Recent actions by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the results of the November Miss. Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting are both relevant to the Pearl River and the threat posed to it by the One Lake project in Jackson, Ms.
This story is an update of our 2014 coverage of the Baucum suit against Petro Harvester for damage to health and property sustained by living next door to a poorly regulated oilfield waste injection well in the outskirts of Laurel, Jones County, Mississippi. There are many such wells around the state.
A September algae bloom on Eubanks Creek in Jackson, sparked by a sewage spill, shows what is happening on the Pearl River’s urban tributaries. The implications for the Rankin Hinds Drainage District’s One Lake plan are that nutrients from the urban creeks are easily captured in a wide, slow flowing lake section made by dredging and further damming the Pearl River. If Jackson’s sewage issues are not addressed, the lake can grow the same kind of harmful algae blooms as Eubanks Creek.
One Lake Update Summer 2021 Blog Part 1:After three years of waiting, a completed draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) should be returned to the Army Secretary at the Pentagon in September for his review and a decison. The non-federal sponsors of the One Lake project have been quiet about the draft’s progress and have rebuffed Freedom of Information Act requests.
Citizens from North Gulfport oppose wetland filling that would allow the State Port to build a rail/truck transfer facility next to their neighborhoods. Environmental Justice issues are contained in the appeal. Residents who live adjacent to the project site are concerned that soil and water pollution contained there will be mobilized with development and affect their health, property and quality of life. A 70 year old brownfield site – a closed fertilizer plant – has left soil and groundwater tainted by arsenic, lead and carcinogens that could find their way to the surface if the site is developed. The evidentiary hearing on the Mississippi State Port Authority’s Clean Water Act State water quality certification began this week at the MDEQ Commission Room in Jackson, but is continued until May.
Healthy Gulf joined American Rivers, National Audubon Society and Sierra Club in a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, asking a federal judge to rule on whether EPA’s 2008 Clean Water Act veto of the Yazoo Backwater Pump project still applies to a 2020 Army Corps of Engineers re-do. The project’s pumping capacity and purpose remain the same as the earlier project which was vetoed during the George W. Bush Administration. The project’s impacts to wetlands and habitats remain significant in the 2020 re-do version, and the Conservation Groups maintain that the veto still prohibits the pumps. EPA has used a Clean Water Act veto on a development project 13 times since 1972. The agency has slightly modified some vetoes after-the-fact, but has never completely revoked one.