Vol. 16 Issue 5 June 2019
News from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality
Mississippi Groundwater Protection Trust Fund reaches $200 million in Reimbursements to Tank Owners and Operators
Lynn Chambers, GARD

In May 2019, MDEQ’s Underground Storage Tanks (UST) Program hit the $200 million mark in reimbursement from the Mississippi Groundwater Protection Trust Fund for the assessment and clean-up of petroleum contaminated UST sites in the state. Since the inception of the Trust Fund law in 1988, MDEQ staff and Environmental Response Action Contractors have completed assessment and clean-up of soil and/or groundwater contamination at more than 1,000 former or operating UST facilities throughout Mississippi. The majority of these clean-ups have occurred at your local service stations and convenience stores in just about every county in the state. Read More.  
RESTORE Council and Treasury Approve Restoration Plans
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council recently approved Mississippi's 2018 State Expenditure Plan Amendment and the U.S. Department of the Treasury accepted the state's Multiyear Implementation Plan Amendment 3. These two plans include 10 RESTORE Act projects announced by Governor Phil Bryant and MDEQ in November 2018 at the Mississippi Restoration Summit. The projects total approximately $38 million.

Comprehensive information about Mississippi's restoration efforts and the work of MDEQ's Office of Restoration can be found at restore.ms.
Staff Change - William McKercher

William McKercher was recently named Chief of the Dam Safety Division in the Office of Land and Water Resources, following the recent departure of its past Chief, Dusty Myers. In his previous 17 years of service with MDEQ, William served as the Brownfield Program Coordinator and Branch Chief in the Groundwater Assessment and Remediation Division. William earned his Master's degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Mississippi in 2006 while working for the agency and his Bachelor's degree from Mississippi State University in Biological Engineering in 2001. He is a Registered Professional Engineer and a Board Certified Environmental Engineer by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists. A graduate of Warren Central High School in Vicksburg, William and his family have been residents of Rankin County for the last 18 years.    
Solicitation for SOQs for Restoration Engineering Services

MDEQ gave notice on June 14 that it is soliciting Statements of Qualifications (SOQs) from organizations licensed to do business in the State of Mississippi to assist MDEQ with engineering services support, including conceptual engineering and design, architectural renderings, planning, and outreach, on an as needed basis, in order to support the Bayou Casotte Industrial Buffer Project.  

To obtain a copy of the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) please visit here or contact Melanie Green at mgreen@mdeq.ms.gov or (601) 961-5270. The SOQs will be accepted until 1:00 p.m. on July 16.  

Brownfield Redevelopment and Grant Workshop

 MDEQ staff will conduct a session, Brownfield Redevelopment and Grant Workshop, on June 24 at the Mississippi Municipal League's annual conference in Biloxi. It is open to the public. For more information and to RSVP, please contact Thomas Wallace .
Looking for New enHance Members

The enHance program is seeking its next class of environmental leaders in the state, and interested manufacturers, local governments, and other organizations are encouraged to apply. 
The application period is open now and closes September 30. More information about the program, including how to apply and access to online applications, is available at enhance.ms .  In addition, questions about the program may be directed to Mr. Khairy Abu-Salah .
MDEQ Receives Keep Mississippi Beautiful Partnership Award

MDEQ’s Right-Way-To-Throw-Away Program received a second place Partnership Award in the State Government Category from Keep Mississippi Beautiful at their recent Annual Awards Luncheon on April 25. The MDEQ Right Way to Throw Away Program has for over 25 years provided grants and staffing assistance to communities across Mississippi to conduct Household Hazardous Waste collection events. The program has provided a safe outlet for the disposal of thousands of tons of hazardous wastes since its creation. Pictured are Cindy Duvall, Chair of the Board of Directors for Keep Mississippi Beautiful, Mark Williams, MDEQ Waste Division Chief, Krista Caron, Hazardous Waste Branch Manager, and First Lady Deborah Bryant. (Not pictured Taaka Bailey, MDEQ Grants Branch Manager and Phillip Weathersby, Staffing Coordinator, MDEQ GARD).  

Milner Receives Top 40 Under 40 Award

MDEQ’s Jennifer Milner recently received an award as a winner in  Waste360’s fourth annual 40 Under 40 awards program  which honors the next generation of leaders who are shaping the future of the waste and recycling industry. She received the award at the Waste Expo in Las Vegas. Milner serves as the State Recycling Coordinator and manages the Recycling and Waste Reduction Branch in MDEQ’s Waste Division. 

MDEQ Announces Grants

MDEQ announced 27 Solid Waste Assistance Grants and Waste Tire Grants on June 19 to Mississippi local governments. A list of those press releases can be found here .

Solid Waste Assistance Grants are used by local communities for programs to prevent and clean up unauthorized dumps; to aid in hiring local solid waste enforcement officers; for public education efforts on solid waste disposal and recycling; and to establish programs for the collection of white goods, bulky wastes, and recyclables.

Three Mississippi Communities Receive EPA Brownfield Grants

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in June that three Mississippi communities would receive Brownfield Grants to address contaminated properties. The recipients are:
South Delta Planning and Development District ($481,000), Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District ($300,000), and Yazoo City ($300,000). Read the EPA news release .

Helpful Public Notice Webpages

Public Notices and Hearings from across MDEQ are gathered on this page for easy access by the public.

A recently created webpage lists all the water contact advisories currently in effect for various water bodies across the state.

The status of advisories from the Mississippi Beach Monitoring Program can be found here .
MDEQ Office of Geology Fossil Website
David T. Dockery III, RPG

The Office of Geology has recently updated its fossil website which is a great source for geologists, students, and those interested in Mississippi’s rich geologic past.  Fossil mollusks of the Late Eocene Moodys Branch Formation are illustrated on the website in a unique systematic arrangement.  Read More .
Photo of the Month

Photo of Round Island, the site of a restoration project. Taken by Tabatha Baum, MDEQ Legal Division.