News Release 497

Department reopens public comment period for Buffalo Ditch TMDL

Deadline for comments is Dec. 28

Volume 37-497 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Renee Bungart

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, DEC. 22, 2009 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has reopened the public comment period on its draft Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL, document describing pollutant reductions needed to improve water quality in the Buffalo Ditch study area, located near Kennett in Dunklin County.

The department reopened the comment period, which will extend until Dec. 28, in response to a request from the Kennett Board of Public Works.  

The department determined Buffalo Ditch does not meet water quality standards due to low dissolved oxygen levels. The department has included Buffalo Ditch 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 Buffalo Ditch TMDL proposes targets for dissolved oxygen to improve the water quality of the creek. The Buffalo Ditch TMDL information sheet also includes background information on the water body, provides an overview of the situation, and usually includes a data sheet and map of the water body.

Copies of the Buffalo Ditch 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 Buffalo Ditch TMDL through the Dec. 28 closing date.

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).