MissouriDNR40 - Top Accomplishments Celebrating 40 years of taking care of Missouri's natural resources.
State Parks Youth Corps
Governor Jay Nixon launched the State Parks Youth Corps program in 2010 to provide young Missourians with work experience and help enhance the state system of parks. Since its inception, the program, a partnership between the Missouri Workforce Investment Boards and Missouri State Parks, has employed more than 2,000 young people who have put in nearly 500,000 hours enhancing parks and sites throughout the state. Learn more at http://thinkoutside.mo.gov/
The National Register of Historic Places is administered by the Department of Natural Resources’ State Historic Preservation Office. Today, Missouri boasts more than 2,000 listings in the National Register. The majority of sites in the National Register are listed for their significance within their local communities, but some are listed for statewide or national significance. Among the Missouri sites listed at the national level of significance are the birthplaces of George Washington Carver in Newton County, and Harry S Truman, birthplace in Lamar. The 33rd President is also represented by the Independence home —a National Historic Landmark — where he spent most of his life. Learn more at http://dnr.mo.gov/shpo/index.html
In the early morning hours of Dec. 14, 2005, the AmerenUE Taum Sauk Reservoir breached, releasing 1.3 billion gallons of water that swept through Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park and devastated the park. Continued on next slide.
Four years later, the Department of Natural Resources joined Missouri State Parks visitors in celebrating the grand re-opening ceremony at the park, which included a new visitor’s center, enlarged campground and riverside picnic areas. Learn more at www.mostateparks.com
Motor vehicles are a major source of air pollution in the St. Louis area. When passenger vehicle emissions react with heat and sunlight, ground-level ozone is formed and may cause throat irritation, congestion, chest pains, nausea and labored breathing for anyone exposed to this pollution. Since the 1980s, the department has overseen an Inspection/Maintenance program for vehicles located in the St. Louis area. The state is licensing auto repair shops to conduct safety and emissions tests for the Gateway Vehicle Inspection Program. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and State Highway Patrol jointly administer the program. Everyone benefits from improved air quality when the release of excessive vehicle emissions is prevented. Learn more at http://dnr.mo.gov/gatewayvip
The Clandestine Drug Lab Collection Station Program was created in 1998 in partnership with numerous local, state, and federal agencies. The program provides law enforcement a safe, efficient and legal way to dispose of seized methamphetamine laboratory chemicals and debris. Missouri’s program was an innovative management concept and has served as a national model. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and other states have also adopted the program. Since 1998, nearly 19,000 meth labs generating more than 600,000 pounds of hazardous, solid, and other wastes have been safely managed and dispose of properly. The program is estimated to have saved taxpayers an estimated $47 million compared to using standard response and cleanup methods. Learn more at http://dnr.mo.gov/env/esp/meth-special-projects.htm Continued on next slide.
On April 28, 1990, more than 1,000 people joined Ted and Pat Jones at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Rocheport to officially open the first segment of Katy Trail State Park. Additional purchases and donations were added. Today, Katy Trail State Park is open for 240 miles from Machens to Clinton. An event was held on Saturday, May 8, 2010, in Rocheport to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the official opening of the trail. Learn more at www.mostateparks.com
Charcoal production is one of the oldest industries in Missouri. Charcoal is made from poor-quality timber and waste from sawmills. Seasoned hardwood is sealed in an air-tight chamber and burned with a minimum of air. This process could occur in a woodpile buried in a hole in the ground or in metal or concrete boxes called a Missouri-type charcoal kiln. The kilns produced dense, moist, choking smoke. The Missouri Air Conservation Commission adopted regulations to phase in controls of charcoal kiln smoke in March 1998. The rule, 10 CSR 10-6.330 Restriction of Emissions from Batch-Type Charcoal Kilns, was first put into place on July 30, 1998. By July 2005, thick smoke around charcoal kilns was a bad memory. Learn more at http://dnr.mo.gov/env/apcp/missouriskiesnowandthen.htm#charcoal
The last 40 years also reflect a long history of working with external partners to achieve these many successes. These relationships are critical in our efforts to protect, preserve and enhance Missouri’s resources. The department instituted kitchen cabinets meetings with stakeholders in agriculture, business and industry, local governments and environmental groups. In addition, the department holds open forums in each environmental program to discuss state and federal regulatory trends, technical matters, rule changes and a multitude of environmental policy issues. These focus groups provide an opportunity for key constituents to speak openly with the department about issues of interest or concern. It also provides a valuable sounding board for the department. By meeting with these groups regularly, the department can stay ahead of the curve and ensure it is providing the best possible service to all of its customers. Learn more at http://dnr.mo.gov/PublicInvolvement.htm
