Mississippi law requires that anyone proposing to build, modify, or repair a dam must get written authorization from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) before beginning construction. Written authorization is not required if the dam is fewer than 8 feet high, impounds fewer than 25 acre-feet of water at the top of the dam, or does not impound a watercourse with a continuous flow of water (as long as failure of the dam would not threaten public safety downstream).
A surface water impoundment permit may be required, even if written authorization to build the dam is not required. Penalties may be imposed for failure to file. For more information, contact the MDEQ Dam Safety Division at (601) 961-5061 or www.deq.state.ms.us (click on the Dam Safety link).
If the construction is expected to disturb between 1 and 5 acres (construction of the dam and area excavated for dirt used in the dam), then small-construction permit conditions will apply. If the construction is expected to disturb more than 5 acres, then a large-construction permit will be required.
For more information, visit the MDEQ Construction and Building Materials Branch (click on the Permits link) or call (601) 961-5207.
Landowners are also urged to check with the local district contact for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to see if a 404 permit will be required.