Coast officials have concerns over definition of ‘waters’
Published: May 7,2014
Tags: ditch, drainage, environment, Environmental Protection Agency, flood control, Jackson County, Jackson County Board of Supervisors, John McKay, pollution, river, stream, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, water
PASCAGOULA — Jackson County officials fear a newly proposed federal definition of “waters” could require them to get permits to clean out ditches and drainage areas and delay responses to neighborhood flooding.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are seeking to clarify which waters or wetlands would trigger federal requirements, such as permitting and state water quality certification.
Seasonal and rain-dependent streams — and wetlands near rivers and streams — would be covered; others would be considered on a case-by-case basis to determine if they play a significant role in the quality of downstream waters.
The proposed regulation is broadly supported by environmental groups. Industry groups argue the proposed rule hurts economic activity and oversteps legal bounds.
Jackson County supervisors agreed to write a letter to the EPA opposing the rule. The draft rule for “waters of the U.S.” is open for public comment until July 21.
“Pretty soon, you’ll have to have a permit to clean every ditch in the county,” said Supervisor John McKay.
“Every time regulation comes down, it’s more stressful on cities and counties,” McKay said, calling the draft rule a “far-reaching overreach of the government.”
The rule would “affect everyone,” McKay said, and could jeopardize the county’s ability to properly maintain its ditches, which could lead to more flooding issues.
“It’s going to slow everything down,” he said. “This is ridiculous.”
County Road manager Joe O’Neal said the county has about 2,000 miles of road ditches.
To sign up for Mississippi Business Daily Updates, click here.
FOLLOW THE MBJ ON TWITTERMy Tweets
Top Posts & Pages
- UMMC reaching out after death of high school football player
- MDOT: Work on I-269 is on schedule, several phases at halfway point
- Margaritaville owner files for bankruptcy before landlord hearing
- Delta Council says condition of Highway 6 'of crisis dimensions'
- Severstal completes the sale of Columbus plant to Steel Dynamics
- Another marker going up on Mississippi Country Music Trail
- City leaders vote against offering insurance to one adult, possibly same-sex partner
- Researchers fly drone into hurricane for the first time
- House votes for transfer of Yellow Creek Port land to state