Moss Point Leaders Want People To Stop Burying Debris On Their Property

"Next door to our office here on Main Street in Moss Point there was an abandoned building,"  Business Manager Walter Malone said.

Friday, what was left of that building began to slowly disappear.

"I noticed there was a demolition crew to remove the building, but what really amazed me was that they not only removed the building, but dug a deep hole and buried the building right on site. To me, that is a landfill,"  Malone said.

Just a few feet away from where the Labor Finders building stood, a crew dug a deep hole and began moving wood, cement, and other debris into the pit.

And it's all perfectly legal. The owners of the building have a demolition permit from the city of Moss Point. After receiving approval from the state Department of Environmental Quality, they were able to bury the rubble on site.

Business manager Walter Malone says when he found out what was going on, he immediately called Alderman Aneice Ladell, who was not happy.

"We have hauled so much debris off after the storm, now we are going to dig a 15 foot hole and put stuff in it. There's something not right about that," Ladell said.

But what also caught Ladell, and even Mayor Xavier Bishop by surprise was there was no rule to stop this practice from taking place.

"I was very much surprised that the practice was allowed by the state. It seems to me, given all the concerns we have about the environment and toxicity, it would have been addressed a long time ago," Mayor Bishop said.

That's why officials are pushing to create a law to prohibit anyone one from burying debris on their land.

"We need to be cognizant of this and proactive to make sure this does not happen in our city again," Ladell said.

"The goal is to restore the environment here. I think we have spent decades, if not longer, abusing and taking of advantage of the environment. And what I would like to see is that we take steps to restore it."

MDEQ officials say they did not check the site. Instead, a local environmental contractor hired by the building's owners did. MDEQ says they are in the process of making sure the job was done correctly.