The department’s Environmental Remediation Program (ERP) oversees the cleanup and removal of hazardous waste, hazardous substances and petroleum contamination from improper management of waste materials leaked, dumped, spilled or otherwise released onto Missouri lands. ERP oversees cleanup of problem sites resulting from pre-law and pre-regulation disposal or poor past waste management practices. ERP also regulates underground storage tank operations and provides oversight on shipments of radioactive waste transported through Missouri. ERP strives to protect public health and the environment by cleaning up contaminated properties and protecting Missouri’s citizens from exposures to toxic chemicals.
The Brownfields Voluntary Cleanup Section works with contaminated properties for return into productive re-use by allowing landowners to voluntarily pay for state oversight of cleanups. Incentives for property owners may include reducing environmental liability, increasing economic development opportunities in distressed areas, and cleanup certification. This section also facilitates long-term stewardship of sites where management of contaminated environmental media is necessary to protect human health and the environment. The section also maintains an easy-to-use online source for information about long-term stewardship sites so developers, planners and others can learn about land use restrictions and ensure known contaminated properties are being used safely.
The program's Superfund Section investigates and oversees cleanups of contaminated property where a release of a hazardous substance has occurred, including sites on the Federal National Priorities List and those on the Missouri Registry of Confirmed Abandoned or Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) requires past polluters to pay for cleanup work.
The Federal Facilities Section oversees cleanup activities at federal facilities located throughout Missouri, including those owned or operated by the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Defense, and other federal agencies and, in some cases, companies that have a contractual tie with one of the federal agencies. This section also oversees shipments of radioactive waste transported through Missouri.
The program's Underground Storage Tank Section provides regulatory oversight on active underground storage tank facilities and environmental cleanup oversight of leaking underground storage tanks and technical guidance for their closure.
The Environmental Remediation Program carries out the Law, Regulation, and Policies of the Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Commission.
Meet the Director - Justin Buckler
Justin Buckler became director of the Environmental Remediation Program, effective April 10, 2023. Justin joined the Department of Natural Resources in 2012. Most recently, he served as a Senior Advisor in the Director’s Office, where he advised executive staff on policy, supported and lead strategic department-wide initiatives and conducted stakeholder engagement. Before his role as a Senior Advisor, Justin served as an Environmental Scientist and Environmental Specialist in the department's Environmental Remediation Program, Tanks Section, where he addressed petroleum releases, conducted plume stability evaluations and reviewed risk assessments.
Before joining department, Justin worked for an environmental research lab conducting environmental risk evaluations on large river fish species. Justin holds a Master’s degree in fisheries and wildlife, with an emphasis in environmental toxicology, and a Bachelor’s degree in biology, both from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Justin is a graduate of the department's Leadership Ladder and Missouri’s Leadership Academy.