Vol. 18 Issue 1 January 2021
News from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality
MDEQ Annual Report

MDEQ's Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2020 has been posted on the agency's website. This report contains comprehensive information on MDEQ's programs, initiatives, and regulatory functions. The report can be accessed here.
MDEQ Staff Contribute to Local Charities

MDEQ staff continued their years long tradition of assisting local charities. While COVID-19 restrictions curtailed fundraisers usually held throughout the year, two charities were chosen for the holidays. This year staff adopted angels for the Salvation Army's Christmas Tree and donated many items to Shower Power to help the homeless in the Jackson area.

"I believe that MDEQ's tradition of helping others and continued generosity is the kind of thing that sets our agency apart," said Chris Wells, MDEQ Executive Director.
RESTORE Council Approves $18.9 Million Grant for Marsh Work

The RESTORE Council recently approved an $18.9 million grant for creating and restoring marsh across the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Beneficial Use of Dredge Material for Marsh Creation and Restoration program will support the restoration and protection of natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands by creating new marsh and restoring and enhancing existing marsh through the beneficial use of dredge materials. The grant is administered by MDEQ. Read More.
Mississippi's FEMA Risk MAP and Flood Mapping Quarterly Update

MDEQ's Office of Geology recently produced the latest quarterly update on the ongoing FEMA Risk MAP and Flood Mapping program projects. The report includes information on counties with current active flood mapping studies. Read More.

Stormwater General Permit Reissued

The Mississippi Environmental Quality Permit Board has reissued the general permit that authorizes the discharge of stormwater associated with industrial activity. The Industrial Stormwater General Permit for Industrial Activities (MSR00) was reissued on December 10, 2020. This general permit was previously titled the Baseline Stormwater General Permit. This permit replaces the previous general permit that expired on October 31, 2020, and was administratively extended by MDEQ. Recoverage instructions are being mailed to coverage holders, and the recoverage instructions can also be found here. The required recoverage form can be found on MDEQ's website here, and must be received by MDEQ no later than March 29, 2021.
Process Change to Electronically Submit Annual Hazardous Waste Reporting Data
 
MDEQ is notifying those individuals subject to the annual hazardous waste reporting requirements in Mississippi that Easitrak will no longer be available for electronic data reporting as of January 1, 2021. However, generators may utilize the RCRAInfo Industry Application to submit data electronically. MDEQ encourages generators to submit their information electronically; however, the agency is also accepting the traditional printed form.
 
Mississippi law requires each generator of greater than 220 pounds of hazardous waste in any calendar month, each transporter of hazardous waste, and the owner or operator of any facility for the treatment, storage, recycling or disposal of hazardous waste to report annually the types and amounts of hazardous waste generated, managed and/or shipped during the preceding calendar year.
 
For further information or to download a copy of the paper form, please visit the MDEQ Hazardous Waste webpage. For questions, please contact Sonia Weddington at (601) 961-5305.
Reporting Forms for 2020 Solid Waste Management Facility Activities Available

The online reporting forms for solid waste management facilities for 2020 are available for completion in the Mississippi DEQ Solid Waste Facility Reporting program through Re-TRAC Connect (Re-TRAC). Facility owners already registered in the program can access the 2020 forms as well as their previous annual reporting forms here. Those not yet registered should go here to gain access and complete the 2020 annual report.

As a reminder, MDEQ has transitioned from the previous submittal of paper and PDF copies of these reports to an online data entry system to improve consistency in facility reporting data, to provide an easier method for timely submittal of reports, and to streamline the annual reporting process for both the agency and regulated community. Facility owners may no longer mail, fax, or email copies of their reporting forms in order to fulfill their annual reporting requirements.

State solid waste laws and regulations require owners of solid waste management facilities to submit an annual report to MDEQ each year on or before February 28 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 and wood chipping/mulching 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.

More information, including guidance on the use of the Re-TRAC program and memos concerning the reports for each facility type, is available here. Those with questions about the online reporting program can contact Charlie Bock or Collin Selman in the Waste Division at 601-961-5171.
Office of Geology Helps Author of Gems and Minerals Children's Book

MDEQ Office of Geology staff helped author Yinan Wang with information about Mississippi for his recently published book, The 50 State Gems and Minerals: A Guidebook for Aspiring Geologists.

The book features the state mineral for each state. While Mississippi has an official State Fossil (fossil whale) and a State Stone (petrified wood), the Mississippi Legislature has not designated a state gemstone or state mineral. For those states that do not have a state gem or mineral, the author asked each state's geological survey to propose one. The Office of Geology proposed the Mississippi Opal for the state gemstone and selenite (gypsum) as the state mineral for the book. Precious Opal was discovered by MDEQ’s James Starnes and is the first and only precious gemstone ever found in Mississippi. Selenite is a beautiful and delicate mineral found commonly throughout much of the state and can be found at the surface.
 
This wonderful, educational book is widely available and is listed in hardcover for $18.99. 
Mooreville Geologic Quadrangle Published

Darrel Schmitz of Mississippi State University and Jonathan R. Leard of MDEQ’s Office of Geology have been working for more than a year publishing geologic maps in northeastern Mississippi.

The Mooreville Quadrangle is the eighth published since the project began. This map includes the type locality for the Mooreville Chalk, a pelagic sediment deposited during the Cretaceous Period, that is exposed at the surface in Mississippi and Alabama. Dinosaur and bird fossils have been recovered from the Mooreville Chalk, and the geologic map with a structural cross-section provides a reliable, geologic background for anyone working in the area. It can be downloaded for free from the Office of Geology’s Publications and Map Sales webpage.
Want to Work for MDEQ?

MDEQ's Human Resources recently launched a webpage to collect prospective employees' contact information and qualifications. That page can be found here. In addition, MDEQ is frequently looking for qualified candidates to fill Environmental Engineer and Environmental Scientist positions. MDEQ offers many opportunities in various challenging environmental fields as well as accountant and administrative positions.
Photo of the Month

Barnett Reservoir (Madison County) taken by MDEQ's Robbie Wilbur on January 11.