MDEQ reaffirms water discharge permit for Kemper Co. power plant

MDEQ reaffirms water discharge permit for Kemper Co. power plant

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Tuesday, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality reaffirmed a water discharge permit issued to Mississippi Power's Kemper plant that allows plant water to flow into a creek during a heavy rain.

Four residents in Meridian and Marion counties petitioned MDEQ to reexamine the 2014 permit that allows for the Kemper plant to discharge limited amounts of water into the Chickasawhay Creek.

Harry Wilson, MDEQs Chief of Environmental Permit Division, said though some of the concerns focused on water quality, a number of the issues raised did not.

"The appeal was voluminous and related to various interests in the project not particular to the environment, like power rates and allegations of people with conflicts of interest," Wilson said.

According to Wilson, MDEQ made some minor adjustments to the permit but found no issues with how Mississippi Power is abiding by the regulations.

"The plant's water discharge meets water quality standards downstream. The permit has limits, monitoring, and reporting that would protect downstream waters from a water quality standpoint," Wilson said.

The power company released this statement Tuesday afternoon:

Mississippi Power is pleased with the outcome of today's hearing. The ruling substantiates that Mississippi Power took all appropriate steps and measures when applying for the original permit and the subsequent modifications.

The Kemper plant is designed to be a zero-discharge facility when fully operational. Water generated is to be recycled by the plant in the process of generating power.

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