Vol. 16 Issue 3 March 2019
Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Newsletter
Ozone Daily Forecasts Begin April 1

MDEQ issues daily ozone forecasts from April 1 to October 31 for DeSoto County, the Jackson Metro area, and the Gulf Coast. These forecasts keep residents and industries apprised of the current ozone conditions and alert them if an Air Quality Action Day is forecast. These forecasts are updated and available daily via the MDEQ website , MDEQ Twitter account, and daily emails . Read More .
MDEQ Releases Volkswagen Settlement Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for Public Comment 
MDEQ released the Volkswagen Settlement Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for review and comment on February 15 and is accepting comments on the plan until March 26. The public can submit comments in writing or at three public hearings in March.
Gov. Phil Bryant has designated MDEQ as the agency to administer the state’s portion of the funds ($9.87 million out of the $2.9 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust) to implement air emissions reduction projects. 

To read the plan and to learn how to submit comments, access the agency's VW Mitigation Trust webpage.
Mississippi Beach Water Quality Monitoring Program
It’s almost beach time for residents and visitors to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. To keep the public informed of the condition of the waters along the beaches of the Coast, MDEQ leads a multi-agency task force that monitors the water quality at 21 stations. Water is tested for the presence of Enterococcus bacteria which is an indicator for bacteria pollution. MDEQ issues advisories when bacteria levels exceed water quality criteria and pose an increased risk to human health. When an advisory is issued, water contact should be avoided.
The beach program’s website is updated with the issuing or lifting of advisories. The public can also be added to an email list and a texting group to be notified when advisories are issued or lifted. The information is also tweeted on the agency’s Twitter account
Register for the 2019 enHance Annual Workshop and Awards Luncheon

The enHance Environmental Stewardship Workshop and Awards Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, April 9, beginning at 8:00 a.m. at the Jackson Marriott . Registration is now open at this link . This annual event is sponsored by MDEQ and the Mississippi Manufacturers Association .

The workshop will provide information concerning the principles of environmental stewardship, waste reduction through best management practices, regulatory updates, presentations and case studies. The workshop is also a great opportunity to network with Mississippi’s environmental stewardship leaders.  Find out more at enhance.ms .
Solicitation for Statements of Qualifications for Back Bay Modeling

MDEQ gave notice on February 28 that it is soliciting Statements of Qualifications (SOQs) from organizations licensed to do business in the State of Mississippi to assist the agency with developing one or more water quality models for the Back Bay estuary in Harrison County and/or other sites, on an as needed basis, related to the Water Quality Improvement Program.

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 March 28.  

Spring Deadline Approaching for Solid Waste Assistance Grants

The deadline for local governments to apply for the spring round of the MDEQ competitive solid waste assistance grants (SWAG) is April 1, 2019. The competitive SWAG funds are available for municipalities, counties, regional solid waste management authorities, and other multi-county entities. Eligible local governments may apply for grants for various types of solid waste projects and programs such as: clean-up of unauthorized dumps; establishment of a 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.

More information available here . Or, contact Ms. Taaka Bailey or Ms. Tonisha Rogers at 601-961-5171.

Jackson Metro E-Waste Collection April 26

The Jackson Metro Area Business E-Waste Collection Day will be held April 26 at the Mississippi Farmers Market off High Street in Jackson. MDEQ, along with several other organizations, sponsor this event twice a year to collect various forms of e-waste such as computers, televisions, printers, and cell phones. For a list of accepted items and more information click here .

Rubbish Site Operator Training in April

MDEQ is hosting a training course for Class I rubbish site operators on April 17 and 18 at the McGowan Workforce Training Center located at Holmes Community College's Ridgeland campus. For more information about the course and available Continuing Education Units, access this flyer .
EPA's Hazardous Waste e-Manifest System Receives One Millionth Manifest: Saving Industry and States Significant Time and Money

EPA announced in March a significant achievement in modernizing the nation’s cradle-to-grave hazardous waste tracking process, saving valuable time, resources and dollars for industry and states. In June 2018, EPA transitioned from a paper-intensive tracking process to an electronic system, known as “ e-Manifest .” By the end of February, over one million electronic manifests have been submitted, and EPA estimates that e-Manifest will ultimately reduce the burden associated with preparing shipping manifests by between 300,000 and 700,000 hours, saving state and industry users $75 to $90 million annually, once electronic manifests are widely adopted. To learn more about e-Manifest, visit  www.epa.gov/e-Manifest.

For information on coordination issues for industries participating in e-Manifest in Mississippi, contact Krista Caron at 601-961-5719 or kcaron@mdeq.ms.gov .
Celebrate the Gulf and WaterFest

MDEQ will be staffing educational displays and bringing its WaterFest information to the Celebrate the Gulf festival on April 6 in Pass Christian. The event will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at War Memorial Park in conjunction with Art in the Pass. Find out more here .
Mississippi Water Resources Conference

Several MDEQ staff will be presenting and in attendance at the 2019 Mississippi Water Resources Conference in Jackson. This annual conference is hosted by the Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute and will be held April 2 and 3 at the Hilton Jackson . Find out more here or contact Jessie Schmidt at jessie.schmidt@msstate.edu and (662) 325-3295. 

16th Annual Fossil Road Show
David T. Dockery, RPG
The 16 th Annual Fossil Road Show was held on Saturday, March 9, at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS) in Jackson. Modeled after PBS’s Antique Road Show , the event features experts (pictured is MDEQ's James Starnes) who identify fossils, including their significance and rarity, but not their monetary value.  Read More .
Office of Geology Outreach at the Gem, Mineral, Fossil, and Jewelry Show
David T. Dockery III, RPG

The Mississippi Gem & Mineral Society held its 61 st Annual Gem, Mineral, Fossil, and Jewelry Show at the Trademart Building in Jackson on February 23 and 24. MDEQ’s Office of Geology staff worked a booth at the event as did geologists and paleontologists with the University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, the University of Southern Mississippi, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, and other institutions and organizations.  Read More .

Photo of the Month

Photo of a pelican taken by MDEQ's Mindi Ansley Ducomb while collecting water samples at Graveline Bayou.