Hurricane Katrina Forest Recovery

As we work together to tackle the historic challenge that Hurricane Katrina has presented to the forestry communities of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, we hope that this blog will be a valuable resource and tool.

Tuesday, September 27

MDEQ: Wet Decking Permit Changes

MDEQ understands the tremendous damage to the forestry industry in our state as a result of Hurricane Katrina. We also recognize that it is vitally important to salvage as much of our fallen timber as possible. We are therefore streamlining our permitting efforts in order to facilitate
the permitting of new wet decking sites in our state. MDEQ is committed to giving high priority to these permitting efforts. Below you will find information that should be helpful in the permitting of these sites:

Permit Application Process:
1. Any applicant for a new wet decking facility should contact MDEQ at the earliest possible date prior to the submittal of an application.

2. Construction activities disturbing 5 acres or more will require coverage under a Large Construction Storm Water General Permit. Coverage under this general permit can be granted upon receipt of a Large Construction NOI (Notice of Intent). Upon receipt of this NOI the applicant should be able to receive coverage within 48 hours. This large construction general
permit coverage must be obtained prior to beginning construction activities. Construction
activities disturbing equal to or greater than 1 acre but less than 5 acres must comply with the requirements of the
Small Construction Storm Water General Permit.

3. An application for a State Operating No-Discharge Permit should be submitted to the attention of Harry Wilson with the Environmental Permits Division of MDEQ. Upon receipt
of a complete application it is anticipated that a permit will be issued within 48 hours. The applicant may commence operations upon receipt of this permit. If you have questions regarding the State Operating No-Discharge Permit or the permitting process, you may contact the MDEQ Hurricane Katrina Disaster Recovery Staff at (601)961-5281, (601)961-5554, (601)961-5307, (601)961-5724, or contact Harry Wilson at (601)961-5190.

4. Any withdrawal of groundwater from a well with a surface casing 6 inches or greater in
diameter or the diversion from most surface water bodies will require a permit. An emergency
temporary permit may be granted if the applicant does not have the time to go through the normal permitting process that typically takes about 3 weeks. An application for water withdrawal or diversion can be downloaded at:

The contact person for water withdrawal/diversion permitting questions is Ms. Lisa May-McKenzie at (601)961-5202.

Permitting Issues:
1. Siting Requirement: The recirculation pond should be at least 150 feet from the nearest adjacent property line.

2. Applicants should provide for denied access or other security measures around the recirculation pond.

3. The recirculation pond should be constructed in a manner to minimize percolation.

4. The State Operating No-Discharge Permit is for runoff from the log spray recirculation system only. There should not be any other sources of wastewater discharged to the pond.

5. The recirculation pond shall be operated in a manner to maintain a minimum
of two feet of freeboard.


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