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This week in #MOwater: Creosote clean-up, CAFO permit appeal, and drought solutions worldwide

Posted in: News- Feb 17, 2015 No Comments

Missouri AG secured major money for creosote cleanups in Springfield and Kansas City, while a citizens group in Callaway County is appealing a DNR CAFO permit because of concerns of water quality. Meanwhile, we can look toward the world for a sense of how we’re doing on pollution, and what we could be doing on drought.


Creosote Clean-up: Major settlement will pay for pollution clean-up
Springfield and Kansas City

Koster said a nationwide lawsuit settlement means more than $38 million will be available to pay for a cleanup of a 64-acre site on West High Street in northwest Springfield and another site in Kansas City. Both sites are former properties where Kerr-McGee treated wood. A neighbor of the property in Springfield says the company treated railroad ties 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in its final days here.

CAFO Appeal: Friends of Responsible Agriculture focus on water sources
Callaway County

“The Callaway Farrowing LLC site is on very high ground that is a potential major hazard to a lot of watersheds, actually five right in my area,” farmer Jeff Jones said. “As they transfer the nutrients from many, many animals that will be concentrated in close quarters, they’re going to effect many of the neighbors and a lot of the land, and as it rains, we’re very concerned about how it’s going to pollute our natural resources.” Plus, read another article in the Columbia Daily Tribune.

I-44 Bridge: Gasconade River crossing will remain closed indefinitely

“The repairs needed to reopen the bridge to traffic are much more extensive and expensive than we anticipated,” said David Silvester, MoDOT’s Central District engineer. “At a minimum, it would cost more than $1 million to repair the current bridge, and then it could only carry limited weight loads.  That’s money we just don’t have in our budget right now and don’t expect to have anytime in the near future.”


Hypoxia: Task force sets back target date
Mississippi River Basin

The Task Force has decided to extend the target date for shrinking the dead zone from its current average size of almost 6,000 square miles to about 2,000 square miles from 2015 to 2035. Progress has been made in certain watersheds within the region, but science shows a 45 percent reduction is needed in the nitrogen and phosphorus entering the Gulf of Mexico. In order to track progress and spur action, the Task Force is also aiming at a 20 percent reduction in nutrient loads by 2025.

Winery Wastewater: New rules for disposal

Winery wastewater contains acids, cleaning agents and biological material that consumes oxygen when it decomposes, posing a threat to rivers and streams, as well as groundwater. Officials with the state Department of Ecology are drafting a winery wastewater permit that could require companies, even small wineries, to build new treatment and disposal facilities separate from their sewer connections or septic systems.

Salt Spill: Contamination drops downstream, still high near spill
North Dakota

High contamination levels persist along a North Dakota creek more than a month after a massive wastewater spill was found in the state’s oil patch, but levels have dropped considerably in larger rivers downstream, according to documents released by the state last Tuesday. Some previous saltwater spills have taken years to clean up, including the still-ongoing cleanup of a million-gallon spill in 2006 in nearby Alexander.

Megadroughts More Likely: Study predicts increased likelihood of droughts in Central U.S.

If the world continues to add carbon to the atmosphere at current rates, ‘megadroughts’ lasting more than two decades will be commonplace by the end of the century in the driest region of the United States — the triangle from Texas to South Dakota and California — according to the most comprehensive study to date of drought risk in the western United States.


Ocean Plastic: New numbers are “most ambitious effort yet”

According to the estimate, China tops the list, producing as much as 3.5 million metric tons of marine debris each year. The United States, which generates as much as 110,000 metric tons of marine debris a year, came in at No. 20. While Americans generate 2.6 kilograms of waste per person per day, or 5.7 pounds, to China’s 1.10 kilograms, the United States ranked lower on the list because of its more efficient waste management, Professor Jambeck said.

Water Harvesting: Techniques help balance extremes

The weir, a concrete barrier that stretches across the river, allows water to pool behind it while excess spills over the top and continues downstream. Pipes installed in the pool behind the weir tap the water and carry it underground to a storage tank.