Application By MDEQ

PUBLIC NOTICE OF APPLICATION
FOR COASTAL WETLANDS PERMIT
AND WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has filed an application 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 Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is proposing to protect shoreline marsh area by employing living shoreline techniques for a project located in Hancock County, Mississippi. The restoration activities proposed for the Hancock County Marsh Living Shoreline (HCMLS) Phase 6 project would be located offshore near the Hancock County Marsh Preserve in western Hancock County. The proposed project would consist of the construction of approximately 1.7 miles of breakwater structure off the Mississippi Gulf Coast from Bayou Bolan to Bayou Caddy. The purpose of the HCMLS Phase 6 project is to protect the Hancock County Marsh Preserve shoreline and salt marsh habitat from erosion and to crate habitat for secondary benthic productivity. The project is being implemented by MDEQ as part of the RESTORE Act to enhance and extend the previously completed portions of the HCMLS project. The applicant is requesting a variance from Chapter 8, Section 2, Part.III.N.O.1 of the Mississippi Coastal Program which states “Permanent filling of coastal wetlands because of potential adverse and cumulative environmental impacts is discouraged.” and Mississippi Admin. Code Title 22, Part 23, Chapter 8, Section 114.01 which states, “Permanent filling of coastal wetlands below the mean high tide line because of potential adverse and cumulative environmental impacts is not authorized,” and has justified these requests under Chapter 8, Section 2, Part I.E.2.c.iv of the Mississippi Coastal Program and Miss. Admin. Code Title 22, Part 23, Chapter 8, Section 118.04 by stating: “The activity requires a waterfront location, there is a significant public benefit in the activity, and a public hearing has been held.”. This public notice, project diagrams, and a copy of the full project application may be accessed on MDMR’s website at https://dmr.ms.gov/permitting/ .  A copy can also be mailed upon request.

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.

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 or to greg.christodoulou@dmr.ms.gov before 1:00 p.m. on the day April 22, 2022.

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