News Release 487

Department extends comment period on plan to protect Little Osage River in Vernon County

Volume 37-487 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Renee Bungart

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, DEC. 14, 2009 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is extending the public comment period for the proposed plan to improve water quality in the Little Osage River study area near Nevada.

The original comment period for the proposed plan, referred to as the Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL, was set to expire on Dec. 13, but has been extended until Dec. 28.

The department has determined that the Little Osage River, located in Vernon County, does not meet water quality standards due to low dissolved oxygen and has included the river on Missouri's 2004/2006 303(d) List of impaired waters.

The federal Clean Water Act requires the department to develop TMDLs for those water segments included on final 303(d) lists. A TMDL is a study of the impaired water that establishes the maximum amount of a pollutant the water can absorb before its quality is affected.

The TMDL process works best when the department is able to bring local citizens together to understand and identify problems in their watershed. They can help develop the most effective solution for reducing water pollution. Citizen participation and cooperation is crucial for successful watershed management and is the key to protecting our natural resources.

The draft Little Osage River TMDL proposes targets for total suspended solids, total nitrogen and total phosphorus to improve the water quality of the river. The Little Osage River TMDL information sheet also includes background information on the water body, provides an overview of the situation and includes a data sheet and map of the water body.

Copies of the Little Osage River TMDL and supporting documents can be obtained by calling the department's Water Protection Program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-6623 or by visiting the TMDL website at

The public is encouraged to participate in this process if they have concerns regarding the content of this document or if they would like to provide written support for the process. The program will accept written comments regarding the Little Osage River TMDL through Dec. 28.

Comments should be sent to the Department of Natural Resources, Water Protection Program, Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Section, P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176. Send email comments to Emails should include the contact information of the sender (i.e., name, mailing address, phone number).