Prepared By Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, PLLC
The Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality convened at 9:00 a.m. on July 25, at the offices of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality in Jackson. Chat Phillips chaired the meeting attended by a majority of the members. Minutes from the last meeting held in May 2013 were approved. Following a prepared agenda, items considered were as follows:
ELECTION OF OFFICERS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2014
The Commission voted to elect the following members as officers for FY-2014:
Chairman – Chat Phillips
Vice-Chairman – Charles Dunagin
BROWNFIELD CONSULTING FIRM
The Commission voted to approve the following firm as a Brownfield Consulting Firm:
Professional Service Industries, Inc. (PSI)
724 Central Avenue
Jefferson, Louisiana 39774
WATER POLLUTION CONTROL REVOLVING FUND LOAN PROGRAM
The MDEQ staff recommended the adoption by the Commission of the FY-2013 Intended Use Plan Amendment No. 1. This amendment includes changes to add new projects to the Planning List for possible funding, to incorporate the actual Title VI capitalization grant allotment, to account for the unavailability of the FY-2013 capitalization grant and state match for obligation, due to the lack of adequate state match authorization during the 2013 Regular Legislative Session, and to provide for the obligation of additional repayments (through March 2014) to replace the currently unavailable FY-2013 capitalization grant and state match funds. The Commission voted to approve the adoption of the amendment.
LIGNITE MINING FEES
The MDEQ staff recommended the following Lignite Mining Fees for the 2014 state fiscal year:
Liberty Fuels Company, LLC – $125,000.00 (same as for the state fiscal year 2013)
Mississippi Lignite Mining Company – $125,000.00 (same as for the state fiscal year 2013)
These amounts cover approximately 50% of the anticipated cost of administering the federally-approved coal mining program in Mississippi. The remaining approximately 50% of the cost will be covered by a federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement grant. These fees will cover 100% of the anticipated cost of administering the program above the amount of the federal OSMRE grant. The Commission voted to approve the Lignite Mining Fees listed above.
REFORMATTED AND RENUMBERED REGULATIONS
The Commission regulations have been reformatted and renumbered pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act and as required by the Secretary of State. On June 4, 2013, a public hearing was held related to the reformatted and renumbered regulations. This rulemaking does not change the content of the regulations. The Commission voted to approve and adopt the reformatted and renumbered regulations.
BRIEFING ON DENBURY WELL
The MDEQ Staff provided the Commission with a briefing on an oil spill that occurred at the Denbury Well, located in Yazoo County, on August 9, 2011. Denbury acquired the site in 2005, and the area has been a tremendous resource for the state since 1939. The oil spill occurred while Denbury was doing CO2 enhanced oil recovery. As soon as the oil spill was discovered, Denbury began emergency operations. During the emergency response, some environmental damage occurred and Denbury worked to mitigate these damages. The oil spill occurred over a period of thirty-seven (37) consecutive days. Denbury, cited by MDEQ for violating state laws related to air and water pollution, entered an Agreed Order with MDEQ in a final settlement amount of $662,500.00.
BRIEFING ON PHOENIX AWARD
On May 16, 2013, Mississippi was awarded two (2) Phoenix Awards at the National Brownfields Conference. The awards were in recognition of Mississippi’s excellence in Brownfields development.
Asbestos: 306 certifications
Lead Paint: 93 certifications
Storage Tanks: 2 certifications
EMERGENCY CLEAN-UP EXPENSES APPROVED
The following nine (9) emergency clean-up expenditures occurred since the last report:
United States Environmental Services in the counties of:
Hinds, Hancock, Rankin, Copiah, Franklin and Warren.
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS APPROVED
Thirty-four (34) administrative orders issued by the Executive Director and approved by the Commission included the following matters:
|Program Area||Number of Orders||Penalty Range|
|Large Construction Storm Water||
|$0 to $2,000|
|$1,250 to $662,500|
|Underground Storage Tank||
|Small Construction Storm Water||
|$0 to $46,800|
The remaining four (4) orders were not enforcement-oriented, but rather dealt with the approval of amendments, granting of evidentiary hearings and other routine administrative matters.
The next Commission meeting is scheduled for August 22, 2013.
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.
IRS Circular 230 Notice
To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that, unless specifically indicated otherwise, any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any tax-related matter addressed herein.