- Associated Press - Friday, January 30, 2015

CANTON, Miss. (AP) - State regulators are asking Madison County officials to show why they should not be fined $20,000 for violations at the Sulphur Springs Park project.

The Madison County Journal reports (https://bit.ly/1veL2cn ) that Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality notified the county in January about problems at the site north of Canton.

The county has the option to accept a penalty - if assessed - propose an alternate penalty or request a hearing before the Commission on Environmental Quality.

County Administrator Mark Houston said the county’s attorney is formulating a response.

MDEQ said there was improper silt fencing at the site. The first violation referred to the sediment barrier and lack of timely maintenance. The other three violations were conditions of the water quality certification with the project.

“We are currently in discussions with the county about resolving these violations,” said MDEQ spokesman Robbie Wilbur. “We cannot make any comment regarding an ongoing enforcement action.

“While penalties may be a necessary and appropriate component, our main concern is always ensuring a return to compliance such that human health and the environment are protected.”

The lake project has been in the works for years. In 2013, the county issued a $1.5 million urban renewal bond. Since then, there have been issues with sand and early projections of opening in the late spring of 2014 were missed.

Approximately $800,000 from road bond money was steered toward the project for roads.

Early estimates put the project at the final price tag near $2.6 million.

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Information from: Madison County Journal, https://www.onlinemadison.com


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