No matter where you live in the state or at what economic level, the quality of the environment will affect you. That's why the work done by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality is so important to all of us.
For 12 years, MDEQ has chosen Biloxi to hold its "Southern State Environmental Conference". They hope what visitors learn will be applied throughout the country to improve the environment and quality of life for all Americans.
About 600 people from 14 states came to this year's conference. Year after year, the DEQ chooses Biloxi to host its special event. MDEQ Environmental Scientist Coen Perrott says, "people seem to really like the gulf coast, so we always have it here and will continue to have it here."
The conference offers seminars like this EPA water resource class. The Environmental Protection Agency hopes that what they teach here will be brought back to other states and used to improve the environment. Perrott says, "it affects the way we live, everyone wants a clean environment, I think it's important, that's why industry, agriculture and local government are all here because they have to deal with these issues and so this was a way to bring them all together."
An environmental group from California says conferences like these are important to raise awareness about the environment in states with far less regulations then theirs. Gunnar Bredekour told WLOX news, "regulations and our mandations in California of what we can do has been tremendous, specifically the air quality, I think other states like Mississippi have a long way to go."
The MDEQ has information about permit applications and issues as well as inspection information. If you'd like to become more educated or active in environmental issues go to http://opc.deq.state.ms.us/ensearch