FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 20, 2017
St. Louis, MO: President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is considering the implementation of a Missouri plan to reduce pollution in lakes and reservoirs that President Obama’s EPA said would violate the Clean Water Act. The EPA is considering a second option that could be even worse than the proposed plan by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Missouri has failed to enact adequate protections since its standards were disapproved in 2011. The agency posted the draft standards online on December 18, 2017, and they are expected to be published in the next 10-14 days.
“The EPA has proposed two alternatives that will do nearly nothing to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in Missouri’s lakes,” said Peter Goode of Washington University’s Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic. “Both alternatives are reactive and allow water quality to degrade to the point that the water is unsafe. The EPA’s proposals set a poor precedent for protecting human health and the environment.”
The EPA released two alternatives to establish water quality protections for nutrient pollution in Missouri lakes. The EPA was required to take action by a 2016 lawsuit settlement with MCE. The settlement required EPA develop and implement numeric nutrient water quality standards for Missouri lakes and reservoirs by December 15, 2017, if the state did not develop adequate standards before then.
“The EPA's proposal is a clear choice in favor of politics over science and ultimately, over the best interests of the public,” said Alicia Lloyd, Clean Water Policy Coordinator with the Missouri Coalition for the Environment.
MCE and clean water advocates will continue to engage in the process in support of effective clean water standards during the 60-day comment public period and in the two online public meetings that are scheduled in February 2018. Concerned Missourians can get more information about participating in the public meeting process on MCE’s website here and the EPA’s website here.
MCE is represented by the Washington University Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic in this matter.
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.
The IEC represents non-profit groups, communities, and individuals who are pursuing legal action to protect the environment and community health but who cannot afford the legal representation and scientific expertise this requires. While providing pro bono legal and technical services to environmental and community organizations in Missouri and Illinois, the IEC simultaneously trains law students to handle complex legal cases, enables non-law students to apply their specialized fields to legal and policy issues, and teaches all students to communicate effectively and work productively in an interdisciplinary setting. Its web address is https://law.wustl.edu/intenv/.