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MDEQ approves $15.3M in grants for Hancock County

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has approved $15.3 million in grants for infrastructure projects in Hancock County, Gov. Haley Barbour said Monday.

The money will go to the Hancock County Utility Authority for planning and engineering costs for 12 water and wastewater projects.

A $10-million grant for seven projects will likely increase to more than $75 million after the planning and engineering phases are completed, Barbour said. The second grant, $5.3 million for five projects, could increase to more than $35 million.

The money comes from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development fund for water and wastewater enhancements on the Gulf Coast.

“Hancock County was dealt a severe blow by Hurricane Katrina and improving and expanding their water and sewer system infrastructure into a regional approach is an important component toward recovery and rebuilding” Barbour said in a statement. “These funds are vital to support both existing and future growth patterns in the region especially for new housing construction.”