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MDEQ attacks ground water pollutants

By Staff
CLEAN WATER – Barry Royals, chief of the Surface Water Division with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality's Office of Pollution Control, inventories a water quality monitoring kit available from the department. Photo by Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Oct. 7, 2002
The first 25 years of the Clean Water Act, passed in 1972, focused on Environmental Protection Agency permit and compliance programs to make cities and industries clean up wastewater.
The focus now is on educating the public about ground pollutants that wash into rivers and streams from construction projects, forestry, agriculture and urban stormwater runoff.
Barry Royals, chief of the Surface Water Division with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality's Office of Pollution Control, said water quality has improved but it could be better.
Royals visited Meridian as the first stop on a 16-city tour to National Water Quality Monitoring Day, coming up Oct. 18.
Royals says education is the answer.
The MDEQ is working closely with agencies like the Department of Agriculture, the Forestry Commission, the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission, the Department of Health, the Department of Marine Resources, and land owners, developers and citizens, to tell people how they can limit ground pollutants.
The MDEQ also began its Basin Management Approach a few years ago, to develop plans for protecting water quality in each of the state's five drainage basin areas.
WATER QUALITY MONITORING DAY
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality encourages people to volunteer as water quality monitors for National Water Quality Monitoring Day on Oct. 18. The date marks the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Clean Water Act.
To participate, register at http://www.yearofcleanwater.org and purchase a water monitoring kit. Kits should be ordered by Oct. 10. Information collected will be posted on the Web Site.
For more information, call the DEQ toll-free at (888) 786-0661.

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