Missouri Environmental Education Association

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Environmental news about and for Missouri.

 

 

 

 

 

Header Picture Captions: Left to Right: Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial S.P. Nature Detectives, Summer 2010; Academie Lafayette, Kansas City, Stream Class; Sustain Mizzou Green Team recycling at an MU home football game, Columbia. If you have pictures of your students learning aout or working in the environment (with permissions) send them to weaverjc@missouri.edu and we will post them.

Missouri Environment News

MEEA is responsible for the summaries posted below. Not in the sense that we wrote them, but in the sense that we were selective in what we quoted or summarized. Be sure and visit the host site for full details on the story, accurate quotes and complete citations.

March 2015 News (to MEEA April 2015 Newsletter)

Monsanto donates $4M to effort to save monarch butterflies. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jim Suhr. March 31, 2015. Agribusiness Monsanto Co., whose popular weed killer Roundup has been partly blamed by critics for knocking out monarch butterflies' habitat, said Tuesday it is committing $4 million to efforts to stem the worrisome decline of the black-and-orange insects.

Landfill proposal may start Sunflower ammo plant cleanup. Kansas City Business Journal, Rob Roberts. March 30, 2015. The environmental cleanup of the 9,065-acre Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant site near De Soto has been stalled since 2011 because of higher-than-expected costs. But negotiations aimed at resuming the cleanup and advancing the largest redevelopment project in the region’s history are edging forward due, in part, to plans for a new landfill on the site.

Hermann sues power commissions over Prairie State coal plant. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. March 30, 2015. Electricity costs have come in much higher than promised when the Prairie State Energy Campus was first pitched to smaller towns across the Midwest, and now they’re “strangling” business in the town of 2,500, Hermann Mayor Tom Shabel said....This month, Hermann sued the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission and the Missouri Public Energy Pool, affiliated entities that buy power on behalf of municipalities around the state.

Nixon prepares to comply with EPA greenhouse gas rules. Springfield News Leader, Deirdre Shesgreen. March 30, 2015. Nixon, a Democrat, will soon send a slew of state officials from Missouri's energy and environmental agencies to attend a special "policy academy" aimed at helping states find low-cost ways to meet the new requirements. Missouri is one of four heavily coal-dependent states participating in the policy sessions, organized by the National Governors Association, along with Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Utah.

Refuge part of MDC's Peck Ranch closes for elk calving season. MDC, Francis Skalicky. March 24, 2015. Peck Ranch Area's refuge will be closed April 1 to July 1 to minimize stress and human interference during the elk calving period. Peck Ranch is home to about 125 elk, the majority of which roam on Peck Ranch's 11,500-acre refuge. The spring closing of Peck Ranch's refuge has been an annual occurrence since MDC's elk restoration project began in 2011. Public access will still be allowed to the approximately 12,000 acres of the area that are outside the area's marked refuge fence.

St. Louis Clean Cities receives $162,454 for diesel emissions reduction to replace school buses in Jefferson Co. MO. EPA. March 20, 2015. The non-profit organization St. Louis Clean Cities has been awarded $162,454 to replace one bus from the Jefferson R-VII School District in Festus, Mo., and five buses from the DeSoto Public School District No. 73 in DeSoto, Mo. The new buses purchased under this grant will have EPA-certified engines meeting 2013 standards.

MIssouri to study EPA carbon rule compliance strategies through national program. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. March 19, 2015. Missouri is one of four states that will study compliance options for proposed federal carbon pollution rules through a program sponsored by the National Governors Association, the group announced Thursday.

Liberty youth recognized as Outstanding Young Birder. MDC, Bill Graham. March 17, 2015. Marky Mutchler of Liberty was recently named the 2015 Outstanding Young Birder of the Year by the American Birding Association. A sophomore at Liberty North High School, Marky topped a national field in a birding and conservation contest for youth ages 14-18, in part due to her bird illustration skills.

Eldon MO to recieve free place-based sustainabiilty technical assistance for trail project. EPA. March 13, 2015. The City of Eldon, Mo., has been selected by Project for Public Spaces and their partners at Livability Solutions as one of nine communities to receive free sustainability technical assistance in 2015. EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities provided funding to Project for Public Spaces under its Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program.

Three Missouri cement plants certified as top performing energy star certified manufacturing plants. EPA. March 11, 2015. Three eastern Missouri cement plants are part of a group of 70 manufacturing plants that achieved Energy Star certification for their superior energy performance in 2014. Continental Cement of Hannibal, Holcim Ste. Genevieve, and Buzzi River Cement in Festus were recognized for leading their industry by saving energy and money while combating climate change.

