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MDEQ decides against controversial ground water regulations

JACKSON — The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has decided against enforcing proposed amendments to state ground water regulations.

“We held a public hearing about the proposed regulations and listened carefully to the concerns of those in attendance. We are not moving forward with the proposed regulations,” MDEQ spokesman Robbie Wilbur in a statement.

The new regulations had been opposed by the Mississippi Rural Water Association. It claimed the proposed changes would give MDEQ the power to deny permits covering proposed water wells and cancel existing well permits.

In some cases, the MRWA claimed, the changes would force consolidation of rural water associations, and even with city water systems, if the MDEQ deems it advantageous economically.

Kirby Mayfield, MRWA’s executive director, tells the Picayune Item the decision is good news.

MDEQ officials held a hearing on the proposal at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville on Oct. 25, 2011.

Also opposed to the proposed changes were utility authorities in Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River and Stone counties. George County, which does not have a utility authority, also opposed the rules.


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