April 02, 2019

Contact: Communications Office

Department waives waste disposal and treatment rules to ease flood burden

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, APRIL 2, 2019 - In addition to his recent flood-related state of emergency declaration, Governor Mike Parson on March 29 signed Executive Order 19-06 giving the Department of Natural Resources discretionary authority to temporarily waive or suspend any department regulation to best serve the interests of public health and safety during the current flooding and subsequent recovery period.

The following waivers will take effect immediately and apply to Missouri communities impacted by heavy rain, flooding and flash flooding, which began March 11.

Disposal of yard wastes and major appliances in sanitary landfills

This waiver allows permitted sanitary or demolition landfills to accept damaged or destroyed major appliances and yard wastes generated during the severe weather and flooding. This waiver does not require any landfill to accept these materials. The public should check with a landfill operator prior to transporting materials. Cities, counties and facility operators are encouraged to coordinate collection of damaged appliances to recover refrigerants from air conditioners, freezers and refrigerators before disposal. Also, people are encouraged to recycle appliances and compost or mulch yard waste whenever possible.

Burning of vegetation and untreated wood waste

The department is waiving any state permit requirement and will not require use of an air curtain incinerator for burning vegetation and untreated wood waste for all areas of Missouri impacted by recent severe storms and flooding. This waiver does not apply to any applicable local ordinances or permits.

The following conditions apply:

The material must be untreated wood or vegetation.

The material must be a result of the severe weather and flooding that began March 11.
For burning inside the corporate limits of any municipality, the material must be burned on the premises where it originated or at a designated central collection point for burning approved by local fire officials.
Outside of the corporate limits of a municipality, the burning must take place at least 200 yards from the nearest occupied structure. The 200-yard setback requirement is the minimum required distance, but greater setbacks may be appropriate depending on circumstances, such as the size of the debris pile to be burned. These locations may also require approval by local fire officials.

The department urges local officials to carefully consider local air quality, public health and safety and potential neighborhood impacts when selecting burn locations. Beyond these requirements, citizens also should contact local authorities, such as fire departments or city or county governments, in advance of any burning.

Discharge of wastewater

The department will not issue a violation notice to a facility for a flood-related overflow or release of untreated wastewater or for shutdown of a treatment or collection system where necessary to prevent loss of life, human injury, property damage or damage to treatment processes, from flood inundation or excessive storm runoff.

The following conditions apply:

  • Any release of untreated wastewater or treatment system shutdown should be avoided whenever possible.
  • Facilities must work to restore treatment services as soon as reasonably possible.
  • The permittee must make every effort to notify the department within 24 hours of any overflow, release or shutdown. Reports can be submitted online at, by telephone to the appropriate departmental regional office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays or to the department's 24-hour environmental emergency response line at 573-634-2436.
  • The department may request additional information from the permittee once services are restored.

For reference, the Department's regional offices:
     Kansas City Regional Office: 816-251-0700
     Northeast Regional Office (Macon): 660-385-8000
     St. Louis Regional Office: 314-416-2960
     Southeast Regional Office (Poplar Bluff): 573-840-9750
     Southwest Regional Office (Springfield): 417-891-4300

Local air agencies:
     Kansas City Air Quality Program: 816-513-6314
     Springfield Air Quality Control: 417-864-1412
     St. Louis County Health Department: 314-615-8924

More information about handling debris from storm damage is available on the department's website at