The St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District has provided grants for small and large-scale rainscaping, rain gardens, and rain barrel projects throughout the city. The City of St. Louis, MSD, East-West Gateway, and others are working to promote green infrastructure and urban renewal throughout the city and metro area. For more information on GI work in St. Louis, visit the City of St. Louis’ Urban Vitality website here.
Rainscaping and Rain Gardens
A feasible and innovative way to collect the rainwater and beautify your garden at the same time is to build a rain garden! As an important and versatile tool towards stormwater management, a rain garden is a landscaped site that collects, absorbs, and filters stormwater runoff from roof tops, driveways, patios, and other hard surfaces that don't allow water to soak in.
Below is a diagram showing how a residential rain garden works in your yard. A rain garden starts with a bowl-shaped bed of loose soil with plantations of deep-rooted trees, bushes, flowers and other plants that help absorb the rainwater. The plants serve as filters through layers of soil before the rain water enters the groundwater system or the stormwater system through the underdrain. Your rain garden is your personal contribution to cleaner water!
If you are interested in building a rain garden in your yard or neighborhood, check out the resources below:
Alicia Claire Lloyd, Clean Water Policy Coordinator
"In an age when man has forgotten his origins and is blind even to his most essential needs for survival, water along with other resources has become the victim of his indifference." - Rachel Carson
We enjoy summer float trips, swimming, and canoeing Missouri's rivers.
We like the craft beer produced by Missouri's breweries.
We care about the safety of the water we drink and the health of Missouri's wildlife - from blue catfish and paddlefish to river otters and the mallards that migrate along our rivers.
Natural resources and the ecosystem services they provide are publc goods. Access to clean drinking and bathing water is a human right - a right that is threatened by pollution and irresponsible development.
The environment does not have its own lobbyists or political influence to advocate for its protection.
Because clean water is crucial to a healthy people and aquatic habitats, we advocate for the protection and restoration of our state's abundant and valuable water resources. Because we all need clean water, MCE works on behalf of Missouri's rivers, lakes, streams, and wetlands - resources all of us depend on and enjoy.
In 2011, American Rivers designated the Ozark National Scenic Riverways one of the most endangered rivers in the country. Unfortunately, not much has changed since then and some things have gotten worse. MCE and Friends of Ozark Riverways want to protect the outstanding natural beauty, ecological vitality, and rich history of the Riverways.
We have an opportunity to address degradation of the treasured Ozark National Scenic Riverways and protect the resource for generations through the National Park Service's upcoming Roads and Trails Plan. And WE NEED YOUR HELP!
The General Management Plan guides policies and practices in the Riverways for decades to come. It sets priorities for resources, staffing, and activities. The Roads and Trails Plan is a more specific plan and the Park Service is in the process of considering comments from recent open houses and drafting preliminary alternatives. The alternatives are scheduled to be released in February 2016 and we will need your help to advocate for the best alternative.
Stay tuned for more details!
The draft plan presents three alternative approaches which are outlined below.
In the Riverways, unauthorized roads, overuse by all terrain vehicles and excessive equestrian use in sensitive areas have contributed to degradation including increased bank erosion, more sediment in the water, reduced habitat quality, and unsafe bacteria levels in certain river stretches. Re-directing high impact activities to areas where damage is minimized, establishing levels of use that enable the rivers to maintain quality, allowing damaged areas to heal, and organizing activities with respect for the natural resources are the keys to stewardship of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. With your input, management of high impact activities can be integrated fairly into a GMP that preserves fishing, floating, hiking, boating, and wildlife habitat.
The Missouri Coalition for the Environment has supported policies that help restore and preserve outstanding water quality and habitat values, address threats to water quality, and maintain the quality of the Riverways for this and future generations.
Main Message: Strengthen the Management of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways through completion of a new General Management Plan (the current plan dates from 1989).
The draft plan proposes management zones for land and water uses that vary in extent for each of three alternatives. The land-based zones are:
See maps of the zones for each alternative on pages 61, 67, 75 and 81 in the plan and a comparison of alternatives in Table 13 on pages 125-30 here.
This park’s problems have included the seemingly ever-expanding presence of motorized vehicles and their maze of eroded tracks in riparian areas and on gravel bars; the explosive growth of equestrian use and proliferation of undesignated trails and river crossings (many of which are in sensitive riverine areas or on steep, heavily-eroded slopes); overcrowding in certain reaches of the rivers and resulting conflicts among user groups, coupled with the rowdy behavior of some visitors; and inadequate monitoring and enforcement of scenic easements.