Duty officers monitor the Spill Reporting Hotline (573-634-2436) 24 hours a day, 365 days a year as called for in the Missouri Spill Bill, which passed in 1983. The Environmental Emergency Response Section is the department’s front line of defense against significant and imminent hazardous substance releases, natural or man-made disasters, or homeland security threats that affect public safety and the environment. Staff provide technical assistance regarding the chemical and necessary cleanup actions, work with the responsible party/spiller to ensure that proper cleanup is completed and impact to the public health and environment is minimized, conduct notifications to various agencies, and determine if an on-site response is needed by program staff. On average, the Environmental Emergency Response section receives more than 1,500 incident calls and responds to an average of more than 300 hazardous substance emergencies each year. Learn more at http://dnr.mo.gov/env/esp/esp-eer.htm.
For most of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Missouri was the global leader in lead production, and even today some of the largest and most important remaining lead deposits in the world are located in southeast Missouri. Lead mining has occurred in 66 counties of Missouri. Of those counties, 40 had significant enough lead production to pose a potential risk to human health and the environment. Missouri has ten lead mining-related sites on the National Priorities List (NPL). Several of these are large, covering significant percentages of entire counties. These sites present a significant risk to human health and the environment. State and local health departments have documented children with elevated blood-lead associated with exposure to soil contaminated by mining and smelting wastes.
Lead mining has contaminated more than 30,000 acres of land, thousands of residential yards, public and private drinking water wells, and more than 200 miles of streams within the state. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the EPA are working together in assessing and remediating the many lead sites. Significant work includes remediation of more than 7,000 residential yards and more than 5,000 acres of mine waste. Citizens with contaminated water have either been supplied water treatment systems or have been hooked up to a public water system. County and state health departments have documented a decrease in elevated lead levels in children once cleanups have been completed.
Future remedial cleanup cost for the NPL lead sites is estimated to be in excess of $400 million with the majority of the cleanup cost being the responsibility of the federal and state governments. The state is responsible for 10 percent of the remedial cost or $40 million and 100 percent of the Operation & Maintenance cost once the site is completed.
Missouri Mine Map Repository created for public safety and protection of property purposes. The department's Missouri Geological Survey is the official Missouri Mine Map Repository, established by the State Legislature in 1993 for the purposes of public safety and protection of property. The Repository houses more than 2,000 maps of underground mines of various mineral commodities. Learn more at http://www.dnr.mo.gov/geology/geosrv/geores/minemaps.htm.
Financial Assistance Center – State Revolving Fund
The department provides funding to communities for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. Through the State Revolving Fund, the department provides low-interest loans to municipalities, counties, public water and public sewer districts and political subdivisions for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects. Projects may be new construction or the improvement or renovation of existing facilities. The department has assisted 313 communities since the program was established in 1987 for wastewater and 1996 for drinking water. The program has provided more than $2.7 billion in drinking water and wastewater loans and grants, which has provided more than $1 billion in loan interest and grant savings for the communities. The department estimates nearly $10 billion in wastewater infrastructure improvements are needed in Missouri in the next 20 years. Learn more at http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp/srf/.
In an effort to more efficiently handle permit applications, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources developed ePermitting to allow users to submit an operating permit application and receive a general Missouri state operating permit online.
Individuals are now able to go online, complete an application, locate their project using a state of the art GIS program, submit payment and receive their permit all on the same day.
