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This week in #MOwater: Waste spill fuels CAFO concerns, Cities get $14 million in water restoration grants

Posted in: News- Oct 29, 2014 No Comments

Isn’t fluidity grand? When we started this map thing last week, it was easy enough to frame each water news story into “problems,” “solutions” and “possibilities.” This week was a little harder. Is it good that an oil company lacks adequate spill response plans for its facility on the Eleven Point River? Heck no. But the fact they’re facing enforcement penalties for the negligence? That’s a sign our environmental agencies are working. We might go back to the drawing board with this “three-sections” format, but for now, let’s work with it. If you have a suggestion on how to categorize our Missouri water news (by watershed? by issue?), please suggest something in the comments!

Problems

CAFO and Hog Waste Spill: Spill causes concern over proposed CAFO 
Hatton, Fulton

While the Callaway County Commission investigates a hog farm-related ordinance, up to 10,000 gallons of black, foul-smelling effluent flowed into a waterway in the Mark Twain National Forest. This raises residents’ concerns about CAFO plans which will be discussed November 6 in a public forum.

Oil Spill Safety: Company faces penalties for tank farm near Eleven Point River
Willow Springs

Serious penalties could be in store for Coastal Energy Corp., a company that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says operates a petroleum tank farm next to a federally protected river but has taken few precautions in case of oil spills. Stream Teamer Tom Kruzen says, “I’m cautiously optimistic, but it won’t be over until the facility is moved. It’s too close to the river. Anything less than removal of the tanks is not success.”

Gravel Mining: Company proposes sand and gravel mining next to the Meramec
Eureka

Contributing to the company’s urgency to begin work is depletion of sand-and-gravel deposits elsewhere in the region and more concrete-requiring construction resulting from the improved economy. But residents are concerned about quality of life and health of the stream. Company officials are expected to explain their plan at the next commission meeting, scheduled for Wednesday.

Solutions

EPA Approves: Missouri water quality rules approved
Jefferson City

Missouri went years without classifying some of its water bodies or saying whether they were safe for human contact or fishing. Its new rules, which were approved by the state Clean Water Commission in November and took effect in February, still needed approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The agency mostly granted that on Thursday.

$11.2 million Restoration: Money ready to be spent in mining areas, ready for proposals
Park Hills

Approximately $11.2 million will be spent in the next three years to offset damage done in  five specific mining areas. MoDNR agents outlined the first areas to have corrective measures taken: the Big River watershed in Washington and Iron counties, and the upper Black River area in Reynolds and Wayne counties, including the Logan Creek and Sinking Creek watersheds in Reynolds County which empty into the Black River and Clearwater Lake.

Cleanup Demands: County Council Unanimously Passes Resolution to Speed Up Coldwater Creek Cleanup
St. Louis

Councilman demands more money from the Army Corps of Engineers to clean up radioactive waste. The resolution was prompted by a study released by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources linking the waste to illnesses, such as childhood brain tumors and leukemia.

Wetland Grant: $3 million will buy properties for city project
Webb City

Webb City officials hope to begin buying land along Center Creek soon, using $3 million the community recently received from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The land will become part of a wetlands project that officials hope will improve the city’s zinc runoff problems.

Strict Ag Rules: New Iowa clean water rule goes into effect
Iowa

A new clean water rule designed to increase inspections of livestock farms and provide stricter enforcement when manure spills pollute waterways is now in effect. The new rule, supported by farm groups, took effect Wednesday. It establishes new inspection and permit processes for livestock farms but does not impose mandatory permits for farms that repeatedly spill manure, a measure some environmental groups wanted.

Possibilities

Spy Kites: How Civic Science is Changing Environmentalism Global

We basically need citizens to sue in order for us to do our jobs,” one U.S. environmental agency official recently said. But if you want to sue, how do you show pollution is happening? Enter kites, Geiger counters and other monitoring devices.

Pesticide Bans: Five pesticides used in US are banned in other countries
Europe

As the European Union moves to phase out 22 toxic pesticides, a new study raises the question of what will happen to crops without them. In the United States, growers rely on many pesticides that other countries have banned. From the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Water Loans: Private Companies Can Now Tap Subsidized Water Loans
National

Under a rules change that took place October 1, private companies are now allowed to use federal low-interest loans to finance water recycling systems at their facilities. The WateReuse Association, an trade group, has published a white paper on the changes.

Lead Lure Ban: Anglers angered over possible ban on lead weights, lures California

Anglers threw down their waders in anger this week over a decision by a state agency to look into regulating and possibly banning lead sinkers and other fishing gear as part of a comprehensive probe of toxic household products.

Wastewater Recycling: Cyprus meets irrigation needs with sewerage
Cyprus

Next year, recycled wastewater is projected to meet 10 to 15 percent of irrigation demand in Cyprus. By 2023, the country plans to be recycling 47 million cubic meters of wastewater annually, which will meet 30 percent of its irrigation needs.

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