Lawsuit Settlement Compels EPA to Develop Nutrient Pollution Protections for Missouri Lakes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Date: December 8, 2016

Contacts: 

  • Alicia Lloyd, Clean Water Policy Coordinator, Missouri Coalition for the Environment, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,  (c) (309) 212-6708, (o) (314) 727-0600 x12

  • Elizabeth Hubertz, Assistant Director and Attorney, Washington University Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (314) 935-8760

St. Louis, MO: The Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) settled a lawsuit on December 7, 2016 with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding its mandatory duty to issue effective nitrogen and phosphorus standards for lakes in Missouri.

“The establishment of nutrient standards for lakes is an important step toward thorough protections of our irreplaceable water resources in Missouri,” said MCE Water Policy Coordinator, Alicia Lloyd.

Nutrients, primarily nitrogen and phosphorus, are among the biggest polluters of the nation’s waters. This pollution contributes to fish kills and algal blooms, threatens drinking water sources, and is ultimately responsible for the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

“The settlement requires EPA to propose numeric nutrient water quality standards for Missouri lakes by December 15, 2017, if the state does not develop adequate standards before then. MCE hopes the settlement deadline gives Missouri time to work towards state-specific standards that support a healthy water supply for all Missourians,” said Liz Hubertz, counsel at Washington University Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic representing MCE.

EPA is required by law to issue appropriate standards when the state fails to do so. To this day, neither Missouri nor U.S. EPA have adopted nutrient standards for any class of water bodies and, therefore, all but a handful of the state’s lakes remain unprotected against nutrient pollution. Five years after EPA disapproved Missouri’s standards due to insufficient protections, the lawsuit, filed on February 26, 2016 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, sought to compel EPA to establish these standards for Missouri lakes.

The settlement comes just weeks following the release of a report entitled “Decades of Delay” on nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River basin produced by the Mississippi River Collaborative (MRC), a group of environmental organizations, of which MCE is a member. MRC criticizes basin states and the EPA for delaying efforts to address nutrients in the nation’s waters in light of the expanding Dead Zone and increased pollution. The report demonstrates how EPA inaction has negatively impacted water quality in lakes as well as rivers and streams and calls the Agency to step up protections in Missouri and throughout the Mississippi River basin.

“Missouri has been dragging its feet on developing nutrient criteria for lakes for over ten years,” said Lloyd. “The state’s efforts to establish nutrient standards for rivers and streams has also been stalled for years.”

The Consent Decree was signed just as EPA released its National Lakes Assessment detailing the extent of nutrient pollution in the nation’s lakes. As of 2012, 40% of all U.S. lakes had excessive levels of total phosphorus and 35% had excessive total nitrogen. According to data from the U.S. Geological Survey, Missouri is among the top contributors of both phosphorus and nitrogen to the Dead Zone.

MCE is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization based in St. Louis, Missouri. MCE is represented by the Washington University Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic. Visit www.moenvironment.org for more information.

 

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Survey Results Indicate New Policies Needed to Support Urban Agriculture

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE     

Date: December 13, 2017

Contact: Melissa Vatterott, (314) 581-0561This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Survey Results Indicate New Policies Needed to Support Urban Agriculture in St. Louis City

 

St. Louis, MO: Onsite sales of produce and eggs, allowing for more backyard chickens, and making it easier for city residents to purchase land for food production purposes are some of the recommended policy changes needed to enhance local agriculture according a survey by the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition. The survey was completed by 854 city residents in 75 of the city’s 79 neighborhoods. 

“We conducted the survey to build a foundation for changing local food policy,” said Melissa Vatterott, director of the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition. “It is clear there are barriers standing in the way of accessing local, nutritious food and we intend to change that.”

Nearly 100 people surveyed said they would like to sell either their produce or eggs from a stand in their yard or community garden. Of those who indicated encountering obstacles to gardening or farming in the city, 28% reported the inability to sell produce or eggs from their home or community garden as an issue for them.

The City of St. Louis only allows four total animals on any given lot, including dogs, cats, chickens, and rabbits. 63% of the respondents are in favor of allowing more chickens and rabbits, with another 21% wanting to learn more. 

