Vol. 17 Issue 9 September 2020
News from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality
Governor Tate Reeves Announces MS TIG Approval of $15 Million in Restoration Projects

On September 17, Governor Tate Reeves announced that the Mississippi Trustee Implementation Group (MS TIG) approved four restoration projects totaling over $15 million that will have a direct impact on Mississippi’s coastal natural resources.

"This is a great day for Mississippi and our coastal communities. With over $15 million in restoration projects, we will be able to ensure the vitality and longevity of our precious natural beauty and resources along the Gulf Coast," said Governor Tate Reeves. "We are truly grateful for our ongoing partnership with MS TIG and their commitment to protecting the people and local economies on the Mississippi Gulf Coast." Read the press release
Virtual Restoration Summit

The Mississippi Restoration Summit hosted annually by MDEQ will be held virtually this year on November 10. The summit will include updates on Mississippi's restoration efforts resulting from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Register here. Join MDEQ's restoration email list for updates and details as the summit draws closer. Information will also be posted on MDEQ's restoration webpage.
Section 303d Impaired Waters List Public Notice
 
The Mississippi 2020 Section 303(d) List of Impaired Water Bodies is available for public review and comment. Mississippi’s 2020 Section 303(d) List of Impaired Water Bodies fulfills the state’s obligation to develop a listing of the state’s impaired waters. These are the waters that currently are not meeting one or more applicable water quality standards and for which Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) are not yet completed. Water bodies on this list that are impaired are required to have TMDLs determined for each pollutant added to the water that causes impairment. A TMDL reports the maximum amount of a pollutant that can be put into a stream without violating water quality standards.
 
Copies of the draft 2020 list may be obtained or inspected by contacting Shawn Clark or on the MDEQ website. Comments on the draft list will be accepted until September 28, and a telephonic public hearing will be held on September 28, at 11:00 a.m.
Butter with Your Biscuit – Breakfast with the Regulators
Amy Vickery, Director, Mississippi Chapter A&WMA

It is nice to have an opportunity to visit with our environmental regulators to gain their perspectives and insight on compliance and best practices. In Mississippi, we had that opportunity on August 26 by way of a virtual Breakfast with the Regulators. The event was organized by the Mississippi Chapter of the Air & Waste Management Association. This has become an annual event previously held at the MDEQ office in Jackson. This time, MDEQ personnel were kind enough to offer their time and expertise via the web.

A variety of topics were discussed including the impact of COVID-19 on the agency, virtual public hearings, changes to Title V fees, reissuance of the Baseline Storm Water General Permit, non-hazardous solid waste regulations, perfluorinated compounds, NPDES 303d list and water quality standards, and agency reorganization. 

If you would like more information about this event or A&WMA, please contact me at vickeryamy@aol.com, Carla Brown at cbrown@mdeq.ms.gov, or visit www.awma.org. We would like to thank those who participated and express sincere appreciation to MDEQ staff for their support.
Air Quality Forecast Graphics Added to Website

New graphics or "widgets" have been added to MDEQ's Air Quality Forecast webpage that provide a quick glance for the air quality at seven MDEQ air monitors. The webpage can be found here.
Brownfields Funding Available

Funding for EPA’s Fiscal Year 2022 Brownfields grants is now available. Applications will be accepted until October 28, 2020. More information can be found on EPA’s website, MDEQ’s Brownfields webpage, or contact Thomas Wallace with MDEQ.
MDEQ Seeks Environmental Leaders for enHance Membership
 
The MDEQ enHance environmental stewardship program is seeking applicants for the 2021 class of environmental leaders. Interested facilities such as manufacturers, local governments, institutions, and other organizations are encouraged to apply. 
 
The application period is open now and will close on October 31. More information is available on the enHance webpage including a description of the requirements for qualification, the process to apply, and access to online applications.  MDEQ is also encouraging existing members of the class of 2018 to submit a renewal application for the enHance class of 2021. The application to renew can also be found on the enhance program website. 

Additional questions on new and renewing memberships to the enHance program may be directed to Mr. Khairy Abu-Salah.
enHance Webinar: Assessing and Reducing Workplace Risk

MDEQ's enHance program and the Mississippi Manufacturers Association are hosting a webinar on October 7--Assessing and Reducing Workplace Risk. Ergon's Corporate Health and Safety Manager, James Upton, will share Ergon's experiences in assessing and reducing risks to employees in the return to work. Mr. Upton will share what Ergon has learned and experienced over these past few months and how their processes can be applied to various other workplace safety issues as well as to pollution prevention opportunities. The webinar is free, but registration is required and can be found here. For more information, please contact Mr. Khairy Abu-Salah.
Geoarchaeology and the Tuscaloosa Gravels

Learning about prehistoric cultures of the first Mississippians involves an in-depth knowledge of the details about their natural environment. Understanding the natural resources available to the early Native Americans provides us with essential insight to how they adapted to different regions of Mississippi as they developed and traded natural resources.  As in most cases, throughout much of the thousands of years of time that spans Mississippi’s vast archaeological record, utilized stone (referred to as lithics) is the only thing that has survived from their existence for archaeological study.  Read More
MDEQ Partners with Local Governments to Sponsor Fall HHW Collection Events

MDEQ provides Solid Waste Assistance Grants and technical assistance to local governments to sponsor collection events for household hazardous wastes (HHW). These events provide citizens with local options to properly and safely dispose of aerosols, corrosives, pesticides, herbicides, paints, used oil, batteries, automotive fluids, electronic wastes, and other household hazardous materials. There are events scheduled for Meridian, Hattiesburg, Hancock County, Clarke County, and Clinton this fall. Read More
Jackson Metro E-Waste Event Rescheduled

The e-waste collection event for the Jackson Metro area that was scheduled for August 7 has been rescheduled for October 30 at the Mississippi Farmers Market off High Street in Jackson. Find out more here.
Photo of the Month

Little Sand Creek off the Natchez Trace near Rocky Springs. Taken by MDEQ's Danny Beasley.