Stormwater flows from a concrete outfall pipe into a stream

In 2022, the department hosted a series of stakeholder meetings to introduce proposed amendments to wastewater effluent regulations and introduce the Missouri Nutrient Trading Program. This program incorporates the most up-to-date policy guidance with regards to nutrient trading, supplied by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It refines many of the policy positions initially explored in the 2016 Missouri Water Quality Trading Framework.

The department's Nutrients Trading Workgroup was organized to provide input and assistance to the department in developing and refining appropriate amendments to Missouri regulations and the Missouri Nutrient Trading Program. Throughout the process, the department encouraged and continues to welcome stakeholder feedback regarding the creation of our nutrient trading policy.


There was a Nutrients Trading Meeting Feb. 22, 2024, to discuss recent changes to the Missouri Nutrient Trading Program and supporting documents. For more information, please follow the link provided below. 

There was a Nutrients Rulemaking and Trading Meeting, Oct. 17, 2023, to discuss the new Total Phosphorous Rule and draft Missouri Nutrient Trading Program. For more information, please follow the link provided below. 

Total Phosphorus Rule

The proposed amendments to 10 CSR 20-7.015(9)(B)2 are designed to incorporate requirements for nutrient reduction targets for the following:

  • All domestic point sources with a design flow of ≥1 MGD, or millions of gallons per day
  • All industrial facilities categorized as 'Major' that typically discharge phosphorus in their industrial wastewater 

This rulemaking will implement statewide effluent limitations for total phosphorus, which is necessary to implement a recommended action item from Missouri’s Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy. The department accepted public comments on the proposed amendments from April 3, 2023 to May 15, 2023, and held a public hearing on May 4, 2023. More information, including the rulemaking schedule, is available in the department's Regulatory Action Tracking System. Choose "Water Protection" in the "Program" field in the Rules in Development search box.

James River Watershed

The department developed a holistic, watershed-based permitting framework that will be used to achieve the Total Nitrogen target listed in the James River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). Although wasteload allocations are often applied to specific facilities, in some cases it may be appropriate for pollutant loadings to be shared or distributed between individual facilities during permitting. This type of permitting works well when the discharges are located within the same watershed, because proximity provides flexibility and opportunities for nutrient trading and other compliance strategies. 

A watershed-based permitting approach facilitates Total Nitrogen nutrient reduction from point sources, while establishing the potential for trading. The goal of this permitting framework is to establish a phased-approach to achieve the TMDL target of 1.5 mg/L for Total Nitrogen in Galena, MO.

  1. Establish applicable facilities
  2. Develop Total Nitrogen limitations and monitoring requirements
  3. Develop permit special conditions to include Total Nitrogen allocations
  4. Provide compliance options through nutrient trading and reporting

The department held a stakeholder meeting to discuss the permitting framework on Oct. 24, 2022. The department invited the public to review and offer written comments on the proposed permitting framework from Jan. 27, 2023 to March 13, 2023.

Nonpoint Source Efforts

Edge of Field Monitoring

Funded through the department’s Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program, the Agriculture Edge of Field Monitoring Program is a farm-scale edge-of-field agricultural monitoring project. This farmer driven collaborative effort was designed to measure the effectiveness of conservation practices, demonstrate the benefits of voluntary agricultural conservation, and support water quality efforts aimed at meeting state soil and water stewardship goals. This project has resulted in a better understanding of the amount of runoff, soil, and nutrients moving off a given field into adjacent waterways as well as how rainfall patterns can impact these processes.   

Partners: Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Missouri Fertilizer Control Board

Hypoxia Assistance Agreement

In 2019, the department was awarded a Hypoxia Assistance Agreement Grant from EPA to support components of Missouri's Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy. The department retained Barr Engineering Co. to conduct a quantitative assessment of nutrient mitigation associated with Missouri's investment in agricultural conservation practices. As part of a broader effort to develop a water quality trading framework, the project generated a standard operating procedure for estimating nutrient load reductions from agricultural best management practices, funded by the department's Soil and Water Conservation Program. The project specifically focused on nutrient loss reduction from five best management practice categories, with example estimates from two 8-digit HUC watersheds for state fiscal years 2015-2019: South Grand River (HUC 10290108) and South Fork Salt River (HUC 07110006).

The department will use this standard operating procedure to analyze additional 8-digit HUC watersheds, estimate the historical impacts of best management practices on nutrient mitigation, track progress toward Missouri's Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy goals and evaluate the potential for nutrient trading based on credits generated by the department's Soil and Water Conservation Program practices.