Though people will differ in their views of which alternative is best, we support the Friends of Ozark Riverways belief that the National Park Service has provided a reasonable range of alternatives and deserves support for its commitment to dealing with serious problems that have developed over the years.
However, the Riverways has seen a 30% reduction in staff in the last decade, owing to decreases in funding, and there is no guarantee that funds will be enhanced to the levels anticipated by the plan alternatives. That is one reason to approach with caution higher cost alternatives that feature increased development and more intensive use like those presented in Alternative C. We favor maintaining visitation at approximately the current level while emphasizing improvements that are less demanding in terms of staff and more conducive to family recreation.
Each of the action alternatives provides for:
The National Park Service identifies Alternative A as the environmental preferable alternative. It emphasizes traditional, non-mechanized recreation and visitor experiences that are quieter, less crowded and slower-paced. To reduce motorized intrusion it would close unauthorized roads, traces and river accesses, restore 50 miles of such roads to native vegetation, replace 15 miles of undesignated roads within primitive management zones with hiking trails, and no longer allow motor vehicles on gravel bars (walk-in or float-in day use and camping still allowed). To reduce equestrian overuse it would add 25 more miles of designated horse trails, close and restore 65 miles of undesignated horse trails, improve the design of the 23 miles of currently designated horse trails, and consider establishing a permit system for horse use within the park. To improve visitor experience and reduce conflicts among users, there would be more hiking trails, more motor-free zones, and redistribution or limit of commercial services. There are some staffing increases.
The National Park Service prefers this alternative. It would enhance opportunities for visitors to learn about the park’s natural and cultural resources, and provide a balance of diverse recreational opportunities with increased opportunities for education and appreciation of park resources. To reduce motorized intrusion it would close undesignated roads and access points, restore 45 miles of such roads to natural condition, convert 10 miles of roads in primitive zones to hiking trails and reduce and designate camp sites on gravel bars open to vehicles. To reduce equestrian overuse it would add 35 miles of designated horse trails, close and restore 65 miles of undesignated horse trails and unauthorized river crossings, improve the design of the 23-mile long designated horse trail system to avoid sensitive areas, establish a permit system for horse use within the park, and may allow for designated horse camping sites. To improve visitor experience, there would be a new learning center and visitor contact station at Powder Mill; two additional campgrounds at existing day use areas at Akers on the Current and Blue Spring on the Jack’s Fork; additional trails; a resumed oral history program, discovery sites, and enhancement of archive and museum collections; and strengthened monitoring, research, and preservation projects. The Cedar Grove low water crossing would be replaced with a high-water bridge. Waste systems in the park would be improved. There are staffing increases under this alternative.
Alternative C would accommodate higher levels of park visitation and more intensive recreation while striving to maintain the scenic natural setting and protect cultural resources. To reduce motorized intrusion it would close undesignated roads and access points, restore 40 miles of such roads to natural conditions, replace five miles of roads in primitive zones with hiking trails, and allow vehicular access only to designated sites on gravel bars. To reduce equestrian overuse it would add 45 miles of designated horse trails, and close 65 miles of undesignated trails and river crossings; it might also develop a 25-unit horse camp along the Jacks Fork. Visitor experiences would include two additional campgrounds, possible more backcountry and primitive campsites, more interaction among visitors and higher resource impacts especially in higher use area. Staffing levels would increase the most under this alternative to provide for more use and more monitoring and mitigation of impacts to resources.
The 1989 plan is due for an update in order to reverse the degradation of the Riverways. The Ozark National Scenic Riverways deserves an increased investment of staff and resources to ensure it retains its quality as Missouri's own 'Yellowstone'.
We prefer Alternative B, with some additions and qualifications, because it:
Additionally, the Missouri Coalition for the Environment supports the following changes:
MCE urges the National Park Service to approach the designation of mountain bike trails with care for the vulnerabilities of the landscape so that erosion, impacts to biodiversity and water quality are minimized.
Friends of Ozark Riverways agrees with NPS that Alterative B provides the most balance among the three alternatives, though some of our organizations and members may favor the environmentally preferable Alternative A or a mix of elements from alternatives A and B. Alternative B would provide more staff for maintenance, monitoring and enforcement while substantially enhancing visitor experience of park resources. We believe that several improvements could strengthen the plan:
Phosphorus and nitrogen are necessary to sustain life, however, too much of a good thing can cause problems in our waterways.
