Environmental Remediation Program fact sheet
Division of Environmental Quality Director: Kyra Moore

The Cooperative Program is an initiative of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR) that offers Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) the opportunity to clean up hazardous substance sites cooperatively under state authority and oversight. Although Missouri does not have a state superfund law similar to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), it is capable of overseeing cleanups performed by cooperative PRPs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) handles parties who do not wish to enter into the Cooperative Program under Superfund enforcement.

Sites that are appropriate for the Cooperative Program are those that are serious enough to qualify for referral to EPA for a Removal Action or placement on the National Priorities List (NPL). But in lieu of referral to EPA, parties are offered the opportunity to address sites under state law.

The initiative provides an incentive to PRPs because site characterization and cleanup is conducted in a streamlined manner. In addition, state oversight costs, which parties are required to pay, are significantly lower than typical EPA projects. More cleanups are ultimately performed because the program diverts sites away from the overburdened EPA Removal program to the state. This benefits both the state and EPA because resources are utilized more efficiently.

Work is typically performed pursuant to an Abatement Order on Consent (AOC), however, work can be initiated under a Letter of Agreement (LOA) while an AOC is being negotiated in order to expedite site investigations. DNR’s authority for entering into AOCs for cleanup is contained in the Spill Bill and the Hazardous Waste Management Law. Because sites in the program present a relatively high risk, response is required. Therefore, once an AOC is signed, the participant is legally bound to complete work. Stipulated penalties are assessed for non-timely performance. In the event of gross default, the AOC is terminated and the party is referred to EPA for Superfund enforcement. Generally, work is conducted in accordance with CERCLA or the National Contingency Plan (NCP).

Nothing in this document may be used to implement any enforcement action or levy any penalty unless promulgated by rule under chapter 536 or authorized by statute.

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