PUB 595 - Introduction

Department of Natural Resources fact sheet
Department of Natural Resources Director: Carol S. Comer

Understanding Environmental Regulations and Permits provides background on the permits administered by the Department of Natural Resources, describing what the various permits address. Information on other requirements related to environmental protection, are also provided.

Two other documents prepared by the department, may also be of interest to you.

Environmental Permits and How To Obtain Them (PUB98) outlines individual environmental permits, certifications, registrations, and licenses. It indicates the permit length, processing time and renewal, fees, and other specific permit issues.

Or if you are selling or buying a facility that has environmental permits,  A Guide to Missouri Department of Natural Resources Permit Transfers (PUB541) describes the situations where specific permits can be easily transferred from seller to buyer without going through the entire permitting process. For information on permit transfers call the department at 800-361-4827.

Laws and statutes related to environmental permits
The federal regulations referred to in this document for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is available in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The CFRs are available from the United States Government Printing Office, your local library, or online.

The regulations for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR) are found in Title 10 of the Missouri Code of State Regulations (CSR). The CSRs are available from the Secretary of State’s Office at:

Kirkpatrick State Information Center
600 W. Main Street
P.O. Box 778
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102

The CSRs can also are available online.

A brief description of environmental services
The department's Division of Enviromental Quality (DEQ) consists of six programs: Air Pollution Control Program (APCP), Environmental Services Program (ESP), Hazardous Waste Program (HWP), Soil and Water Conservation Program (SWCP), Solid Waste Management Program (SWMP), and Water Protection Program (WPP). Its mission is to help Missourians prevent pollution, protect the public from harmful emissions, discharges and waste disposal practices.

The division oversees the department’s five regional offices, and other essential field activities. A map and list of the regional offices is available online or contact DEQ at 800-361-4827.

The Environmental Services Program (ESP) supports the other programs in the department that need accurate scientific data for their work. To obtain this data, the Environmental Services Program performs field work, conducts monitoring, collects samples and provides laboratory testing for environmental pollutants.

A list of online services is available to our customers. The page will help you to reach online systems for submitting information, querying data and reaching automated forms. Please call the Missouri Department of Natural Resources at 800-361-4827 for additional assistance or questions.

Pollution prevention
Pollution prevention is simply not making the waste (or pollutant) in the first place. It means doing what we can to reduce the amount and toxicity of the pollution generated or energy consumed. Preventing pollution may be something as simple as buying products with little or no packaging or something as complex as redesigning your operation to increase efficiency and reduce waste. Simple things like choosing nonhazardous solvents and cleaners can protect the environment and reduce the number of environmental regulations you are faced with. Pollution prevention means thinking about the environmental impact of your actions and trying to limit that impact.

Pollution prevention was established as a national policy through the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990. Congress defined pollution prevention as:

Any practice which reduces the amount of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant entering any waste stream or otherwise released into the environment (including fugitive emissions) prior to recycling, treatment, or disposal.

Congress established a hierarchy of preferred pollution prevention methods. Source reduction is the preferred method with recycling, treatment, and disposal listed in descending order of preference. Disposal should always be the last resort. To achieve maximum benefits, a facility's pollution prevention program should have two distinct parts. The first is the general, overall pollution prevention plan, that encompasses the entire facility, and the initial requirements to get a pollution prevention program started. The second portion deals with the details of doing pollution prevention opportunity assessments on specific activities or processes.

When we generate waste or pollution, we must safely and legally manage that waste or pollution. Whether it is household trash or waste from a business, managing wastes costs money. Usually the things we discard are items we bought. A good example is paper towels. We buy them, use them once, and then pay again to have them disposed of. If we reduce the amount of waste we generate, we save money. It’s as simple as that. Reducing costs is a major reason to prevent pollution. Here are a few others:

Improved work environment and worker safety

Pollution prevention makes sense. Pollution prevention techniques not only resolve or reduce environmental quality issues or problems, but also save money. By reducing expenses, pollution prevention improves both the competitiveness and efficiency of business and industry.