Excess phosphorus in our streams and lakes causes algae blooms (which look like green gunk in the water), reduces water clarity, and saps water of dissolved oxygen. These effects make water bodies less appealing for human recreation and can cause fish kills and other ecosystem disruptions.
Nitrogen and phosphorus pollution comes from farm animals, fertilizers, human sewage, cars, and storm-water runoff from highways and parking lots. In general, runoff from farms and urban areas causes the greatest problem, although sewage treatment plants are significant contributors as well.
When excess nitrogen and phosphorus enter waters from discharges, fertilizer run off, and other sources, they cause an explosion of algae or phytoplankton in the water. The algae quickly deplete the dissolved oxygen in the water and then die themselves. Fish and other water creatures leave the polluted area, if they can, or die, if they cannot escape. The resulting dead zone is known as a hypoxic zone. These dead zones occur in lakes and even in streams.
Nitrogen pollution from Midwestern farms contributes to the massive annual “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico . In 2007, the dead zone covered 7,900 square miles, an area comparable to the size of New Jersey . At high levels, nitrogen in drinking water can even threaten human health, by interfering with the blood’s ability to transfer oxygen to cells. Nitrogen pollution of well water is responsible for “blue baby” syndrome, a life threatening condition present.
Technologies exist to remove nitrogen and phosphorus from sewage plant discharges, and best management practices such as buffer strips and wetland restoration can reduce pollution from farm runoff.
MCE has been working with the Mississippi River Collaborative and the Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic at Washington University School of Law to secure the adoption of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution limits in our state.
Nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, are a natural part of the ecosystem. These elements are essential to the growth of plants. However, excess nutrients cause an overgrowth of algae in aquatic systems—more than the system can handle. As algae flourishes, it blocks the light entering the water that other plant life rely on to grow and thrive. When plants die, they consume oxygen as they decompose. When the overabundance of algae and the light-starved submerged vegetation die, they are no exception and cause massive depletion of dissolved oxygen. Excess nutrients are the perfect storm for an impaired, non-functioning river or lake. No life—fish, aquatic invertebrates (bugs), nor plant life—can survive in an oxygen-depleted ecosystem. Hypoxic conditions occur when there is little oxygen available for aquatic life resulting in fish kills and further ecosystem impairments. In cases of extreme nutrient pollution, known as anoxia, the oxygen levels are so low that all oxygen is eliminated from the aquatic system and all organisms die. The most prominent example of this is the 5,500+ square mile area in the Gulf of Mexico—also known as the Dead Zone—a result of nutrient-polluting human activity on land. Read more about nutrient pollution from the EPA
The Clean Water Act requires states to designate uses on waters in its boundaries and establish Water Quality Standards (WQS) including the development of numeric nutrient criteria. In December 2014, Missouri's Deparment of Natural Resources released a Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NRS) for the state. The NRS is a first step in outlining the best management practices (BMP) and activities that reduce nutrient loading in our waters; however, numeric limits on allowable nutrient pollution, as required by law, are necessary to achieve and maintain water quality.
In 2011, EPA disapproved the state's proposed numeric nutrient criteria for lakes requiring Missouri to resubmit a new proposal. Several attempts at drafting revised versions were halted by special interests who fear regulation will hurt their bottom line. Four years later, the most recent draft developed by DNR and other stakeholders was proposed in the Nutrient Criteria Technical Subcommittee.
On November 6, 2015, MCE sent a Notice of Intent to File Suit to EPA alleging violation of US EPA’s mandatory duty to issue effective standards when the state does not take action on its own. MCE officially filed suit on February 24 following a 60-day waiting period.
Concurrently, Missouri is developing a Water Quality Trading (WQT) program. WQT is a market-based mechanism to achieve water quality goals at lower costs to permittees. Trading programs like this one rely on the fact that some polluters can reduce their discharge more easily than others. In this case, farmers can undertake inexpensive projects to limit the amount of runoff from their fields to meet water quality standards while industrial polluters would have to construct costly changes to their facilities to reduce the same amount of nutrient pollution. Those who reduce their discharge below their allotted quantity determined by the nutrient criteria can then sell the difference to buyers to whom purchasing nutrient pollution credits is more economical.
