Element 1 - Strategic Planning for Future Development​

Strategic Summary

This element focuses on the Missouri Department of Natural Resources operating permit functions within the Water Protection Program, specifically, the Water Pollution Control Branch (the Branch). Missouri State Operating permits establish technology and water quality requirements necessary to implement the federal Clean Water Act and the Missouri Clean Water Law. The branch operates with a permit backlog of less than 10 percent, despite the complexity and challenges of many permits and a lean permitting staffing. In recent years the branch has develop new and innovated policies, through schedules of compliance and t cost analysis of new Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) requirements.

The branch has focused considerable effort towards synchronizing permitting expiration dates on a watershed basis, relying on the 8-digit hydrologic unit. Watershed scale management provides the means for better overall permitting implementation within the natural watershed. The branch is developing a pollutant trading framework that will provide permittees with additional compliance alternatives.  The branch will continue to focus its efforts on the economics of small communities who must comply with changing water quality requirements. 

Communities may look forward to innovative opportunities to improve water quality through public involvement and, the process of developing future planning and direction through stakeholder participation. There are quarterly Clean Water Protection Forums, as well as ad hoc forum groups and advisory committees that tackle specific issues. These are vital to the program’s water quality management efforts.

Significant effort will be needed to assist communities with declining populations and aging wastewater treatment facilities. Permitting industrial discharges will also require more effort in the coming years, particularly with regard to coal fired power plant facilities. Efforts to implement new steam electric effluent limit guidelines, via permits for process waste and stormwater, while considering other regulatory efforts related to coal combustion residual impoundments, will require additional staff time and resources.  Work to develop a multi-sector general permit for industrial facilities is an objective that would reduce the number of master general permits that are currently maintained by the branch.  Additionally, the branch must comply with the federal eReporting rule, which will require several information technology projects in order to facilitate the submission of permit requirements electronically and the transfer of this information to the federal NPDES database.