Laboratory Services

The Office of Pollution Control (OPC) Laboratory is a full service environmental laboratory, providing the agency with accurate and timely analyses of pollutants. The staff solves analytical problems, provides expert witnesses in environmental litigation, and offers technical support and information to the programs, the regulated community, and the public.

With a staff of twenty-four (24) scientists, technicians, and support personnel, the OPC Laboratory was organized and equipped to serve the routine and special analytical needs of the agency.

  • More than 3,000 samples from specific sources processed
  • More than 50,000 analytical determinations are made
  • As many as 250 different determinations made on one sample

The complexity and diversity of chemicals used in today's industrial arena necessitates the use of extensive testing with sophisticated analytical equipment.

Tests and equipment used
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Gas chromatography
  • Atomic absorption spectrophotometry
  • Fish pathology
  • Toxicity testing
  • Routine quantitative and qualitative wet chemistry procedures

In-stream biological and ecological assessments are used in our stream evaluations and will be the basis to define ecoregions in Mississippi and eventually to develop biological criterion for state waters. A quality assurance program is used to continually evaluate and improve the efficiency and reliability of the laboratory. Continuing training programs are underway by the staff, and they review technical literature and new procedures on a regular basis. The lab staff provides training for inspectors and new personnel in pollution control methods and also assists in the operator training workshops.

Biological Monitoring and Assessment of 303(d) listed Wadeable Streams and Rivers

  • Collection of water and macroinvertabrate samples from approximately 150 wadeable streams on the 303(d) list
  • Sampling will be conducted during the period December 2003 - February 2004
  • MDEQ chemists will conduct all water analysis for nutrients
  • MDEQ taxonimists will identify all macroinvertebrates collected

Nutrient Criteria Development

US EPA has mandated that the states develop and implement nutrient criteria for surface waters.

The focus for these studies is to obtain an understanding of the cause and effect relationship between nutrient and biological characteristics.

A multi-agency Nutrient Criteria Task Force has been formed to provide technical advice and guidance for each of the four types of water bodies:

  • Lakes
  • Wadeable streams and rivers
  • Non-wadeable streams and rivers
  • Estuaries

Lake and Estuary Task Forces have already reviewed data and two year sampling regime has begun:
  • 90 sites located on 40 of the states largest lakes and 10 managed lakes are being sampled
  • 28 Estuarine sites across the coast are being sampled

Stream and River nutrient studies are stil being developed.

Address and Directions

MDEQ Laboratory
1542 Old Whitfield Road
Pearl, MS 39208

Take I-20 east from Jackson to exit 52 (Jackson International Airport exit) and continue south on Hwy 475 to the first right, which is Old Whitfield road. Go about 2 miles and we will be in the curve just before the MS State Fire Academy.

For more information call, 601/961-5293