Department permit writers will be able to focus on – and reduce processing time for – more complex site-specific permits. They will be able to promote the goals of the department and allow for compliance with applicable permitting requirements.
In 2013, the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) selected DNR’s ePermitting program as one of three State Program Innovation Award winners. Learn more at http://dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp/epermit/help.htm.
Passage of Senate Bill 530 - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
In 1990, the state legislature passed Senate Bill 530 that made modifications to the existing Solid Waste Management Law. The bill included landfill permitting requirements, set statewide goals to reduce solid waste disposal by 40 percent, banned certain items from landfills such as lead acid batteries, major appliances, waste oil, whole scrap tires and yard waste, set up a solid waste management fund and provided for the development of the Solid Waste Management Districts. The 40 percent goal was attained in 2001.
Missouri’s goal to maximize waste reduction is ongoing and we have made progress, but we need to go further. By recycling, we can conserve natural resources and energy. Recycled materials can be processed and made into new products, so it's not only important to recycle, but to also purchase goods with recycled content. By reducing, reusing and recycling you can help to protect our water, air, land, energy and cultural resources. Composting is a great way to reuse organic material and easy for families to implement. Learn more at http://dnr.mo.gov/env/swmp/rrr/rrr.htm.
In many areas, groundwater provides nearly all of the water that is used for private and public water supply. In other areas it mostly supplies rural residents and farm needs. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has been monitoring groundwater levels throughout Missouri since the mid-1950s. Operated by the department's Water Resources Center, the network consists of more than 160 wells that vary from less than 30 feet deep to more than 1,800 feet deep. They monitor aquifers ranging from shallow, unconfined alluvial and glacial drift aquifers to deep confined bedrock aquifers. Some of these were constructed by the department specifically for measuring groundwater levels. Most, however, began as water supply wells whose use was later discontinued. They subsequently were loaned or donated to the department by cities, rural water districts, businesses or private individuals who no longer needed them for supplying water. Learn more at http://dnr.mo.gov/env/wrc/groundwater/gwnetwork.htm.
A 21-year partnership with U.S. Geological Survey has resulted in the Missouri Geological Survey being able to produce 208 more geologic maps than otherwise would have been possible. Geologic maps are important for education, science, business, and a variety of other public policy concerns. Geologic maps, produced by the department’s Missouri Geological Survey, depict rock type, distribution, properties and its relative age. They provide information about the Earth’s structure and provide a baseline for data related to energy resources, mineral resources, natural hazards, water resources, soil conservation and climate science. Virtually all mineral, energy, water, industrial construction, public works and urban development projects can benefit from a geologic map. Learn more at http://dnr.mo.gov/geology/statemap/statemap.htm.
Passage of Senate Bill 530 – Scrap Tire Fee and Cleanups
Senate Bill 530 passed in 1990 established a 50-cent scrap tire fee paid when a new tire is purchased at retail stores in Missouri. The fee funds allows the department to fund the costs of cleaning up scrap tires, operations of a compliance and inspection program, and awards of grants for scrap tire surface material projects and projects to encourage markets for products derived from scrap tires. Missouri citizens generate approximately 5 million scrap tires annually. Since its inception in 1990, the department has cleaned up more than 17,000,000 scrap tires from Missouri’s landscapes. An environment free of scrap tires is important to the public health of all Missouri citizens. Scrap tires harbor mosquitoes, snakes and other vermin. West Nile virus, transmitted by mosquitoes, is a serious health threat. When recycled properly, scrap tires have other beneficial uses. They can be made into playground surfaces, running tracks and recycled rubber products such as picnic tables and can be burned for fuel in power plants. Learn more at http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/swmp/tires/tirelist.htm.