“Small towns and big cities are addressing food access in ways that can be repeated here in St. Louis,” said Alderwoman Cara Spencer. “The results from this survey will be valuable for the next mayor and board of alderman to support agriculture policies that are responsive to our constituents.”  

The most popular recommendation, with 77% support, is that the city needs to make it easier for, and give preference to, residents in the City of St. Louis to purchase land for food production purposes. In addition, of those who reported encountering land use obstacles to gardening or farming, more than half reported land prices are too high for just growing food, a quarter said residential tax rates are too high for just growing food, and nearly half reported LRA’s garden lease program as an obstacle because it does not guarantee the lots will not be purchased by someone else. 

 "Urban agriculture provides numerous benefits, including improving food access, beautifying neighborhoods, and providing economic opportunities for city residents," said Vatterott. "It's a tool we can use to address some of the environmental and social injustices seen in our city and we hope the next mayor will make it a priority." 

“In most of our projects, the community garden often becomes more than just a place to grow food for the people in the neighborhood,” said Steve Hutchison, President of Revitalization 2000 and cofounder of The Ville Collaborative. “Nutrition education, how to garden, the science of gardening, and beautification help bring hope to distressed neighborhoods.” 

Results from the survey are being released in the aggregate, by ward, and by region (north, central, south). 

“The Department of Health looks forward to working with Alderwoman Ingrassia, the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, and the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition on the next steps to developing an urban agriculture policy that makes sense for our city,” said Melba Moore, acting director of the city’s Health Department.

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Click here to view the survey results. 

 

Report Reveals State Failures to Manage Nitrogen & Phosphorus Pollution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 17, 2016

 

CONTACT:  

Matt Rota, Gulf Restoration Network                        Kris Sigford, Minnesota Center for Env. Advocacy

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.(504)-525-1528                    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.(651)-287-4864

 

Peter Goode, Washington Univ. Env. Law Clinic    Alicia Lloyd, Missouri Coalition for the Env.           

 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,  (314) 935-4507                       This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.(314)727-0600 x12

         

 

ENVIRONMENTAL COALITION CALLS ON EPA TO STEP UP EFFORTS

TO REDUCE NITROGEN & PHOSPHORUS POLLUTION IN MISSISSIPPI RIVER

 New Report Reveals Most States Failing to Manage Nitrogen & Phosphorus Pollution

 

Mississippi River – The Mississippi River Collaborative (MRC) today released a report that implores the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take specific actions to regulate excess nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in state waters along the Mississippi River because those 10 states haven’t achieved any significant pollution reductions on their own.

MRC, a partnership of 13 environmental and legal groups, authored the report–entitled “Decades of Delay”–to assess state-level progress to reduce the pollution that threatens drinking water supplies for millions of Americans and causes so-called dead zones that cannot support aquatic life. 

“The results of the EPA’s hands-off approach with the Mississippi River basin states are massive algae blooms and nitrate contamination that make our drinking water unsafe and render lakes and rivers unfit for recreation,” said Kris Sigford, Water Quality Director at the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, an MRC partner. “The Mississippi River Collaborative again calls upon EPA to exercise its Clean Water Act oversight duties and treat the Mississippi as the treasure it is.”

The report suggests six specific steps EPA can take to protect human health and water quality in the Mississippi River. Recommendations include setting numeric limits of allowable nitrogen and phosphorus in state waters, assessing water quality for nitrogen and phosphorus pollution that creates impaired waterways, and ensuring states develop nutrient reduction strategies with specific implementation plans and adequate funding.

“This report reflects a continuing failure to monitor and address the nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in basin states that causes the Gulf Dead Zone,” said Alicia Lloyd, Clean Water Policy Coordinator at the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, an MRC member. “The public should be aware of the extent of nutrient pollution in our waters. We need to step up action to address it.”

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Decades of Delay Executive Summary.

Decades of Delay Full Report.

Read more about the report and nutrients in Missouri on the Clean Water Reflections blog.

