DeSoto County this month officially joined a select company on the roster of enHance, a voluntary initiative established in 2009 by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality to recognize green leadership and achievement of goals beyond legal requirements.
There are only 36 members statewide in the program, in which participating organizations commit for three years to address and achieve ongoing environmental improvements. DeSoto, through its Environmental Services Department, was recognized at ceremonies in Jackson.
DeSoto’s unincorporated area is the only such County to receive enHance status, “and we’re extremely proud of the Board’s direction in helping to achieve that,” said Ray Laughter, Environmental Services manager. Also at Wednesday’s awards luncheon were Facilities Management Director Tony Martin and District 5 Supervisor Harvey Lee of Hernando.
“While in Jackson, we participated in an enHance workshop on energy efficiency and waste reduction opportunities sponsored by the Mississippi Manufacturers Association. We’re learning new things and we intend to bring back some ideas that will benefit the people of DeSoto County - anything we can do to improve services and cut costs to taxpayers” said Supervisor Lee.“
“DeSoto County is doing great work and achieving standards beyond their permit requirements,” said Trudy Fisher, MDEQ executive director. “We believe they should be recognized for their leadership.”
Presentations on the agenda included case studies on process improvements that resulted in major cost reductions, demonstrations of tools to identify energy savings such as thermal imaging, data loggers and leak indicators, and strategies for expanding recycling and environmental management systems.
County environmental initiatives include the annual spring and fall countywide cleanups of tons of rubbish and household hazardous waste; all-year recycling of paper, plastic and electronic waste; the Earth Day education and awareness event that draws hundreds to the County Courthouse square in Hernando; and a multimillion-dollar energy-efficiency retrofit of county buildings with the Siemens technology firm.