In response to the prolonged excessive heat and drought, Gov. Nixon announced an emergency cost-share program on July 24, 2012 to help farmers suffering from the historic conditions. Executive Order 12-08 authorized the Soil and Water Districts Commission to implement practices for livestock producers and farmers to drill or deepen wells or expand irrigation systems. The program provided the applicants immediate relief from the drought conditions. The department provided the technical expertise to address environmental and agricultural situations and was prepared to implement the program within a moment’s notice. From protecting water quality to ensuring safe drinking water to providing assistance for Missouri’s working farms and communities, the department engages in a multitude of efforts to protect and enhance Missouri’s most precious natural resources. Through the emergency cost-share program, the department and soil and water districts issued 5,387 contracts totaling $21,854,875.79 to Missouri’s farmers and landowners during their time of need.
In 1994, the Subtitle D established a common set of federal criteria to be implemented across the states for the design, construction and operation of municipal solid waste landfills. This federal criterion when combined with modifications to the Missouri Solid Waste Management Law and implementing regulations provides the department with the authority to collect necessary information to complete the landfill permitting process designed to protect ground and surface waters of the state. Along with the permit application, the department requires detailed plans and specifications prepared and approved by a professional engineer, evidence of financial responsibility, closure and post-closure plans, evidence of compliance with local zoning requirements and monitoring authorities to conduct compliance monitoring activities to ensure landfills comply with state and federal laws.
Missouri has 21 active sanitary landfills accepting municipal solid waste, six utility waste landfills accepting ash from coal-burning power plants, three construction and demolition waste landfills, three special waste landfills and 55 transfer stations. Learn more at http://dnr.mo.gov/env/swmp.
Missouri Geological Survey’s McCracken Core Library and Research Center marks 25th year of providing invaluable service to citizens, industry and academia. The McCracken Core Library and Research Center is a repository for more than two million linear feet of exploration rock cores that have been donated to the state. Core research and examination preserves geological history, leads to a better understanding of Missouri geology and hydrology, and yields data useful in solving environmental, industrial and engineering problems. Core available for study comes from landfills, quarries and hazardous waste sites, as well as highway department construction, and oil, gas and mineral exploration drilling in Missouri. The McCracken Core Library and Research Center is one of the largest such collections in the nation and is open to the public, by appointment. Learn more at http://dnr.mo.gov/geology/geosrv/geores/mccracken.htm
The Solid Waste Management Program has regulatory authority over more than 200 active and closed landfills in the state. The Missouri Closed Landfill Technical Assistance Project, completed during 2010 and 2011, provided the department the necessary resources to assess the condition of closed landfills throughout rural areas of Missouri and was conducted through a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Program. Through file reviews and site assessments, the program examined 58 old closed rural landfills and evaluated the potential for environmental impacts from the closed landfills in order to provide outreach assistance to current owners of the landfill properties. Learn more at http://dnr.mo.gov/env/swmp.
In 1982, Missouri was losing soil at a rate of 10.9 tons per acre each year on cultivated cropland. A one-tenth-of-one-percent parks, soils and water sales tax was passed by Missouri voters in 1984 to fund state parks and soil and water conservation efforts. Prior to the passage of the sales tax, Missouri had the second highest rate of erosion in the nation. Almost two-thirds of Missouri voters renewed the tax in 1988 and 1996. In 2006, the tax passed by its highest percentage to date (70.8).
Since 1982, Missouri’s erosion rate dropped more than any other state. It is estimated that more than 148 million tons of soil have been saved since the start of the sales tax, but millions of tons of soil still wash away every year on cultivated cropland in Missouri. Learn more at http://dnr.mo.gov/env/swcp/history.htm.
The Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Law was enacted in 1977, which administer and enforce the hazardous waste provisions of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976.
The goals of RCRA are to protect human health and the environment from potential hazards of waste disposal (by prevention and remediation), conserving energy and natural resources, reducing waste generation and preventing new superfund sites. The department registers regulated facilities, conducts inspections, assures adequate enforcement to prompt correction of violations, and permits treatment, storage and disposal facilities.
The department has helped maintain safer management of toxic, corrosive, reactive and ignitable materials and wastes, and directed the cleanup and closure of many contaminated sites. Since July 1, 1993, Missouri generators produced 7,295,356 tons of waste that have been managed under these regulations. Missouri treatment, storage or disposal facilities received another 4,087,132 tons of waste from out of state generators resulting in a total of 11,832,488 tons of hazardous waste were appropriately managed within the boundaries of Missouri during this timeframe. Learn more at http://dnr.mo.gov/env/hwp.