When compared to the traditional command and control model of regulation where government authorities would simply mandate that each polluter limit their discharge to a specified amount, trading progams are much more flexible. Trading programs allow for the water quality standards to be met in a manner than minimizes the negative economic impact of regulation. Importantly, the program will need benchmarks such as numeric criteria to meaningfully set the caps for regulated entities. MCE supports the implementation of water quality trading under the essential condition that water quality is ultimately improved. Read more about Water Quality Trading
The consent decree agreement between the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) and the Environmental Protection Agency requires $100 million to spent on “green infrastructure” to alleviate Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) problems that much of the city is facing.
Read about Green Infrastructure below and then check out our interactive rainscaping story map!
What is Green Infrastructure?
Green infrastructure, commonly abbreviated as “GI”, is a form of water management that incorporates plants and landscaping practices to control the flow and direction of stormwater. Central to the design of all green infrastructure projects is a concave soil bed that absorbs water and reduces impervious surface area in an urban landscape.
A bioswale in action on New York City's Streets. Similar bioswales can be found on South Grand in St. Louis
Green Infrastrucure has multiple benefits, helping to...
NOTE: While the Venn Diagram above depicts the overlapping benefits of green infrastructure, MCE challenges the triple-bottom-line approach, generally, as insufficient for achieving long-lasting, equitable sustainability, and instead promotes the idea of "strong sustainability," emphasizing that the human sphere is embedded in a natural system with limits that ought to constrain our actions. For futher information, please read "Our Future" under MCE's publication page
What is Grey Infrastructure?
GI’s plant-based design differs from conventional Grey Infrastructure, which uses traditional pipe-based systems to direct and collect water. The city of Saint Louis installed its first grey infrastructure system in the early 1850s, and today nearly 10,000 miles of pipes are used to transport wastewater across the city.
Because grey infrastructure is such a well-established and standardized practice, it makes the design and construction of project relatively easy and timely when compared to other management practices. Additionally, the engineered design of grey infrastructure makes the practice easy to monitor and control (ex. computer control of sewer outflows, water flow)
In a combined sewer, excess rainfall can lead to overflows into waterways. Green infrastructure reduces the amount of stormwater that reaches sewers, reducing overflow events.
Despite its benefits, traditional wastewater systems can fall into disarray when they are not properly maintained. For years, much of St. Louis’ grey infrastructure was improperly cared for. Sewage and stormwater flow through an aging shared pipe system (combined sewers), and heavy rainfall combined with imprevious surfaces causes too much stormwater to enter the sewers. This leads to regular sewer backups and overflows, many of which happen in low-income minority areas of the city.
How can GI fix St. Louis’ Aging Sewers?
GI helps to increase the amount of storm water that can be reabsorbed into the watershed, reducing the occurrence of raw sewage overflows into streets and waterways. St. Louis is one of many cities that are looking to green infrastructure to alleviate the burden on aging grey infrastructure systems. In 2012, Kansas City completed its Middle Blue River Basin Project, helping to reduce annual combined sewer overflows by 76% (292,000 gallons at one outflow).
MCE supports MSD's efforts to use green infrastructure in order to:
Watersheds are extremely important to the environment as well as the surrounding community. They include the water we use for recration as well as the water we use for everyday life like drinking and bathing. By pledging to become a Watershed Warrior, you are committing to make an effort to be concious of how your decisions affect your watershed, as well as making an effort to reduce those impacts. Do you want to join our army of warriors fighting for clean, healthy watersheds??
1. Click Start Prezi below to learn 'What every Watershed Warrior needs to know" starting with what a watershed is, water pollution threats, and what can be done to reduce water pollution in our communities and neighborhoods.
2. Before you take the quiz and pledge, you can find your watershed on our interactive watershed map! Maps of both the St. Louis and Kansas City areas will allow you to find your watershed, as well as where it is in relation to other features such as rivers and parks.
3. Let's see what you learned! Scroll down to test your watershed knowledge on the short quiz! Select Next after the Hellbender image to begin and progress through the questions. You can do it!!
The connection between water and land connect human beings' activities to the health of our water resources. Animals and plant life all impact their immediate environment, but the fluid, mobile nature of water introduces the complexity of movement. The impacts of these activities include the introduction of pollutants and sediment literally carried by surface and underground flow to the next lowest point on and on until discharging into bigger rivers and ultimately, the ocean.
Watershed Projects and Resources:
Check out Watershed Cairns to see art connect with water! Cairns are stracks of rocks used to demarcate trails. These beautiful glass sculptures are displayed in places of signifcance to watershed functioning in outdoor locations in Illinois and Missouri. The locations denote areas where land collects water - places that conduct water to creeks, streams, and rivers to ultimately arrive in the Mississippi River. The Cairns are photographed and removed due to their fragility. See the Watershed Cairns website here.
