Concerned citizens request evidentiary hearing, Groundworx says permit validity safe

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Three concerned citizens have sent letters to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality to request an evidentiary hearing concerning the Groundworx permit.

Councilwoman Deborah Delgado, NAACP President Clarence Magee and Antioch Baptist Church pastor Franklin Brown each submitted letters to MDEQ with concerns over the emergency plans that Groundworx lacks in the event of bad weather, among other things.

Delgado said Groundworx received the permit from MDEQ despite a flaw in the application review, which "was not afforded the level of review ordinarily given such applications."

Clarence was concerned with environmental hazards that the land application system would pose. He wrote: "There is no plan for the protection of endangered species (gophers). Such provision would have been a part of the work plan before the permit issuance."

Requests for an evidentiary hearing can be submitted until May 8, however, Groundworx said in a statement provided to WDAM that the hearing will not effect their permit.

"The fact that a hearing has been requested and will presumably occur in no way impacts the validity of the existing permit," said Groundworx CPA Elizabeth Strickland. "Contrary to statements in the letters requesting the evidentiary hearing, the facts will show that the permit application underwent a lengthy and intensive review by MDEQ."

MDEQ has not confirmed when a hearing will be held.

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