MDC reports 11 new cases of CWD in Missouri deer. MDC, Joe Jerek. March 10, 2015. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports that 11 new cases of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) have recently been found in deer harvested in Macon, Adair, and now Cole counties. A buck harvested near the village of Centertown in Cole County is the first case of the disease to be found outside of the Department's six-county CWD Containment Zone of Adair, Chariton, Linn, Macon, Randolph, and Sullivan counties. All previous cases have been limited to Macon, Linn, and Adair counties.

Feds extend license for Ameren's Callaway nuclear plant. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. March 9, 2015. With no action from Congress on a national repository for spent nuclear fuel that was originally planned for the Nevada desert, a federal court ruled the NRC had to consider the possibility that no such storage facility would ever be built....The NRC stopped renewing licenses for two years while it developed new rules. Those rules, which were finalized last year, say nuclear waste from power plants could be stored indefinitely in above-ground dry casks as long as they are replaced every 100 years.

Local Sierra Club asks CU to relocate plan for coal ash storage. Springfield News Leader, Louise Wienckowski. March 7, 2015. City Utilities of Springfield (CU) wants to build a new coal ash landfill at the John Twitty Energy Center (JTEC) in Southwest Springfield to dispose of coal ash from the power plant. There are some serious problems with this plan that merit close scrutiny. The first is that coal ash contains toxic elements such as lead, arsenic, mercury and hexavalent chromium, all of which are linked to diseases in humans and animals. The second problem is that JTEC is located on what is labeled by geologists as ‘karst’ terrain. The definition of ‘karst’ is “an irregular limestone region with sinks, underground streams and caverns.”.

February 2015 News

Crop herbicides play a role in shrinking monarch population. St. Louis Post Dispatch/AP, Heather Hollingsworth. February 28, 2015. Environmentalists say the butterfly’s decline — the overwinter population in Mexico reached a low in 2013 — has coincided with the rise of St. Louis-based agribusiness giant Monsanto’s popular weed killer Roundup, blamed for knocking out the milkweed plants. Monsanto then introduced Roundup Ready crops, which resist the herbicide, with a soybean version in 1996 and a corn version in 1998.

1400 students to compete in Archery Tournament in Osage Beach. Missouri Department of Conservation, Joe Jerek. February 26, 2015. About 1,400 student archers from schools around the state will compete at the Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program (MoNASP) sixth annual state tournament on March 27 and 28 at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach. The public is welcome to attend in support of participants.

Proposal to cut Missouri Conservation permit fees changed. OzarksFIRST/Missouri Net. February 26, 2015. Munzlinger’s bill no longer eliminates permit fees for Missouri residents, but it does provide a discount for non-resident landowners. Those with at least 80 acres of Missouri property would only have to pay 50 percent of the non-resident fee for hunting, fishing, and trapping permits. Non-resident permit fees for deer hunting are currently $225 and $130 for turkey hunting.

State to get more landfill data; Republic says new report shows fire contained. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. February 25, 2015. Republic Services will provide more carbon monoxide data from the Bridgeton Landfill to Missouri regulators under a new order from a St. Louis County Circuit Court judge, but the company says the data it has already submitted show the area is under control.

Bill to block plastic bag bans wins support in House committee. Columbia Daily Tribune, Staff. February 24, 2015. A bill to prevent local laws banning plastic bags won broad support Tuesday in the House Energy and Environment Committee as members voted 11-2 to send the bill to the full House for debate.... The legislation would block efforts — such as the one currently underway in Columbia — to restrict the use of plastic bags and create a statewide rule that stores may offer paper or plastic bags. The city council is scheduled to vote Monday on the proposed local ban, but city staff will ask for the ordinance to be tabled for up to a year for additional study.

Bobcat sightings rise in southeast Missouri. Southeast Missourian/The Daily Statesman, Noreen Hyslop. February 23, 2015. More and more, the public is hearing of bobcat sightings in Southeast Missouri. A recent Facebook posting of a bobcat seen within the confines of Mingo Wildlife Refuge confirmed their presence again in the region and raised some questions for Peter Rea, refuge ranger at Mingo.

