Hurley residents speak out against sewage service

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

HURLEY, MS (WLOX) - "No sewage plant" is the message several Hurley residents expressed at an environmental meeting Thursday night. More than 100 residents packed the East Central Community center to voice opposition at a MDEQ hearing about the proposed sewage and water service.

Jackson County Utility Authority is seeking a permit to operate a plant at Cumberland Road near the Black Creek Swamp. The multi-million dollar plan would require about 300 residents to do away with their septic tanks and connect to the new service.

Opponents say the plant will harm endangered species and contaminate the water. They also don't want to pay a hook-up fee or a monthly bill.

The Utility Authority says the service means less maintenance for residents.

"With the new regulations coming forward on septic tanks and the maintenance you have to do, everyone will have to pay to maintain them anyway in one fashion or another over time, when it's grandfathered in. If you're paying monthly anyway, why not have one where everything is taken care of for you," said Tommy Fairfield with the Jackson County Utility Authority.

"The type of system they are installing has the potential to create an environmental crisis for us here. The other issue is they have violated our constitutional rights, because we have not had any say in this. The project will force us to connect if their lines come within 300 feet of our property lines," resident Carla Castorina said.

MDEQ officials say they will require the Utility Authority to submit routine reports about the operation and maintenance of the new system.

All the public comments made at the meeting will be submitted to the state environmental board.

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