Fisher Appoints Whittington as Director of the Office of Land and Water Resources

(JACKSON, Miss.) – Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Executive Director Trudy Fisher has selected Kay Whittington to serve as the Director of the Office of Land and Water Resources.  Whittington replaces Richard Ingram who retires October 31.

“Kay Whittington brings to this position a wealth of knowledge and experience in all aspects of our state’s water resources. Kay is already working with the Office Land and Water Resources on numerous water issues and through her work over the years has established key relationships with stakeholders all across the state.  When I think of water resources, I think of Kay Whittington,” said MDEQ Executive Director Trudy Fisher.

Kay Whittington has been with MDEQ for 16 years and has served as Chief of the Basin Management Branch in MDEQ’s Surface Water Division since 2009.   Through the Basin Management Program Kay has focused on working with partners throughout Mississippi to identify the highest priority water resources issues and collectively focus resources to protect and restore those high priority water bodies.

“I am honored to be trusted with protecting the water resources of Mississippi. There are many challenges and opportunities dealing with water quality and water quantity in our state, and I am excited about this opportunity,” said Kay Whittington.

Additional experience at MDEQ includes water quantity and water quality modeling to develop Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for impaired water bodies throughout the state and as Chief of the TMDL Section.

She and her family reside in Jackson, and she is a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  She earned undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Alabama in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus on Water Resources.  She is a Licensed Professional Engineer and a Board Certified Environmental Engineer.

Richard Ingram is a 21-year veteran of MDEQ and specialized in a myriad of water-related programs.  He is a Registered Professional Geologist and is recognized statewide and nationally for his commitment and expertise in water quality issues.  He has served in numerous leadership positions at the national and regional levels in forums that address Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico water quality issues including the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance.  He has been instrumental in the formation and the work of the Mississippi Delta Sustainable Water Resources Task Force addressing water quantity issues in the Mississippi Delta.

Ingram held a variety of positions at the agency including MDEQ Special Projects Administrator, Statewide Manager of Basin Management Program, and Statewide Manager of Drinking Water Assessment and Protection Programs.

“Richard Ingram has made a lasting difference during his 21 years with the agency in every position he has served. His leadership of the Office of Land and Water Resources leaves a lasting, positive influence on the future of our programs and our people.  We wish him the best in his new opportunities,” added MDEQ Executive Director Trudy Fisher.

The Office of Land and Water Resources is charged with conserving, managing, and protecting the water resources of Mississippi.  Among its responsibilities it regulates water quantity issues affecting the beneficial use of these resources, licenses and regulates water well drillers, monitors water use and water levels in the state’s aquifers, issues permits for groundwater withdrawal and surface water diversion and impoundment, and houses the state’s dam safety program.

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