PASCAGOULA, Miss. — It looks like a fish apocalypse at Bayou Casotte. Thousands of fish are dead after Mississippi Phosphates was forced to do an emergency discharge from their plant because of heavy rains over the weekend. If they did not, the dump would have been much larger and out of control.
For everyone’s safety the Department of Environmental quality has closed down the Bayou and part of the Mississippi Sound. They are also telling people to be cautious about eating any seafood from the area.
Mississippi Phosphates has started to clean up the mess. Since, they have released this statement:
“This weekend’s major rainfall resulted in Mississippi Phosphates implementing established procedures for emergency discharge of process water into Bayou Casotte.
Mississippi Phosphates followed Federal and State regulations, promptly notifying the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality of its intent to implement a controlled release to avoid the risk of a larger uncontrolled release.
Already this year, the Pascagoula plant has received 62.8 inches of rain compared to an annual average rainfall of approximately 64 inches. With its water storage system already at or near capacity, the estimated 8 inches of additional rain from weekend storms exceeded existing storage capacity.
The emergency discharge lasted less than 24 hours, ending at 8 a.m. on Monday, August 19th.
A fish kill potentially related to the discharge was discovered in Bayou Casotte. The company is actively recovering the fish for regulatory reporting and disposal. Mississippi Phosphates is cooperating with regulatory officials and the situation remains closely monitored. At this time, we have no further information to report.”