Ameren report outlines issues with carbon rules. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. February 11, 2015. Ameren Corp. released a “white paper” Wednesday reiterating concerns with the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to regulate carbon emissions....The paper lays out a plan the utility says will provide more flexibility, but Ameren also took the opportunity to repeat its belief that the proposal is illegal.

Missouri Supreme Court rules agains Empire District Electric in rebate case. Springfield News Leader, ThomasGounley. February 10, 2015. In a 5-2 decision released Tuesday by the Missouri Supreme Court, Renew Missouri and Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) won their appeal from the Public Service Commission against Empire District Electric Company....The ruling erases a law that Empire claimed gave it an exemption from offering solar rebates to its customers.

Buddy, can you spare some climate change? Columbia Daily Tribune, Cass Sunstein. February 10, 2015. Are Americans worried about climate change? Do they want their government to regulate greenhouse gases? A recent survey — from Stanford University, The New York Times and Resources for the Future — found that strong majorities say “yes” to both questions....But there’s a big catch that isn’t getting the attention it deserves: A strong majority also say they oppose increasing taxes on either gasoline or electricity to reduce climate change. That’s important because any serious effort to lower emissions is going to raise prices (certainly in the short run).

Columbia exceeds renewable energy goal for 2014. Columbia Daily Tribune, Alan Burdziak. February 8, 2015. The Columbia Water and Light Department generated 7.22 percent of its energy for utility customers using renewable sources, exceeding the 5 percent goal for 2014 and nearly halfway to the 15 percent objective by 2018, according to a report from the city.

Ruling sends coal ash case back to circuit court. Columbia Daily Tribune/AP. February 4, 2015. A Missouri electrical utility said Tuesday it will move forward with plans to build a coal ash landfill next to its power plant in eastern Missouri despite a ruling by the state Supreme Court that reversed a lower court’s decision that allowed the landfill’s construction.

January 2015 News

Representative Craig Redmon withdraws Bill to repeal conservation sales tax, but other bills remain. Conservation Federation of Missouri. January 31, 2015. The Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) commends Representative Craig Redmon (District 4) for withdrawing HJR 8. This potentially devastating bill proposed a constitutional provision repealing the Conservation Sales and Use Tax.While Rep. Redmon’s bill was considered one of the most threatening, significant legislative threats still remain. See list of bills here.

Kansas City Power and LIght plans to install 1,001 more chargers for electric cars. Kansas City Star, Steve Everly. January 26, 2015. The utility said it plans to install 1,001 public electric chargers in its Missouri and Kansas service territories — a 2,400 percent boost from the roughly 40 units now available. Each charger will be able to charge two cars at a time.

MDC reports two new cases of CWD found in Adair and Macon counties. MDC, Joe Jerek. January 26, 2015. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports that two new cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) have recently been found in north-central Missouri. One was found in an adult buck harvested by a hunter in Macon County and the other in an adult doe harvested by a hunter in Adair County. These two new cases bring the total of Missouri free-ranging deer that have tested positive for CWD to five for this hunting season and 15 overall. The total cases of CWD in Missouri captive and free-ranging deer now stands at 26.

Environment Official: Saltwater Spill has reached Missouri River. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Blake Nicholson. January 23, 2015. Water testing has shown that saltwater contamination from a massive pipeline spill in northwestern North Dakota reached the Missouri River, the state's environmental chief said Friday, adding that officials don't expect harm to wildlife or drinking water supplies because it was so diluted.

Culprit identified in decline of endangered Missouri River pallid sturgen. USGS, Catherine Puckett. January 23, 2015. In a paper published this week in the journal Fisheries, the scientists show that oxygen-depleted dead zones between dams in the upper Missouri River are directly linked with the failure of endangered pallid sturgeon hatched embryos to survive to adulthood.

The Midwest's climate future: Missouri becomes like Arizona, Chicago becomes like Texas. Washington Post, Chris Mooney. January 23, 2014. The new report also says the Midwest could experience more heat deaths, costlier electricity, and a decline in overall workforce productivity. It suggests, for instance, that by the end of the century, temperatures in Missouri could be a lot like they are in Arizona right now — with between 46 and 115 days above 95 degrees per year.

Kansas City Power and Light will stop using coal at some of its generating units. Kansas City Star, Steve Everly. January 20, 2015. The utility said Tuesday that generating units at its Montrose, Sibley and Lake Road power plants will be shuttered or converted to use natural gas starting in 2016. The affected units generate about 700 megawatts of power, which amounts to a nearly 19 percent reduction in the utility’s coal-generating capacity.

