Dupont Public Hearing Produces Mixed Concerns

A public hearing was held Thursday evening to discuss several Dupont waste disposal applications currently being reviewed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

DuPont's latest request is to fill in wetlands and build a new waste disposal site.

The hearing focused on Dupont items currently before the Mississippi Environmental Quality Permit Board.

That includes an application for a solid waste management permit, an application for re-issuance of the hazardous waste permit, a request for water quality certification, and an application for a surface mining permit.

This is all to build a new waste disposal site on Dupont's property, which would be built about 1000 feet north of the Bay of St. Louis.

About 200 people gathered at the West Harrison Civic Center in Long Beach to voice their concerns about the proposed project, which would require the filling of 24 acres of wetlands.

After about an hour's worth of presentations supporting each side, the public had a chance to speak.

"Dupont is confident they can operate the pit and protect the Bay. I do not have that confidence in Dupont doing that," said one concern South Mississippian

"They are in the business to make money and not to protect the Bay. It is up to Mississippi DEQ and the Corps of Engineers to protect the Bay of St. Louis and deny this permit," said a resident in opposition," she said.

"For my part this evening, I would like to assure the department of Dupont's commitment to ensuring environmental protection while pursuing the expansion of the Delisle facility. Dupont has established as its overall mission sustainable growth, and what that means for Dupont is that we will safeguard the environment while providing a good standard of living for all the people both present and future," said a senior Dupont research official.

The public will have until July 24 to voice its concerns about the proposal.