EPA gives state $2M to clean up urgent environmental problems

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State-run environmental programs are getting a big boost.

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has received a $2.15 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of a performance partnership grant, which provides financial assistance to states and tribes to address urgent environmental problems.

Robbie Wilbur, a spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, said Thursday that details on the specific environmental programs the grant will fund were not immediately available.

The EPA said the grant will aid Mississippi’s efforts to reduce air and water pollution; improve waste management; restore brownfields to productive uses; and prevent pollution and promote sustainability and natural-resource conservation.

MDEQ also has plans to improve safe public drinking water supplies; address wastewater concerns and water pollution from rain runoff; and restore and protect wetlands, the EPA said in a new release.

The grant will also improve how public information about the environment.

So far this fiscal year, the federal environmental agency has awarded MDEQ in $9.7 million in performance partnership grants. With this latest announcement, the awards total $11.9 million, the EPA said.