MS Dept. of Environmental Quality hears concerns in Pascagoula - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

MS Dept. of Environmental Quality hears concerns in Pascagoula

Town Hall style meeting for Pascagoula citizens to voice environmental concerns. Town Hall style meeting for Pascagoula citizens to voice environmental concerns.
PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

Noise, dust, litter, and strange odors have driven some Pascagoula residents over the edge. Monday night, they got a chance to voice their concerns.

The meeting, hosted by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, was held at the Pascagoula Senior Center. According to DEQ's Melissa Collier, it was a chance for the residents to meet with representatives from the industries they blame for a host of environmental issues.

"What I'm hoping is that the community now has a face that goes along with the industry," said Collier.

Rick Sumrall of the Environmental Compliance and Enforcement division of DEQ said, "The community has had a number of complaints, and as the lead agency in the state for dealing with environmental issues, we just felt like it was important for our agency to come down and get a better understanding of the concerns that these folks have had."

The concerns were relatively easy to find. But for some of the industries, like BP, the complaints hadn't reached their desks.

Ronald Rybarczyk works for BP in the department of communication and external affairs. When asked if his company had heard any complaints, he said, "We have not, but we are here just in case to find out what's on people's minds."

The people attending the meeting were not shy about sharing their thoughts. Almost every community member in the room had their own issue. Some complained about ammonia and diesel smells, some about litter, and others about noise they claimed was coming from the industries.

The meeting left some with unanswered questions. But once the dust settles, the people of Pascagoula hope to see some changes for the better.

The city doesn't currently have noise regulations in the industrial zone. However, several of the industry and city representatives pledged to do whatever they could to fix any problems that affect the community.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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