from all stakeholders involved in the environmental justice dialogue. In addition, the NEJAC provides a valuable forum for discussions about integrating environmental justice with other EPA priorities and initiatives and provides independent advice and recommendations to the EPA Administrator. The Council’s efforts include the evaluation of a broad range of strategic, scientific, technological, regulatory, community engagement, and economic issues related to environmental justice. 
 
Melissa’s career with MDEQ spans over 26 years. She currently serves as the Director of the Office of Community Engagement providing guidance and recommendations for community involvement and environmental justice issues and management of the MDEQ Small Business Environmental Assistance Program.  
Photo of the Month

Spillway at Barnett Reservoir taken by MDEQ's Shawn Clark.