The Our Missouri Waters Initiative is a Missouri Department of Natural Resources effort to engage citizens and sound science to develop watershed-specific strategies to collaborate on common goals to address challenges in each basin.
MCE's involvement in the Kiefer Creek Watershed began in 2009 when dogs were becoming ill after coming in contact with the creek in Castlewood State Park. Thus began the Kiefer Creek Watershed Restroation Project. The long term project engaged local watershed residents in the development of a watershed management plan to address bacteria (e.Coli) and chloride pollution impairing the water supply.
What's up with all the sewer infrastructure work throughout St. Louis? Read about the EPA v. MSD Consent Decree below:
The St. Louis metro area is in the process of undergoing major upgrades to its sewer system. Like many systems across the country that were constructed before separate storm and sewage transport, during heavy rain and storm events in St. Louis, (see Sewer Systems and Wastewater for information on combined sewer systems), stormwater and wastewater from the sewage system discharge untreated into the local waterways from combined segments of the sewer system. According to EPA, untreated sewage discharges account for thousands of cases of gastrointestinal illnesses each year in the U.S. In order to address the sewer overflow conditions as well as to improve the sewer system infrastructure in our community, a Consent Decree between the Environmental Protection Agency, the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, and the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District in The United States et al v. The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, No. 4:07-CV-1120 (E.D. Mo.) was entered with an Effective Date of April 27, 2012 (EPA, St. Louis' Clean Water Act Settlement).Under the Concent Decree, MSD is committed to infrastructure improvement projects for work in both the Sanitary and Combined collection systems (as introduced in the Sewer System and Wastewater page) and in the wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) with a total estimated cost of $4.7 billion over the next 23 year period. 200 or more SSOs will be eliminated, CSO control measures implemented, and the capacity of the District's WWTPs will be expanded to reduce pollutant discharges throughout the system. The objective of the improvement projects will be to eliminate and mitigate overflows of untreated raw sewage prioritizing known problematic areas and to reduce contaminants entering the system from stormwater with green infrastructure projects (MSD's Project Clear). MSD is required to take the following actions:
Additional requirements for Consent Decree compliance include:
The Clean Water Act (CWA) is the main federal regulatory framework we have for protecting the quality of water in the United States. The CWA delegates authority to the states to monitor and regulate pollution in our rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands. One of the greatest ironies in Missouri is that despite having great pride in our rivers and being host to some of the best recreational water activities in the country, we are woefully behind on implementing the law. See below for an interactive timeline that explains some of the most significant developments for clean water protection in Missouri—use the arrows at the sides of the timeline to move forward through the events. Keep reading below the timeline for more information about current issues and to learn about what MCE is doing further the interests of all Missourians who care about clean water.
The first step in implementing the Clean Water Act is for states to classify their waters. After rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands are classified, they are assigned Water Quality Standards appropriate for their classifications based on the uses they are designated. The goal of the Clean Water Act was go have all waters of the U.S. attain fishable/swimmable uses by 1983. Fishable/swimmable is shorthand for having the capacity to support aquatic life and being safe for full-body human contact with the water. Missouri has not assigned default fishable/swimmable uses to its waters and, as a result, there are not applied Water Quality Standards on many of our state's waters.
What are unclassified waters and why are they important?
A substantial number of Missouri's stream miles have never been classified, meaning at least 65,000 miles of stream receive inadequate protection from water pollution under Missouri's water quality laws. Unclassified streams are generally smaller than Missouri's larger, classified water bodies, but their protection is equally important—the connections between smaller streams and wetlands to larger waters have real effects on rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and estuaries (see EPA's Connectivity Report (2015)). Missouri's smaller streams are critical parts of our large river systems. They serve as feeder streams for our big rivers and as nursuries for young fish. When they are not healthy, our bigger rivers are negatively impacted.
Missouri's unclassified waters are not even receiving the minimal protections required by the Clean Water Act. These waters should be safe to swim in and be habitable for aquatic life. Pollutant discharge permits should not be authorized in unclassified waters. More than forty years after passage of the Clean Water Act, Missouri still fails to comply with the law.
What is MCE doing ?