During the drought of 2012, the department’s Wellhead Protection program reviewed and approved more than 2,000 well records (more than double compared to the previous year) for compliance with construction rules and assisted landowners and drillers with information for constructing wells. New private wells must meet minimum state standards to help protect groundwater resources from contamination due to poor well construction. The department’s Missouri Geological Survey oversees and ensures well drillers are following state regulations. This includes the construction of domestic, irrigation wells, monitoring wells and heat pump wells. The department also regulates how to properly plug all types of wells. Learn more at http://www.dnr.mo.gov/geology/geosrv/wellhd/ Also see Drought 2012 accomplishment.
The Brownfields Voluntary Cleanup Program was established in 1994 to provide owners of brownfields a voluntary, non-regulatory oversight program to oversee the cleanups of contaminated sites that were otherwise not subject to other regulatory requirements. Brownfields are real property, the expansion, redevelopment or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant.
Typical brownfield sites include dry cleaners, mills, production facilities, hospitals or even main street buildings with older hazardous building materials. While many brownfield sites are minimally contaminated, potential environmental liability can be a problem for owners, operators, prospective buyers and financial institutions. Due to the large number of these sites, the economic impact – especially in heavily industrial areas – can be substantial.
Since this program was established, it has issued 702 certificates of completions and has remediated more than 7,200 acres allowing them to be placed back into productive use. Learn more at http://dnr.mo.gov/env/hwp/bvcp/hwpvcp.htm.
The department, in coordination with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, worked to clean up the Department of Energy’s Weldon Spring site in St. Charles County. Contamination of this 17,000-acre site included hazardous and radioactive materials from a World War II explosive manufacturing plant and later a uranium processing facility. The site had pits filled with contaminated water, buildings that were used for processing TNT and uranium and soil that contained hazardous materials.
The initial challenge was how to dispose of contaminated material left on site. Rather than shipping the material, which included buildings, equipment, and soil, the decision was made to entomb the materials in an on-site disposal cell. Completed in 2001, the 45-acre, 75-foot high disposal cell contains 1.5 million cubic yards of waste that will need monitoring for generations to come. However, what could have been merely a safe repository for hazardous and radioactive waste is now a new educational and recreational attraction.
This revitalized area now serves the community in a new way. An on-site interpretive center shows the history, cleanup and current status of site monitoring. Native prairies in the area have been re-established, and the Hamburg hike-and-bike trail was opened to the public this year. This area now provides an opportunity for citizens to learn about history and enjoy nature.
Abandoned Mine Lands – Rocky Forks Reclamation Program
The department’s Land Reclamation Program has made significant progress toward reclaiming Missouri’s most severe abandoned coal mine problems. The department has reclaimed more than 4,600 acres in 135 coal mine areas under the Missouri Abandoned Mine Land section. These formerly barren and acidic wastelands are being reclaimed to productive uses such as recreation, pasture, forage and wildlife habitat. Acid mine drainage is being lessened returning streams and lakes to productive uses and restoring aquatic life.
From the late 1950s until 1972, the Peabody Coal Company mined approximately 3,500 acres of coal from one of their mines in Boone County. Most of the mining occurred during a time when there were no rules requiring the company to protect the environment or reclaim the land. Much of the surface and subsurface soils were acidic, highly erodible and were washing sediment into Rocky Fork Creek, resulting in periodic fish kills. Missouri’s first mining legislation passed in 1971 and required the company to complete reclamation on the site before they ceased operations. The State of Missouri purchased much of the mine area and it became Finger Lakes State Park, managed by department and the Rocky Fork Lakes Conservation Area, managed by the Department of Conservation. The department completed a reclamation project on some of the worst portions of the site and the area today looks like any other gently sloped pasture area. Learn more about land reclamation at http://dnr.mo.gov/env/lrp.