Tyson to pay half a million in fish kill settlement. Springfield News-Leader, Stephen Herzog. January 20, 2015. Attorney General Chris Koster announced the terms of the settlement Tuesday, saying the company will pay more than $530,000 in penalties, damages and environmental improvements....Koster sued Tyson in June after the company’s facility in Monett was found to have discharged wastewater that eventually led to contaminated water in Clear Creek killing at least 100,000 fish.

St. Louis journalist wins fellowship for environmental work. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Joe Holleman. January 14, 2015. Randall Hyman, a freelance photojournalist from Kirkwood, has been awarded a $40,000 Alicia Patterson Foundation grant for documenting environmental changes.A University City High grad, Hyman is working on a project titled: "High Stakes at High Latitudes: Climate Change in the Norwegian Arctic." It focuses on commercial fishing, technology and adaptation to environmental damage.

Metro St. Louis Sewer District spill closes part of Castlewood State Park. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. January 12, 2015. Portions of Castlewood State Park were shut down Monday while the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District cleaned up a spill at one of its pump stations. About 50,000 gallons of wastewater was released in the park after a power failure at the pump station. The sewage was contained and is not believed to have reached Kiefer Creek or the Meramec River, MSD says.

Northwest Missouri State University announces new client for business incubator - Practical Sustainability LLC. St. Joe News-Press. January 9, 2015. Practical Sustainability LLC, which currently operates an office and labs in Chesterfield, Mo., plans to utilize the resources of the CIE as well as employ students....Practical Sustainability's three business functions consist of development and implementation of sustainability tools and metrics; development of environmentally focused analytical tools; and recovery of value from scrap materials from the environment, such as used tires.

GM Wentzville earns Wildlife Habitat certification. St. Louis Post Dispatch. January 7, 2015. General Motors’ Wentzville Assembly and Stamping has been recognized by the Wildlife Habitat Council for enhancing biodiversity at the facility and engaging community partners to promote wildlife conservation and education, according to a press release.The plant received a Corporate Lands for Learning certification for its partnership with Wentzville schools to help students become better stewards of the environment.

The health of Kansas and Missouri is going downhill. Kansas City Star, Alan Bavely. January 3, 2015. The United Health Foundation, which has been ranking the overall health of states since 1990, recently named Kansas and Missouri among the seven states that have sunk the furthest on its list over the past 25 years. The rankings are based on a broad range of health, environmental and socioeconomic data.

Frustration with EPA handling of West Lake growing. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. January 3, 2015. For more than 20 years, it’s been up to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to figure out what to do with the contaminated West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, and it’s running out of goodwill. The glacial progress toward resolution has led to a growing frustration among nearby residents and area leaders who say the fire makes the need for action more urgent than ever.

December 2014

Suburbs of St. Louis coping with threat of beetle that destroys ash trees. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Susan Weich. December 31, 2014. Chesterfield, Richmond Heights, Ballwin and St. Peters are among the cities affected by the threat because of sizable ash tree populations, conservation officials say.

Hunters harvest 11,000+ deer during alternative methods portion of MO deer hunt. MDC, Joe Jerek. December 31, 2014. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports that hunters harvested 11,025 deer during the Alternative Methods portion of the 2014 deer hunting season, which ran Dec. 20-30. Top harvest counties were Oregon with 269, Franklin with 248, and Howell with 244. The total harvest for last year's Alternative Methods portion was 11,967....For 2014 harvest totals by county and season portion, and for past season totals, visit the MDC website at mdc.mo.gov/node/29442.

Sun could replace fossil fuels in Independence and Sugar Creek. Kansas City Star, Brian Burnes. December 30, 2014. Solar energy farms, once considered too expensive to install despite their environmental appeal, soon may sprout in Sugar Creek and Independence....One would be operated by a private company, the other by a public city utility....Both would create clean energy in cities that have enduring carbon-based energy legacies

DNR to start sulfur dioxide monitoring near Ameren plants. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. December 26, 2014. Air monitors could finally be going in near two of Missouri’s largest sources of sulfur dioxide, but the environmental group that has long advocated for more monitoring data now worries the plan could delay action to limit the harmful pollutant.

Local farmers part of lawsuits against GMO firm. Southeast Missourian, Mike McCoy. December 26, 2104. Two farming operations in Stoddard County are plaintiffs in class-action lawsuits filed recently by three law firms on behalf of U.S. corn farmers in Missouri and 19 other states who maintain they have suffered economic losses from genetically modified corn marketed by Switzerland-based Syngenta.

