Prepared By Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, PLLC
The Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality (“MCEQ”) convened at 9:00 a.m. on May 27, 2021. This meeting was held in-person and through a telephone conference. The public was invited to listen to the deliberations of the Commission on the conference phone. The Commission first approved minutes from the previous meeting held on May 27, 2021. Then, following a prepared agenda, the Commission considered items as follows:
Water Pollution Control Revolving Loan Fund (WPCRLF) Program, Adoption of FY-2021 Intended Use Plan
The staff recommended and the Commission approved adoption of the FY-2021 Intended Use Plan. This document identifies the loan funds available for the construction of wastewater infrastructure, the local governments to receive these loan funds, the loan interest rate, program deadlines, and other related information. Public comments on the draft Intended Use Plan have been solicited through a public comment period and a public hearing and no comments were received.
Water Pollution Control Revolving Loan Fund (WPCRLF) Program, Resolution of Necessity to Issue Bonds
During the 2021 legislative session, Senate Bill 2971 was passed and subsequently signed by the Governor. This bill provided for the issuance of $2,870,000 in bonds to provide state matching funds required to obtain $14,350,000 in available federal assistance to this program. The funds are loaned at low interest rates to facilitate the construction or improvement of wastewater treatment facilities in the state. In order to initiate this process, the Commission must adopt a Resolution of Necessity for issuance of these bonds. MDEQ staff provided copies of the Resolution to the Commission for consideration and recommended and the Commission adopted the Resolution of Necessity to issue the bonds.
Proposed Amendments to Regulations for Water Quality Criteria for Intrastate, Interstate, and Coastal Waters (11 Miss. Admin. Code Pt. 6, Ch. 2)
MDEQ staff recommended and the Commission adopted the proposed amendments to the State’s water quality standards (WQSs). MDEQ is required by the Clean Water Act to routinely review and update the state’s water quality standards document in a process known as the triennial review. Revisions to the State’s WQSs were made as part of the current triennial review process. A 45-day public comment period for the draft modifications was held from Thursday, February 11 until Monday, March 29, 2021. A public hearing regarding the proposed regulations was held on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. A request was submitted on March 29, 2021, requesting a 10-day extension to the public comment period regarding the proposed amendments. The extension request was approved by MDEQ. Therefore, written comments regarding the draft modifications were accepted until Friday, April 9, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. MDEQ staff have reviewed, evaluated, and responded to comments received. The redline version of the proposed amendments was provided to the Commission for review along with all comments received and the responsiveness summaries. The last modifications to Mississippi WQSs were adopted by the Commission on February 25, 2016 and were approved by EPA on January 18, 2017.
Commission Approval of Proposed Regulation 11 Miss. Admin. Code Pt. 7, Ch. 4, entitled Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality Dam Safety Grant Program Regulations
MDEQ staff recommended and the Commission approved and adopted the proposed regulations implementing a program to be administered by MDEQ, whereby applicant high hazard dam owners may apply for a grant to assist them with work on eligible high hazard dams in the state to improve the safety of such dams to protect downstream lives and property. An applicant must provide matching funds of at least 35 percent of the grant amount. The funding for the grants is provided by Section 19 of H.B. 1730, which passed and became law in the 2020 legislative session. Additional funding was provided by the Legislature in 2021. A public hearing on the proposed regulations was held on June 15, 2021, and a public comment period was allowed as well.
Commission Approval of Brownfield Agreement – Reda, LLC – Columbus, MS
MDEQ staff recommended and the Commission approved the Brownfield Agreement between the Commission and REDA, LLC regarding the remediation of brownfield property located at 234 Alabama Street, Columbus, Mississippi. The administrative record for this environmental response project is referred to as the Supersonic Car Wash site. Supersonic Car Wash, which is located adjacent to a drycleaner, discovered chlorinated solvents beneath their property. The staff of the MCEQ believes the Supersonic Car Wash site may have been impacted by the adjacent drycleaners as historical records do not reveal use of chlorinated solvents on the property. REDA, LLC has agreed that the proposed remediation measures will be through filing a land use restriction with the property deed and entering into a Brownfield Agreement. The Brownfield Agreement Site will be subject to an environmental covenant restricting the future site use, including all impacted media. The draft Brownfield Agreement has completed the 45-day public notice period on June 23, 2021. No comments were received. MDEQ staff have evaluated the proposed Brownfield Agreement and took the position that, with the conditions and restrictions contained within the proposed Brownfield Agreement, the site will be in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and standards and will be protective of the public health and the environment once the Brownfield Agreement is completed.
Asbestos: 139 certifications
Lead Paint: 42 certifications
Clean-up Expenses: 3 emergency expenditure
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS APPROVED
Ten (10) Agreed Orders were issued by the Executive Director and approved by the Commission since the last report.
The next Commission meeting is proposed to be on July 22, 2021, 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.
If you have any questions concerning the content of a newsletter, or if you would like further information about the matters addressed in a newsletter, please contact John Milner, the Brunini Firm Environmental Practice Group leader, at email@example.com or (601) 960-6842.