PUBLIC NOTICE OF APPLICATION
FOR COASTAL WETLANDS PERMIT
AND WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION
The Mississippi State Port Authority has filed an application with the Department of Marine Resources requesting permission to conduct regulated activities under the provision of the Coastal Wetlands Protection Law Act, Title 49, Chapter 27, Mississippi Code of 1972.
The applicant is proposing to fill 0.67 acres of unvegetated waterbottoms within the State Port of Gulfport for the purpose of expanding a wharf within an existing industrial port facility. A bulkhead will be constructed to contain the fill material. The project is located at the south end of the East Pier at the State Port of Gulfport, in Gulfport, Harrison County, MS.
The applicant proposes to mitigate for the 0.67-acre permanent fill of waterbottoms by a one-time donation to the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources Coastal Preserves Program to be utilized for Coastal Wetland preservation, restoration, enhancement and/or creation. The applicant has requested a variance from Chapter VIII, Section 2, Part III.O.1 of the Mississippi Coastal Program which states that “Permanent filling of coastal wetlands because of potential adverse and cumulative impacts is discouraged”, and Chapter VIII, Section 2, Part III.D.3 which states that “Vertical face structures shall be aligned no further waterward than mean high tide…” The applicant has justified this request under Chapter VIII, Section 2, Part I.E.2.c.iii by stating that no feasible, alternative sites or construction techniques are available, there is a significant public benefit in the activity, and a public hearing will be held and under Chapter VIII, Section 2, Part I.E.2.c.iv which adds that the activity requires a waterfront location.
In compliance with Section 401 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251, 1341), as amended by PL 95-217, the applicant will request certification from the Office of Pollution Control that the above mentioned activity will be in compliance with applicable provisions of Section 301 (33 U.S.C. 1311), Section 302 (33 U.S.C. 1312), Section 303 (U.S.C. 1313), Section 306 (U.S.C. 1316), and Section 307 (U.S.C. 1317) of the Act and appropriate requirements of the State Law.
The Department of Marine Resources (DMR) will conduct a public hearing regarding the above-referenced permit application on Monday, March 6, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at the Bolton State Office Building, located at 1141 Bayview Avenue, Biloxi, Mississippi. This hearing is a part of the required justification for the above-mentioned requested variance to the Mississippi Coastal Program and will provide the opportunity for the community to submit comments concerning the proposed project and the requested variance. It is not a question-and-answer session, however the applicant or a representative may make a brief presentation of the project at the opening of the hearing.
This public notice, project diagrams, and a copy of the full project description may be accessed on MDMR’s website at http://dmr.ms.gov/index.php/coastal-resources-management/wetland-permitting.
Any person wishing to make comments or objections to the proposed regulated activity must submit those comments in writing to the Department of Marine Resources at 1141 Bayview Avenue, Biloxi, Mississippi 39530 before 1:00 p.m. on the day March 6, 2017.