JCAR Suit Headed to the Supreme Court

November 14, 2016

Great Rivers Environmental Law Center
319 No. Fourth St., Ste. 800
St. Louis, MO 63102
Henry Robertson, 314.231.4181
greatriverslaw.org

Missouri Coalition for the Environment
3115 S. Grand Blvd., Ste. 650
St. Louis, MO 63118
Heeather Navarro, 314.727.0600 x. 10

 

CITIZENS’ BATTLE AGAINST OBSTRUCTION OF STATE RENEWABLE ENERGY LAW WILL HAVE ITS DAY IN COURT

Missouri Supreme Court Will Hear Case November 16, 2016

    On November 16, 2016, Great Rivers Environmental Law Center will argue a case in the Missouri Supreme Court that is crucial to the proper implementation of the state’s Renewable Energy Standard law, passed by voters in the 2008 election as Proposition C. On behalf of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE), Missouri Solar Applications and taxpayer Thomas Sager, Great Rivers challenged the action of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), a standing committee of the Missouri legislature, for interfering with the rule passed by the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) to enforce the law.

    The renewable energy law requires the state’s investor-owned utilities, including Ameren Missouri, Kansas City Power & Light, and Empire District Electric Company, to ramp up their use of renewable energy to at least 15% of the power they sell to their Missouri customers by 2021. JCAR struck down two key provisions of the regulation, with the result that utilities are not required to provide renewable energy but can instead buy pieces of paper called “renewable energy credits” from solar and wind projects in faraway places like California or Canada.

    “JCAR violated the Missouri Constitution when it removed these provisions,” said Henry Robertson, a Great Rivers attorney representing the plaintiffs. “Our government is one of separate powers. The legislature, or in this case the people, makes the law; executive agencies like the PSC enforce it. JCAR doesn’t have the expertise to second-guess the PSC in a way that nullifies the people’s will.”

    “It’s a critical issue because if utilities aren’t required to deliver renewable energy to Missouri, the law is largely meaningless. Missouri isn’t getting new jobs or the new renewable energy that should be built here,” said Vaughn Prost of Missouri Solar Applications, a solar installation company in Jefferson City and one of the Plaintiffs in the suit. “These policies are working in 28 other states, and there’s no reason it can’t work in Missouri too.”

    The suit asks the Supreme Court to order the Secretary of State to publish the full rules sent to it by the Public Service Commission, including two key paragraphs that JCAR voted to disapprove in 2010. Plaintiffs contend that JCAR lacked the authority to interfere with the publication of the Public Service Commission’s rules. “JCAR’s action was not only unconstitutional, it was also an infringement on a state agency’s ability to have its own rules published, as well as an infringement on the people’s right to enact legislation by initiative petition,” said Heather Navarro of Missouri Coalition for the Environment. Her organization was a plaintiff in a similar suit that culminated with a 1997 Missouri Supreme Court ruling holding that JCAR can’t block the publication of state agency rules.

    “Missouri voters voted overwhelmingly for renewable energy,” said plaintiff Tom Sager. “Missouri legislators are stuck in the past. They’re making us pay other states for the jobs and the clean energy that we’re missing out on.” Great Rivers is a nonprofit public interest environmental law firm in St. Louis that provides free and reduced-fee legal services to those working to protect the environment and public health. Its web address is: www.greatriverslaw.org. The Missouri Coalition for the Environment, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) state-level conservation organization, is a force for clean air, clean water and clean energy in Missouri. Since 1969 it has educated and activated Missourians to protect the land we all love. Its web address is: www.moenvironment.org

New Radioactive Reports from EPA are Cause for Concern at the Smoldering West Lake Landfill

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                        March 24, 2016

Contact:  Ed Smith, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (314) 727-0600

New Radioactive Reports from EPA are Cause for Concern at the Smoldering West Lake Landfill

St. Louis, MO: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new report on the extent of radioactive wastes at the smoldering West Lake Landfill in St. Louis County. The report shows the newly discovered radioactivity is closer to the ongoing smoldering fire than previously known. The EPA has so far refused, for over one year, requests by MCE and local residents to test the entire North Quarry as a grid for radioactivity.

"Without testing the entire area between the smoldering fire and the radioactive wastes, the EPA cannot say with any confidence the distance that separates these two problems,” said Ed Smith with the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. “We need the bipartisan federal legislation that will transfer the site to the Army Corps of Engineers to pass the House of Representatives immediately.”

