MCE’s water program advocates for clean water and the communities that depend on it. Some Native American communities who lived along the Mississippi called it “Great River,” and we believe that our place at the confluence of the mighty Mississippi and Missouri Rivers comes with great responsibility. MCE’s water program protects Missouri’s precious remaining floodplains and wetlands, pushes for water quality standards that protect our health and ecosystems, and stands up against pollutive industries. We are committed to protecting access to Missouri’s water treasures, such as the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. We support farmers whose practices build healthy soil and keep waterways safe and clean. We rely on your voices — from small river towns to our biggest cities — to make our work possible.
On December 3, 2019, Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for not protecting Missouri lakes for recreation and drinking water use, and therefore not protecting human health. The EPA approved Governor Parson’s weak “clean water” rule for nutrient pollution following a sharp rebuke of a similar plan just a few years prior. MCE argues that Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources, without justification, removed pollution impacts on human health in violation of the Clean Water Act.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson and state lawmakers have a history of supporting industrial agricultural interests over the protection of Missouri’s water resources and public health. MCE refuses to be a spectator as clean water protections are gutted because we do not want Missouri to end up in a situation like Des Moines (Iowa) or Toledo (Ohio), where literally thousands of lives have been disrupted and millions spent trying to deliver clean drinking water to people due to excessive nutrient pollution.
The need for measurable nutrient pollution standards is more than a decade in the making. What’s new is that Governor Parson and President Trump have decided to support standards that are not protective of human health. Be sure to look at our timeline below to get a sense of how long MCE has engaged on this issue.
Learn more about the lawsuit, nutrient pollution basics, and the timeline of events leading up to filing here.