Since 1998, the department’s Land Reclamation Program has been administering the Abandoned Mine Lands Emergency Program. An AML emergency is an abandoned coal mine problem that occurs suddenly, for which there is an immediate need to address the problem due to a high probability of substantial physical harm to the health, safety or general welfare of the public. AML emergencies in Missouri are primarily related to subsidence of underground coal mine workings. Since 1980, a total of 273 dangerous coal and non-coal mine openings have been closed, protecting Missouri citizens and property.
This abandoned vertical mine shaft known as Big Ben subsided in January 2013 in Springfield. The vertical shaft created an opening approximately 31 feet long, 14 feet wide and 15 feet deep between the two homes. After quickly confirming the collapse was mine-related, staff worked continuously and constructed temporary supports that ensured the foundations of both homes were stable and eliminated potential hazards to crews working in the area. After further exploring the shaft, a long-term solution was developed and installed to permanently seal the shaft subsidence and prevent any further collapse or structural damage. Learn more about land reclamation at http://dnr.mo.gov/env/lrp.
Missouri applied for and received approval of its underground storage tank (UST) program on Oct. 21, 2004. This gave the state authority to regulate the installation, operation, maintenance and closure of underground storage tanks under Missouri UST Law. Under these approvals, the state has helped maintain safer management of petroleum and hazardous substances stored in USTs and directed the cleanup and closure of many contaminated sites.
Prior to authorization, Missouri relied exclusively on Chapter 260 to address releases from UST systems. Recognizing the need for more specific authorities to regulate USTs, the state passed the UST law on August 28, 1989. The UST law provided authority to promulgate technical and financial responsibility requirements for USTs and to establish a state UST insurance fund. Learn more at http://dnr.mo.gov/env/hwp/tanks/tanks.htm
The former city of Times Beach located adjacent to the Meramec River in St. Louis County was one of the largest Superfund Sites in the US. From 1972 to 1976, the city contracted with a waste oil hauler, Russell Bliss, to spray oil on unpaved roads for dust control. It was later learned that the waste oil contained dioxin. In November and early December 1982, EPA sampled the roads and right-of-ways in Times Beach. Soon afterward, the Meramec River flooded the City. EPA expedited the sample analyses and found dioxin at levels from less than 1 part per billion (ppb) to 127 ppb. On December 23, 1982, the EPA announced it had identified dangerous levels of dioxin in Times Beach's soil. Panic spread through the town, with many illnesses, miscarriages and animal deaths attributed to the dioxin. At the time, dioxin was hailed as “the most toxic chemical synthesized by man". The dioxin contaminated oil was produced by the Northeastern Pharmaceutical and Chemical Company (NEPACCO) in Verona, Missouri and was a byproduct of the production of Agent Orange that was used during the Vietnam War.
On February 22, 1983, EPA pledged $33 million from the Superfund fund to purchase all of the properties in Times Beach. The site was added to the National Priorities List (NPL) on September 8, 1983. Approximately 240,000 tons of contaminated soil and debris from Times Beach and 28 other sites in eastern Missouri were incinerated from March 1996 to June 1997 in an incinerator built and operated on the former site of the town by Syntex, the parent company of NEPACCO. The cleanup cost the government a total of $110 million, $10 million of which was reimbursed by Syntex. The state contributed $1,291,609 through in-kind resources toward the cleanup of Times Beach and the other related dioxin sites. After the cleanup, the incinerator was dismantled and the site was turned over to the State of Missouri. The site was deleted from the NPL in September, 2001.
In October 1999 the land that was once Times Beach became Route 66 State Park. The EPA revisited and tested the soil at the Route 66 State Park in June 2012. The testing of the soil samples from Route 66 State Park show no significant health risks for park visitors or workers.
Parks, Soils, and Water Sales Tax – Missouri State Parks
The parks, soils and water sales tax, the primary source of funding for Missouri State Parks, was created and approved by voters in 1984. The dedicated tax has since been reapproved by voters three times in 1988, 1996 and 2006. Two-thirds of voters approved the tax the last three times, showing how much Missouri voters support their state park system. Learn more at www.mostateparks.com.