Attorney General Koster has publicly supported the federal, bipartisan legislation that will put the Army Corps of Engineers’ specialized nuclear waste cleanup program in charge at the West Lake Landfill. The Corps’ Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) is currently in charge of all the ongoing radioactive cleanup sites in the metro St. Louis area.

 The new maps indicate the EPA has moved its jurisdictional boundary for Operable Unit 1 (OU-1) Area 1 to include parts of the North Quarry, or Operable Unit 2 (OU-2), which used to be under the jurisdiction of the State of Missouri. Governor Jay Nixon’s Department of Natural Resources and Attorney General Chris Koster, through his lawsuit against landfill owner Republic Services, used to be the lead jurisdiction of the part of the North Quarry. It’s uncertain at this time what the transfer of jurisdictionally responsibility entails.

“We have yet to hear directly from Governor Nixon about the issues at the landfill and it’s not for a lack of trying,” Smith added. “We need to know if Governor Nixon and AG Koster support Senator Chappelle-Nadal’s legislation to buyout nearby homeowners or what else they can do to help the people who live near the smoldering landfill through no fault of their own.”

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New Radioactive Reports from EPA are Cause for Concern at the Smoldering West Lake Landfill

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                        March 24, 2016

Contact:  Ed Smith, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (314) 705-4975

New Radioactive Reports from EPA are Cause for Concern at the Smoldering West Lake Landfill

St. Louis, MO: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new report on the extent of radioactive wastes at the smoldering West Lake Landfill in St. Louis County. The report shows the newly discovered radioactivity is closer to the ongoing smoldering fire than previously known. The EPA has so far refused, for over one year, requests by MCE and local residents to test the entire North Quarry as a grid for radioactivity.

"Without testing the entire area between the smoldering fire and the radioactive wastes, the EPA cannot say with any confidence the distance that separates these two problems,” said Ed Smith with the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. “We need the bipartisan federal legislation that will transfer the site to the Army Corps of Engineers to pass the House of Representatives immediately.”

Attorney General Koster has publicly supported the federal, bipartisan legislation that will put the Army Corps of Engineers’ specialized nuclear waste cleanup program in charge at the West Lake Landfill. The Corps’ Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) is currently in charge of all the ongoing radioactive cleanup sites in the metro St. Louis area.

 The new maps indicate the EPA has moved its jurisdictional boundary for Operable Unit 1 (OU-1) Area 1 to include parts of the North Quarry, or Operable Unit 2 (OU-2), which used to be under the jurisdiction of the State of Missouri. Governor Jay Nixon’s Department of Natural Resources and Attorney General Chris Koster, through his lawsuit against landfill owner Republic Services, used to be the lead jurisdiction of the part of the North Quarry. It’s uncertain at this time what the transfer of jurisdictionally responsibility entails.

“We have yet to hear directly from Governor Nixon about the issues at the landfill and it’s not for a lack of trying,” Smith added. “We need to know if Governor Nixon and AG Koster support Senator Chappelle-Nadal’s legislation to buyout nearby homeowners or what else they can do to help the people who live near the smoldering landfill through no fault of their own.”

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MCE Applauds AG Koster West Lake Letter to EPA

PRESS RELEASE

Date: March 9, 2016

Contact: Ed Smith, Missouri Coalition for the Environment, esmith [at] moenviron [dot] org.  

MCE Applauds AG Koster West Lake Letter to EPA

MCE Supports Action on Federal, Bipartisan West Lake Landfill Legislation

St. Louis, MO: The Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) thanks Attorney General Koster for keeping the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accountable to Missourians impacted by the West Lake Landfill. AG Koster details three self-imposed deadlines the EPA has missed with work related to the site, including updates on the extent of radioactive contamination, an update on the proposed isolation barrier meant to keep the smoldering fire separate from the radioactive wastes, and an update on EPA experiments to determine what happens if the smoldering fire reaches radioactive wastes.