New program promises savings for old Kansas City buildings needing energy upgrades. Kansas City Star, Lynn Horsley. December 26, 2014. Wornall Plaza was the first Kansas City building to take advantage of the new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, but City Council members Scott Wagner and John Sharp said other owners of commercial buildings with aging energy systems should look into what can be a great deal.

Superfund site still passing tests decades later. St. Louis Post Dispatch/AP. December 22, 2014. Tests show that a former northwest Missouri landfill that once was among the country's most polluted spots poses little risk today, 20 years after cleanup work was completed at the site.

Ameren Missouri expects lower savings from efficiency programs. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. December 22, 2014. Ameren Missouri plans to invest $135 million over three years to promote energy efficiency, a plan it says will save customers $260 million over two decades....But, compared to its existing program, Ameren’s proposal commits less money to efficiency rebates, and forecasts just half of the energy savings.

Solar team starts raising funds for competition. Springfield News Leader, Claudette Riley. December 22, 2014. The Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon Team — a partnership between Crowder College and Drury University — is preparing now and raising money....In less than a year, the student-led team with more than 50 undergraduates will be in Irvine, Calif. to compete against students from Yale University, Vanderbilt University, Missouri University of Science and Technology — among others — for the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon 2015.

Ameren 20-year plan includes more renewable energy sources. Southeast Missourian, Samantha Rinehart. December 21, 2014.The energy company that serves 64 counties across the state submitted its 20-year Integrated Resource Plan to the Missouri Public Service Commission in October. The plan calls for the significant expansion of renewable energy, adding 400 megawatts of wind power, 45 megawatts of solar, 28 megawatts of hydroelectric and five megawatts of landfill gas -- all which would power about 319,000 homes.

EPA Region 7 receives report of groundwater analysis by U.S.G.S. for West Lake Landfill Superfund Site. U.S. EPA. December 17, 2014. The USGS study, which was requested by EPA in April 2013, summarizes an analysis and characterization of groundwater conditions at and around West Lake. It examines data collected by EPA and its contractors, the site’s Potentially Responsible Parties and their contractors, and USGS, during 2012, 2013 and 2014, along with previous historical sampling data. A copy of the report is available online. EPA will be reviewing the report.

Missouri Conservation official worried proposals could gut Department's funds. MissouriNet, Kyle Loethen. December 17, 2014. Two legislative proposals have been filed that in their current form would jeopardize 85 percent of the Missouri Department of Conservation’s budget. HJR 8 would ask voters to change the Constitution to eliminate the conservation sales tax, which generates around $110 million. Senate Bill 56 would eliminate the sale of hunting, fishing, and trapping permits to Missouri residents, which generates up to $40 million in revenue and federal aid.

State Champion Slippery Elm found in Neosho man's front yard. MDC, Francis Skalicky. December 17, 2014. MDC's State Champion Tree program recognizes the largest trees recorded in Missouri of species that are native to the state. MDC and American Forests use a formula to asses a point value for large trees. Points are determined by a tree's height, crown spread and trunk size. The formula adds the circumference in inches (measured at 4.5 feet above the ground), height (in feet), and one-fourth of the average crown spread. Recognizing state champion trees is a valuable part of forestry management.

Radium above federal guidelines in groundwater near West Lake. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. December 17, 2014. Requested by the Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees the site, the report from the U.S. Geological Survey looked at radium concentrations in several wells under the site. It found that 29 percent of its samples of combined radium exceeded federal guidelines.

Environmental groups and Cairo, Ill., officials urge EPA to veto New Madrid levee. St. louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. December 16, 2014. Environmental groups and officials from Cairo, Ill., are urging a new tactic to stop the controversial St. Johns Bayou and New Madrid Floodway project along the Bootheel portion of the Mississippi River.

One new case of CWD found in Adair County. MDC, Joanie Straub. December 8, 2014. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports that one case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been found in an adult buck harvested by a hunter in Adair County. This is the first case of the deer disease found in Missouri since early 2013.

Champion Swamp Chestnut Oak tree crowned at Big Oak Tree State Park. MDC, Candice Davies. December 4, 2014. Swamp Chestnut Oak trees occur in moist soils of bottomland forests in large valleys and depressions, bordering slow-moving streams, sloughs and swamps. In Missouri, they’re found primarily in the southeastern lowlands of the Bootheel.

