Vol. 17 Issue 1 January 2020
News from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality
Wells Named MDEQ Interim Executive Director

MDEQ Executive Director Gary Rikard left the agency concurrent with the conclusion of Governor Phil Bryant's term. Rikard had served in that capacity since September 2014. Governor Tate Reeves has appointed MDEQ Chief of Staff Chris Wells to serve as Interim Executive Director.
MDEQ Dam Safety Division Helps Homeowner

Recent rains causing significant erosion of a privately-owned dam in Adams County threatened the home of DeeAnne Whitehead. Although the dam was classified as low hazard, the eroding spillway would have undercut the foundation to her home leading to collapse. With no resources available to address the erosion, the intervention of David Atkins of A&M Engineering, LLC, Willie McKercher of the MDEQ Dam Safety Division, Adams County Supervisor Kevin Wilson and Eddie Beach of Midway Construction (who redirected the spillway at no cost) saved the Whitehead home. Read more from the Natchez Democrat here and here .
Greenville Lab Director Sentenced to Prison for Falsifying Lab Results Concerning Water Quality

A Greenville lab operator hired to test water samples to help ensure water quality for dozens of towns throughout the Mississippi Delta was sentenced to 18 months in prison on January 16 for submitting false statements and lab results to MDEQ. Read the DOJ press release .
Turkey Creek Project Update Meeting
  
MDEQ and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) will host a meeting on January 28 in Gulfport to update the public on the Habitat Restoration and Conservation in Turkey Creek project. The meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. at the Isiah Fredericks Community Center. Find out more here .
Fannegusha Creek Success Story

Sediment and nutrient inputs from agriculture and silviculture
activities in the Long Creek-Fannegusha Creek watershed in Holmes County contributed to a biological impairment in Fannegusha Creek. As a result, MDEQ placed Fannegusha Creek on the state’s 2002 Clean Water Act (CWA) section 303(d) list for aquatic life use impairment. Implementing best management practices (BMPs) through the USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program helped to abate sediment and nutrients entering the streams. In 2018, Fannegusha Creek was assessed as attaining the aquatic life use in the state’s CWA section 305(b) report and was removed from the impaired waters list. Read more from EPA.

New NPDES Applications Coming Soon

As part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program update finalized February 12, 2019, EPA has modernized the NPDES applications forms to match the new regulations and clarified requirements. Applications will be more consistent in style and allow additional flexibility in reapplication testing. MDEQ is required to adopt these forms by June 12, 2020, and has created a state specific NPDES form for Small Domestic facilities discharging treated wastewater to a water of the state. Read More and FAQs
e-Manifest FY 2020-2021 User Fees

EPA has announced the new e-Manifest user fees for federal Fiscal Years 2020-2021. These user fees are set based on the manifest usage and processing costs for each manifest type. EPA encourages the hazardous waste industry to adopt fully electronic manifesting as soon as possible so that industry members can take maximum advantage of the benefits and cost savings. Although this is a federally administered effort, questions regarding the state’s adoption of e-Manifest requirements may be addressed to Krista Caron , the Hazardous Waste Branch Manager at MDEQ. 
enSearch Tip

The agency's public database of permitted facilities ( enSearch ) provides a myriad of information. This database includes contact information for MDEQ staff for specific facilities. Use this search form to find the most current information and staff contacts.
MDEQ Annual Report

The agency's Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report can be found at this link .
MDEQ Social Media

Stay up to date with MDEQ's Facebook page, Twitter account, Restoration Twitter account, and Instagram . In addition to regularly posted information there are some interesting fossils and photos posted too!
Photo of the Month

Mississippi Gulf Coast pelicans taken by MDEQ's Melody Chimahusky.