The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, charged with protecting natural resources including water quality, has failed to police its front yard at the North Regional Office located off Highway 6 at the intersection of CR 413, about three miles west of Oxford.
According to residents of the Highland’s development, a massive wash, just feet from the North Regional Office of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) parking lot, has gone unattended. Run-off silt appears to ultimately flow into the Highlands Lake, the centerpiece of the upscale development.
“The wash started small about five years ago. It is on highway right-of-way. Several calls have been placed to Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) maintenance, the agency responsible for maintaining highway right-of-way, and to MDEQ,” the resident, who asked not to be identified, said.
”Neither agency has done anything, and the wash continues to grow with each rain,” he said.
Robbie Wilbur, Communications Director for MDEQ, said the agency is aware of the wash, which he said is the responsibility of the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT).
MDEQ located its regional office at the intersection several years ago, and employees who have authority over water control drive by the wash to attend work each day, but for at least several years, the agency has not forced the issue with MDOT.
One Highland’s resident said that a few years ago, he was challenged by MDEQ for what the agency though was an infraction of silt run-off on property he owned.
“I had a call from a very nice young woman from the MDEQ office who read me the riot act about what was assumed to be a problem I had created,” said Highland resident Ed Meek.
“She was so tough on me I thought I might be charged with some infraction. Now it seems the same agency is ignoring a massive wash that literally is at their front door. I would assume MDEQ and the Mississippi Highway Department must follow the same rules as those required of citizens,” Meek said. –– Jim Roberts, staff writer, HottyToddy.com
Email Jim Roberts at hottytoddynew.com