The classification of a water body gives it needed protection from pollution. The Coalition urges Missouri's Department of Natural Resources to take the next steps in protecting our vital aquatic resources by classifying our waters. Simultaneously, MCE encourages the U.S. EPA to demand DNR classify its waters or else classify them for us—exactly as directed by the Clean Water Act. Learn more about MCE's actions surrounding unclassified waters
Too polluted to drink, too polluted to fish or swim in, or even too polluted to support healthy aquaitc life, waters that have suffered from the byproducts and runoff of industry and agriculture are listed as "impaired". Section 305(b) of the Clean Water Act requires each state to report on the status of the waters of the state. Every two years, each state is supposed to list all its streams and lakes that fail to meet water quality standards along with the pollutants causing the impairments. The list, known as the "303(d) list", is intended to spur states to develop and implement plans to address the impairments.
What is MCE doing ?
We monitor the 303(d) list when it comes out every two years and work to extend Water Quality Standards to all waters of the United States. MCE watchdogs the implementation of Total Maximum Daily Loads and National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting in the state. Read more about impaired waters in Missouri
After waters are determined to be impaired, Water Quality Standards (WQS) are applied to these classfied waters. Standards are the benchmark for ensuring water quality sufficient to meet the use of swimming, supporting aquatic life, sourcing drinking water, or other purposes assigned to a particular body of water.
What is MCE doing ?
MCE advocates for the classification of all waters of the state as, at a minimuim, both fishable and swimmable as required by the Clean Water Act and WQS that support those uses. MCE participates in DNR stakeholder workgroups, watchdogs the implemenation of WQS requirements, and collaborates with EPA, DNR, and others to support effective water quality management in Missouri. Read more about the characteristics of Missouri's Water Quality Standards
Nutrient pollution is a major contributor to contaminated drinking water, fish kills and the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Numeric nutrient criteria are a critical tool for protecting and restoring the designated uses of a waterbody with regard to nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. These criteria enable effective monitoring of a water body for attaining its designated uses, facilitate formulation of NPDES discharge permits, and simplify development of total maximum daily loads (TMDL) for restoring waters currently not attaining their designated uses (i.e. impaired waters).
What is MCE doing ?
MCE works within MDNR stakeholder workgroups to push for the development of numeric nutrient criteria on lakes, resevoirs, rivers, and streams. EPA must approve states' nutrient criteria proposals. EPA disapproved Missouri's lake nutrient criteria in 2011. Since that time, Missouri has repeatedly produced revised criteria to address EPA's disapproval. Each time, agricultural interests stop the process. We will continue to advocate for revised criteria at the state level, but it may be up to EPA to enforce the law.
MCE is also part of a stakeholder group working on developing a water quality trading (WQT) program in the state of Missouri. Learn more about water quality trading here.
The Clean Water Act allows for project development that impacts our water resources when that project is authorized by the Army Corps of Engineers and follows specific requirements (outlined in Section 404 of the CWA). Permit applicants must demonstrate public benefit from the construction of the project; lack of alternative options for development site; the minimization of impacts to water resources; protection of endangered and threatened species; and requirements to offset these impacts through restoration, enhancement, and preservation of wetland and stream resources in the same watershed as the proposed project.
What is MCE doing?
We closely monitor project permit applications that propose to impact Missouri's waters. We submit formal, public comments promoting real and measureable ecosystem benefits in mitigation activities and enforcement of the application requirements. MCE watchdogs the implementation process of 404 permit application, mitigation, and program monitoring to advocate for Missouri citizens' right to healthy water resources. Check out an interactive map of section 404 permitted projects in your watershed
After decades of confusion regarding the interpretation of the phrase "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS), EPA and the Corps of Engineers created a rule clarifying very specifically what constituted jurisdictional waters. On May 27, 2015, EPA released the final rule set to go into effect on August 28. Thirteen states, including Missouri, filed an injunction to stop the rule citing undue harm to regulated entities—most prominently, corporate agriculture—and later, on October 9,the Sixth Circuit Court of Appleals in Cincinnati issued a temporary stay of the rule delaying much-needed protections. While maintaining the agricultural exemptions in the former rule, the Clean Water Protection Rule will ensure that waters protected under the CWA are more precisely defined, more predictably determined, and easier for businesses and industry to understand. Learn more about the Rule from the EPA
What is MCE doing?
MCE continues to support the EPA and Corps of Engineers' development of a clarified definition of "Waters of the U.S." in the Clean Water Act. We rally our members to support the agencies' rulemaking and we continue to oppose legislative attacks on its implementation.