In Mississippi, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is responsible for protecting the state’s air, land, and water. The mission statement of the MDEQ is “to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of present and future generations of Mississippians by conserving and improving our environment and fostering wise economic growth through focused research and responsible regulation.”
It was in the year 1989 that MDEQ was established replacing the Department of Natural Resources in the State of Mississippi. The head of MDEQ is the executive director appointed by the governor of the state. Further, the Commission on Environmental Quality (CEQ) was established under MDEQ. The seven members of CEQ are appointed by the governor for a period of seven years.
The CEQ generally works on formulating department policy, enforcing rules and regulations, receiving funding, conducting studies for using the state’s resources, and discharging duties, responsibilities, and powers as and when required.
The MDEQ consists of four offices:
- Office of Pollution Control- protects, maintains, conserves, and improves the quality of air and water for public use;
- Office of Land and Water Resources- conserves, manages, and protects the water resources of Mississippi; regulates water quantity issues affecting the beneficial use of water resources in the best interest and welfare of the Mississippians;
- Office of Geology- conducts research on surface and subsurface geology, paleontology, and mineral resources of Mississippi; regulates the permitting of mines and the reclamation of surface-mined land; and administers the Mississippi Digital Earth Model (MDEM); and
- Office of Administrative Services- provides services pertaining to accounting, budgeting, human resources, payroll, purchasing, grants administration, management information systems, buildings and property management and inventory, and printing services.