MDEQ gives Sumrall clean bill of health

By HASKEL BURNS,

After some confusion regarding work and water testing near Sumrall Town Hall, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has closed out a Notice of Violation previously issued to the city.

Lynn Chambers, who heads MDEQ’s Groundwater Assessment and Remediation Division, said the issue was resolved Monday and Sumrall has no outstanding notices of violation.

“(There was) just some confusion on work the Town of Sumrall completed in 2015 that we had assigned to a different location,” she said. “The Notice of Violation has been closed out and everything is O.K.”

Lamar County Engineer Don Walker said the issue stems from a number of flood occurrences at Sumrall Town Hall, which sits in a low-lying area adjacent to a drainage channel. Several years ago, the city was able to receive a municipality grant for drainage work to alleviate the problem, as well as to construct a detention facility to detain overflow water.

“As part of doing the detention facility, there was an old service station that was on the property, and the town was able to negotiate and purchase that property,” Walker said. “We did a lot of research to determine about the underground tank facilities.

“We could not get a lot of information from DEQ, and we recommended to the town that they do some laboratory testing and some boring out there to determine if any contamination existed.”

City officials spent approximately $4,800 for the testing, after which they sent the results to MDEQ’s Underground Tank Storage Division.

“We wanted to get their response on that, so we would know exactly what their requirements would be,” Walker said. “We did get an email response back from that division that indicated that the limits that were found were typically below a requirement that would necessitate a certified underground tank removal company (coming in).”

Walker said officials sent correspondence to MDEQ to ensure all the necessary documentation had been received, and he’s glad to hear the Notice of Violation has been closed.

“That is good news,” he said.

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