In 1978, the Legislature consolidated five state agencies into the Department of Natural Resources. The agencies which were consolidated at that time included the Mississippi Geological Survey, the Board of Water Commissioners, the Air and Water Pollution Control Commission, the Park Commission, and the Mineral Lease Commission. In the 1989 Legislative session, the Department of Environmental Quality was established to replace the Department of Natural Resources, and the Office of Recreation and Parks was moved to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

Commission on Environmental Quality

The Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality is empowered to formulate Department policy, enforce rules and regulations, receive funding, conduct studies for using the State's resources, and to discharge its duties, responsibilities and powers as necessary.

The Commission's seven members are appointed by the Governor to staggered seven-year terms.

Mississippi Environmental Quality Permit Board

The Permit Board issues, reissues, modifies, denies, transfers, and revokes Mississippi permits and certifications administered under the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, state mining laws, and state water resource control laws.

The membership of the Permit Board is set by statute. Seven of the Permit Board members serve by virtue of the State office they hold. The remaining two members are appointed by the Governor and must be a retired professional engineer and a retired water well contractor.

Mission Statement and Values

Department of Environmental Quality

The Executive Director of the Department of Environmental Quality is appointed by the governor. The Department of Environmental Quality is currently organized in the following Offices:

--Office of Geology
--Office of Land and Water Resources
--Office of Pollution Control, History
--Office of Administrative Services

MDEQ acts as technical, administrative, and legal staff for both the Commission and the Permit Board.