Home » NEWS » Coast officials have concerns over definition of 'waters'

Coast officials have concerns over definition of 'waters'

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.


… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About Megan Wright

Leave a Reply