Prepared By Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, PLLC
The Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality convened at 9:00 a.m. on May 23, at the offices of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality in Jackson. Martha Dalrymple’s chaired the meeting attended by all members. Minutes from the last meeting held in April 2013 were approved. Following a prepared agenda, items considered were as follows:
REVISION TO THE STATE IMPLEMENTATION PLAN (SIP)
The State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision, which involves the Transportation Conformity requirements of Section 176(c) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), is a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) concerning criteria, interagency consultation plans and programs in the partial area of DeSoto County, Mississippi designated as non-attainment. The parties to the MOA include the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), the Memphis Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Mississippi Transportation Commission, the Mississippi Office of the Federal Highway Administration, Region 4 of the Federal Transit Administration and Region 4 of the Environmental Protection Agency. No comments were received during a public comment period held on this revision. The Commission voted to adopt the proposed SIP revision.
WATER POLLUTION CONTROL (CLEAN WATER) STATE REVOLVING FUND LOAN PROGRAM
During the 2013 legislative session, Senate Bill 2913 was passed and subsequently signed by the Governor on April 25, 2013. SB 2913 provided for the issuance of $1,000,000 in bonds to provide state matching funds required to obtain $5,000,000 in available federal assistance for the Water Pollution Control State Revolving Fund Loan Program. In order to initiate this process, the Commission voted to adopt a resolution of necessity for issuance of these bonds.
RECYCLING COOPERATIVE GRANT PROGRAM
MDEQ staff updated the Commission on the Recycling Cooperative Grants Program. The agency has finalized an announcement and application packet on the Recycling Cooperative Grants. The total amount of funds to be made available through this announcement is $1,000,000. These funds will be used to provide grant support to local government projects that will establish regional cooperative efforts to collect, process and market recyclables in underserved areas of the state.
DESIGNATION OF HEARING OFFICERS
Under Miss. Code Ann. § 49-17-33, the Commission voted to approve the designation of hearing officers in the following matters:
(1) Ricky Luke, Special Assistant Attorney General, in the matter of Stephanie Howard, Executrix of the Estate of Gerald Donald (Wayne County)
(2) Chuck Rubisoff, Special Assistant Attorney General, in the matter of Serenity Lane (Pearl River County)
UPDATE ON RESTORE ACT AND OTHER OIL SPILL RESTORATION ACTIVITIES
Trudy Fisher, Executive Director of MDEQ, and Richard Harrell, Director of MDEQ’s Office of Pollution Control, provided the Commission with an update on the RESTORE Act and other oil spill restoration activities. Fisher informed the Commission that there would be an announcement this week regarding work completed by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, created by Congress under the RESTORE Act, and the draft comprehensive plan that should be released soon. Public meetings on the Gulf Coast will follow the release of this draft comprehensive plan.
The Phase I projects under early restoration are nearing completion. The Mississippi Oyster Cultch project will conclude this week. The Near-Shore Artificial Reef is being completed in existing permitted areas on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Proposed early restoration projects for Phase III have come directly from the public and local leaders. Fisher explained that we are now at the point of the natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) process of “scoping and public participation.” The proposed projects for Phase III of early restoration include:
(1) Popps Ferry Causeway Park.
(2) Hancock County Marsh Living Shoreline
(3) Pascagoula Beachfront Promenade
(4) Infinity Science Center
The Commission will receive updates on the progress of these projects at future meetings.
Asbestos: 99 certifications
Lead Paint: 45 certifications
Storage Tanks: 3 certifications
EMERGENCY CLEAN-UP EXPENSES APPROVED
The following eight (8) emergency clean-up expenditures occurred since the last report:
Complete Environmental & Remediation Co. in Rankin County.
United States Environmental Services in the counties of:
Tate, Scott, Lincoln, Harrison, Rankin and Tishomingo.
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS APPROVED
Seventeen (17) administrative orders issued by the Executive Director and approved by the Commission included the following matters:
Number of Orders
|Large Construction Storm Water||
|0 to $3,500|
|$3,500 to $15,000|
|$6,598 to $25,000|
|0 to $4,000|
The remaining two (2) orders were not enforcement-oriented, but rather dealt with the approval of amendments and other routine administrative matters.
The next Commission meeting is scheduled for June 27, 2013.
This Newsletter is a publication of the Environmental Department of the law firm of Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes located in Jackson, Mississippi.