Water and Wastewater Plan Submitted to HUD
From: Office of the Governor Filed 1/9/07
Governor Haley Barbour announced today a master plan to develop and
enhance water and wastewater infrastructure in Mississippi's coastal
region has been submitted for approval to the U.S. Department of Housing
and Urban Development.
Under the plan, which was revised and expanded after additional needs were
identified during a public comment period, $630 million in disaster
recovery funds would be available to provide reliable water, sewer and
storm water infrastructure.
"Tens of thousands of our citizens were without basic services when water
and sewer systems in the Gulf Coast region were destroyed by Hurricane
Katrina," Governor Barbour said. "These systems must be improved and
storm-proofed to ensure future hurricanes do not have the same devastating
impact. We must also provide infrastructure for new development, which
will occur as people move further inland."
"I am very pleased that this master plan reflects cooperation among the
state, local leaders and business interests to provide systems that will
serve as a backbone to support existing and future growth in our coastal
Governor Barbour said he expects HUD to approve the plan.
The request contains $25 million already approved to fund emergency
projects. To date, applications have been received from Pearl River County
requesting $2 million for water system in Poplarville, and Jackson County
requesting $3.9 million for a decentralized waste treatment facility in
Governor Barbour and Mississippi's Congressional Delegation obtained
appropriations of more than $5 billion through the U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development to assist in hurricane recovery. Following a
recommendation by the Governor's Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and
Renewal, the Legislature created the Gulf Coast Region Utility Board and
utility authorities in 2006.
Out of this money, the Mississippi Gulf Water and Wastewater Plan was
prepared under a contract between the Mississippi Department of
Environmental Quality and MS Engineering Group, Inc., for improvements
intended to support existing and future growth patterns, particularly as
realized through new housing construction, and to promote economic
More than 300 projects were recommended. In order to be eligible, projects
had to comply with HUD regulations, provide infrastructure in areas not
served or underserved, and be able to be implemented by 2010.
The public comment period also revealed that areas in Hancock County were
"ultra-distressed" and had suffered too much loss to provide the
distribution or collection systems to benefit from the regional "backbone"
system. As a result of that finding, $47 million was added to the plan to
provide systems in "ultra-distressed" areas.