PUBLIC NOTICE for Public Comments on the
South Pumping Station Improvements
by the Meridian Airport Authority
2811A Airport Blvd South, Meridian, MS 39307
The Meridian Airport Authority is soliciting comments from the public on the proposed improvements to the South Pumping Station on Key Field at Meridian Regional Airport. The project to replace the abandoned stormwater pump station is believed to not have any impacts to the local or surrounding areas with regard to wetlands, wildlife habitat or cultural resources. Additional information is located below:
LOCATION: The proposed project site is located in the southwest portion of Key Field at Meridian Regional Airport within Section 34, Township 6 North, Range 15 East, Meridian, Lauderdale County Mississippi (32° 19’ 03.64’’N, 88° 45’ 32.27’’W). The project is located within the Chunky-Okatibbee Watershed.
PROJECT PURPOSE: In April 1960, the Corps of Engineers constructed a flood control structure and pumping station at the south end of the airfield to remove water from the airfield side detention basin when flood waters were high. The pump station directed water to Okatibee Creek on the west side of the existing levee. However, the pumps and pumping station deteriorated to the point that it was no longer operable. Currently, the flood control structure allows water to pass to Okatibbee Creek through valves and a gate system when the creek level is low. During times of high water on the creek side of the levee, no water is allowed to pass through the structure. As a result, water levels within the airfield detention basin elevate to the point that signals from FAA avionics equipment reflect off the water surface to create false readings to approaching aircraft. A new pumping station is needed to replace the original pumping station and allow water to be removed from the airfield detention basin.
WETLANDS DELINEATION: A wetlands delineation was performed on at the project site and it was determined that no adverse impacts to “Other Waters of the US” are anticipated with the proposed project. As part of the wetlands assessment, a package has been submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for concurrence that a No Permit Required (NPR) determination is appropriate for the proposed project activities and that no further Section 404 permitting is required for construction.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Historic Preservation Division, reviewed a request for a cultural resources assessment on the project in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and 36 CFR Part 800. After review, it was determined that the project would not affect any cultural resources provided the work is limited to existing rights-of-way. They had no objection with the proposed undertaking.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: A review of the project was conducted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. After review, 7 species of concern were listed within a 2-mile radius of the project site. These species were listed as: Swamp Aster, Louisiana Black Bear, Pascagoula Map Turtle, Mud Salamander, Crested Rivulet Crayfish, Short Hair Sedge and the Yellow-crested Orchid. A determination was made by the MWFP that, if best management practices are properly implemented, monitored, and maintained (particularly measures to prevent or at least minimize negative impacts to water quality), the proposed project likely poses no threat to the listed species or their habitats.
Additional information on the project, including the Federal Aviation Administration Environmental Evaluation Form “C” (Short Environmental Assessment) For Airport Development Projects, is available for review at Engineering Plus, Inc. between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at 1724-B 23rd Avenue, Meridian, Mississippi.
Comments from the public on the proposed improvements can be provided to the Meridian Airport Authority in writing or at an upcoming public hearing that the Meridian Airport Authority will hold on the matter. Any written comments may be mailed or otherwise delivered to the Meridian Airport Authority office through 5:00 p.m., Monday, March 23, 2020. The public hearing will be held on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. in the Meridian Airport Authority Conference Room at 2811A Airport Blvd South, Meridian, Mississippi.
The Meridian Airport Authority is interested in hearing from the public on the aspects of this proposed project and invites the public to review and provide comments and input on the matter. Questions related to the project specifically can be directed to: Engineering Plus, Inc., 1724-B 23Rd Avenue, Meridian, MS 39301, 601-693-4234.