Prepared By Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, PLLC
The Environmental Practice Group of the Brunini Law Firm publishes a summary of the proceedings of each monthly meeting of the Mississippi Environmental Quality Permit Board and of the Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality. We strive to provide, in a succinct newsletter format, the key points addressed in each meeting that will be of interest to the regulated community in Mississippi.
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The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Permit Board (Board) convened its regular monthly meeting at 9:00 a.m. on January 12, 2016 at the offices of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality in Jackson. Mr. David H. Snodgrass, RPG chaired the meeting. The Board approved minutes from the December Regular meeting along with non-controversial actions/certifications by the staff since the December meeting.
Following a prepared agenda, items considered were as follows:
OFFICE OF GEOLOGY
In accordance with MDEQ staff recommendations, the Board approved the following surface mining bond releases.
Surface Mining Bond Releases:
|Eutaw Construction Company, Inc.||Monroe||P96-002T||Final 10% release|
|Eutaw Construction Company, Inc.||Monroe||P97-018T||Final 10% release|
|King Equipment & Dozer Services, LLC||Jasper||P08-006||Additional 20% release|
|S&B Industrial Minerals North America||Monroe||P00-041T||Final 10% release|
|Valley Gravel Company||Lowndes||P97-039||Initial 10% release|
OFFICE OF POLLUTION CONTROL
Construction and Building Materials Branch
The Board approved coverage for OFP Match Worx Shooting Facility in Leake County under the Construction Stormwater General Permit (MSR107027). MDEQ staff stated that this facility was cited in October 2015 for conducting land-disturbing activities on a site larger than 5 acres without a permit. Since this time, the facility developed a SWPPP and submitted a Notice of Intent (NOI) to MDEQ. Staff have reviewed the facility’s SWPPP and NOI and stated that it is complete. Further, the facility has appropriate plans for safety and hours of operation.
Several visitors attended the meeting and stated their concerns regarding the proposed shooting range. These included water contamination, air pollution, and safety and noise disturbances. Visitors also asked that MDEQ hold a public hearing before issuing coverage. Mr. Snodgrass of the Board noted that this facility was requesting a general permit—which has no public hearing requirement. Further, Mr. Snodgrass clarified that the Board was not responsible for local landuse and zoning decisions. The Board approved the coverage based on MDEQ staff recommendation that all environmental requirements are now satisfied.
Solid Waste and Mining Branch
The Board approved a reissuance of the Solid Waste Permit for Unified Waste Systems, L.L.C., Starling Rubbish Disposal Facility (SW0170020518). This as a 55-acre Class I rubbish disposal site located in DeSoto County. Standard permits for Class I facilities allow operation for a 10-year period. MDEQ staff stated that this permit contains language allowing the facility to operate for 5 years (until July 7, 2019). After this time, the facility must obtain a conditional use approval from the DeSoto County Board of Supervisors and submit such approval to MDEQ to continue operation.
A resident of DeSoto County addressed the Board, requested an additional public meeting and time for review of the permit, and voiced concerns about the current operation of the site. Concerns included a report of unauthorized waste being accepted at the site and an alleged fire within the landfill. The resident is also concerned the facility would endanger nearby schools and negatively impact future development. The Board clarified that it is not in charge of local zoning, but rather ensures compliance with state and federal environmental regulations. Further, the permit contains special language that requires the facility to provide documentation of the local Board of Supervisor’s continuing approval of the site.
MDEQ staff inspected the facility on January 6, 2016 and found no compliance issues and no physical evidence of a fire in the landfill. The Board approved the permit based on the MDEQ Staff’s recommendation that all environmental requirements are satisfied.
Joint Matter of the Office of Geology and the Office of Pollution Control
The Board approved the Surface Mine application (A1927) and modification of the Mining Stormwater Coverage (MSR322500) for Pierce Construction and Contract Hauling, Inc., Tucker Mine in Monroe County. MDEQ staff stated that the modification would allow a 23-acre mine for borrow material. A public hearing was held in Monroe County in December 2015. At the hearing, attendees expressed concerns regarding traffic near the facility and the number of permitted mine sites near Hamilton, MS. However, MDEQ Staff explained that there are only 1 permitted surface mine and 3 “exempt” sites (less than 4 acres) located near Hamilton.
MDEQ staff stated that the facility has met all requirements for modification of the facility and recommended the Board’s approval. The Board separately approved the facility’s Surface Mining Permit and modified the Mining Stormwater Coverage.
Mr. Roy Furrh, MDEQ Legal Counsel reminded the Permit Board members that they need to file their annual ethics statement.
The next Permit Board meeting will be held on February 9, 2016 at 9 a.m.
This Newsletter is a publication of the Environmental Department of the law firm of Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes located in Jackson, Mississippi. This Newsletter is not designed or intended to provide legal or professional advice, as any such advice requires the consideration of the facts of the specific situation.
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