“AG Koster’s letter is a clear signal to Congressman Frank Pallone of New Jersey and elected officials in Washington DC that Missourians desperately need this bipartisan legislation,” said Ed Smith, Policy Director with the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. “The longer beltway politics get in the way of advancing this widely supported bipartisan legislation, the more faith people lose in government doing the right thing,” Mr. Smith added.

The Army Corps of Engineers is currently the lead agency at every active radioactive cleanup site in the metro St. Louis area because they have a specialized nuclear waste cleanup program, the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP). The EPA advises the Corps at FUSRAP sites. The proposed legislation would turn West Lake Landfill into the same structure that is working well to cleanup other radioactive sites in St. Louis.

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MCE Sues EPA for Failure to Protect Missouri Lakes Under the Clean Water Act

PRESS RELEASE

Date: February 25, 2016

Contact: Alicia Lloyd, Clean Water Policy Coordinator, Missouri Coalition for the Environment, alloyd [at] moenviron [dot] org, (314) 727-0600 x12

Elizabeth Hubertz, Attorney, Washington University Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic, ejhubertz [at] wustl [dot] edu, (314) 935-8760

MCE Sues EPA for Failure to Protect Missouri Lakes Under the Clean Water Act

St. Louis, MO: The Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) filed a lawsuit alleging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violated its mandatory duty to issue effective nutrient standards under the Clean Water Act for lakes in Missouri. Nutrients, primarily nitrogen and phosphorus, are among the biggest polluters of the nation’s waters, contributing to fish kills, algal blooms, and ultimately, the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico. An algal bloom shut down the drinking water supply for the city of Toledo, Ohio in 2014. In Iowa, the Des Moines Water Works is suing polluters to prevent nutrients from entering the drinking water supply because of the expense to remove them.

“This is a straightforward case. Neither the state nor the federal government has developed acceptable water quality standards for nutrients in Missouri for lakes as required by the federal Clean Water Act,” said MCE Water Policy Coordinator, Alicia Lloyd. “This lawsuit is necessary to protect and improve Missouri’s valuable water resources,” Lloyd added.

MCE filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri against the EPA alleging it violated its mandatory duty to issue effective nitrogen and phosphorus standards for lakes in Missouri.  

In 2009, as a first step toward setting standards on all waters, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources adopted nutrient standards for lakes. Two years later, U.S. EPA disapproved the standards because the state did not demonstrate that the standards were based on sound scientific rationale and that they would protect aquatic life and recreational uses.

Once the state’s nutrient standards were disapproved by EPA, Missouri had 90 days to propose revised standards. Since Missouri did not propose new standards within that period, which ended in late 2011, EPA is required by law to issue appropriate standards. To this day, neither Missouri nor U.S. EPA has adopted new nutrient standards for lakes and, therefore, all but a handful of the state’s lakes remain unprotected against nutrient pollution.

On November 6th 2015, the Missouri Coalition for the Environment sent a Notice of Intent to File Suit (NOI) to the U.S. EPA as required by the Clean Water Act. The NOI gave EPA 60 days to fix the problem before any legal action would be filed. Since EPA did not take action to protect Missouri’s water resources and public health, MCE has filed this lawsuit. MCE is also a plaintiff in another suit filed against EPA in 2012 by the Mississippi River Collaborative (MRC), a group of environmental organizations working on pollution solutions for the Mississippi River, of which MCE is a member. That suit was filed in response to EPA’s refusal to set numeric nutrient criteria in the Mississippi River basin after MRC petitioned it to do so in 2008.

MCE is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization based in St. Louis, Missouri. MCE is represented by the Washington University Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic. Visit www.moenvironment.org for more information.

Example lake lacking numeric nutrient criteria: Creve Coeur Lake, Maryland Heights, MO Photo provided by an MCE member. 

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The St. Johns Bayou and New Madrid Floodway project is a waste of taxpayer’s dollars

REBUTTAL

Brad Walker Rivers Director      August 17, 2015

This is MCE's response to an August 7, 2015 article in the Southeast Missourian titled Smith adamant floodway project needs to go forward.

First, let’s make it abundantly clear that the New Madrid Floodway (NMF) is a legally designated floodway. That last word “floodway” is immensely important. It means that the floodway is required to be used to lower flooding at the Ohio and Upper Mississippi River confluence. Landowners within the floodway were paid by the government to allow the flooding to occur, except for those at the southern end near a 1,500-foot levee opening because that area naturally floods during high water periods in the Mississippi River.

The 1,500-foot levee gap that Representative Smith complained about still being open in the August 7, 2015 article was intended to always remain open when the New Madrid Floodway was originally designed and constructed in the early 1930’s. The gap serves as a release valve for high water at the confluence. The local landowners’ effort to close it stems from the 1937 flood when the NMF was first used and has always been about stopping the floodway from being used and enriching a small group of people in the process.

The St. Johns Bayou and New Madrid Floodway project that would close the levee gap epitomizes special interest influence in this country. It is a project with limited economic value – specifically focused exclusively on a very small group of farm families, including the family of one of the Mississippi River Commissioners – R.D. James, who farm in the southern end of the legally designated floodway. Unlike most water resources projects approved by Congress, this group will not even have to provide any money to cover a portion of the over $100 million project cost. Talk about welfare!

If the gap is closed, there is no doubt it will cause harm to species that normally thrive in the temporarily flooded southern portion of the NMF. There is no reasonable and viable way to mitigate those losses per conservation and wildlife agencies. But the closing of the gap will also create another change, the intensive development of the southern end of the NMF because of the elimination of the high river backwater flooding, which is a goal of the landowners. They hope/plan to develop to an extent that when the next time the NMF needs to be operated their economic loss will be so great that other areas, outside the NMF, will instead be sacrificed. For those landowners who have stubbornly promoted the project to close the gap this is a perfectly legitimate situation because they have never accepted the current reality of the NMF.

Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway before (left) and after(right) operation in May 2011

In one respect, we do have a level of understanding and sympathy for their position. The operation of the NMF has evolved into a highly violent activity through blowing up the levee with explosives, causing more problems and damage than it should.

Its activation method, which originally depended upon the levee naturally breaching, has never worked as designed and eventually required the formal addition of the explosives to breach the levee. Furthermore, over the last 80+ years the flood stage level at which the NMF is activated has been raised six feet by Congress and the Mississippi River Commission. Because of these decisions it was inevitable that this floodway was going to be controversial. There were not only damages within the NMF from the 2011 operation of the floodway, but millions of dollars of damages in areas outside of the floodway due to the delay in its operation.

Representative Smith’s overly optimistic and possibly disingenuous assertion that we should not worry because the Corps has stated that closing the gap will not “affect the floodway project and how they would activate the levees” is simply naive. After witnessing the State of Missouri’s efforts in 2011 in going to the Supreme Court to try to stop the operation of the NMF and landowners’ plans to increase development within the NMF if the gap is closed our concerns regarding the floodway project have only increased.

Instead of paying to close the gap and likely increasing damages when the next inevitable operation of the NMF is necessary (though not assured to actually happen), we should be using those funds to help pay for redesigning the operation and modifying the NMF. That new design should be based upon a natural overflowing weir within the levee that is activated by the river level, not by a bureaucratic decision to blow up the levee that can be challenged in court. The Corps has the knowledge of this method, which has been successfully used by them elsewhere.

For additional information on the New Madrid Floodway project read our blog article When is a Floodway, Not a Floodway?

EPA Proposes Fire Mitigation at West Lake Landfill 20 Years after Surface Fire in the North Quarry

PRESS RELEASE

Date: December 10, 2015  

Contact: Ed Smith, (314) 727-0600 ext. 14, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

St. Louis, MO: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 is requiring the financially responsible parties at the West Lake Landfill to implement plans for mitigating surface fires. This action follows a surface fire near the radioactive materials in October of 2015 and 20 years after a surface fire in the North Quarry that reached 800°F. The North Quarry surface fire occurred closer to the known areas of radioactive wastes than the ongoing smoldering fire in the South Quarry.

"Common-sense would have been for the EPA to do this in 1995 when a surface fire was reported to them in the North Quarry," said Ed Smith with MCE. "That is why we continue to support the bipartisan legislation in Congress to put the Army Corps of Engineers in charge of decision making at this site."

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has information on historic fire issues at the West Lake Landfill on its website, including the below picture. 

    

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