November 2014

EarthDance Farms tries to help plant seeds of change in Ferguson. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Margaret Gillerman. November 26, 2014. The operation that is part farm, with row upon furrowed row of spinach, arugula and beets, and part school, with apprentice and summer programs, seems far from the community that has been in the world’s spotlight in recent months. But it’s just about a mile from the Ferguson police station, site of nightly protests since the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a city police officer.

November deer harvest up from last year. MDC, Jim Low. November 26, 2014. Building on a strong opening weekend harvest, Missouri hunters went on to check a total of 167,205 deer during firearms deer season Nov. 15 through 25. The number exceeds last year’s harvest of 157,273.

DNR approves hog farm proposed for Callaway County. Columbia Daily Tribune, Rudi Keller. November 24, 2014. In letters responding to comments submitted in opposition to the CAFO, Chris Wieberg, chief of the operating permits section of the Water Protection Program, wrote that state law requires a permit to be issued within 60 days of receiving a complete application....Under existing regulations, “the Department does not examine the adequacy or efficiency of the structural, mechanical or electrical components of the manure system, only adherence to the regulation and issuance of a permit does not include approval of such features,” Wieberg wrote.

EPA says fire won't spread radioactive material via air. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. November 20, 2014. Many worry that the underground chemical reaction heating up the Bridgeton Landfill could spread to adjacent West Lake Landfill, where radioactive waste from nuclear weapons production was illegally dumped 40 years ago. The Environmental Protection Agency, which is charged with deciding how to clean up or isolate the radioactive waste, has offered almost no guidance on what sort of risk that would pose to the public....But a recent letter from the EPA’s top official in the region, obtained by the Post-Dispatch, indicates the agency does not believe the radioactive waste would be released with any gases emanating from the site.

Prairie seed harvest boosts MDC's grassland restoration. MDC, Bill Graham. November 19, 2014. A prairie seed harvest that began in spring and continued through summer swelter, sometimes by hand, ended recently on a cold winter day. Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) staff and volunteers mixed and bagged wildflower and grass seed at the Wah'Kon-Tah Prairie. The seed was harvested from surviving prairie remnants managed by MDC and will be used to restore natural grassland habitat on public lands.

Solar company Sungevity selects Kansas City for expansion. Kansas City Star, Diane Stafford. November 14, 2014. A residential solar services company that expects to create nearly 600 jobs over the next five years will open a national sales and service center in January in downtown Kansas City.

Governor's Conference on Natural Resources recognizes Missouri Awards of Excellence Winners. MO DNR. Green Circle Projects, Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, Kenny Brinker - Harrison Creek Farm LLC, Missouri State University, Missouri American Water, Mid-America Regional Council, Vannessa Frazier of Howardville Community Betterment

MDC relseases endangered Topeka Shiners in northeast Missouri. MDC, Joanie Straub. November 12, 2014. On Oct. 20, MDC released approximately 9,500 Topeka shiners in several ponds and streams within Union Ridge Conservation Area (CA), including two creeks in the Spring Creek Ranch Natural Area. Those released were raised at the MDC Lost Valley Fish Hatchery in Warsaw.

Largest tree in the state in Kansas City. Kansas City Star, Lynn Horsley. November 11, 2014. Word is in from the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the largest known living tree in Missouri stands in historic Kessler Park in the Old Northeast neighborhood. It’s an eastern cottonwood near the middle of the park’s disc golf course, just west of the old hilltop reservoir and below scenic Lookout Point.

October 2014 (to MEEA November Newsletter)

Environmental groups, attorneys general again sue to block nuclear plant relicensing. St. Louis Post Dipatch, Jacob Barker. October 29, 2014. Just a week after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission began relicensing nuclear power plants, environmental groups and several states are again suing to stop it. They don't want the NRC to permit creation of new high-level nuclear wastes without a plan for their ultimate safe storage and disposal.

Company seeks to mine sand and gravel next to the Meramec. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Tim Bryant. October 25, 2014. To opponents, mining would bring noise, dust and lots of unwelcome truck traffic to their neighborhood in the decades needed to extract the 900-acre site’s estimated 40 million tons of sand and gravel.

EPA approves Missouri water quality rules. St. Louis Post Dipatch, Jacob Barker. October 23, 2014. New state water quality standards that added protections to thousands of miles of Missouri streams received federal approval Thursday, marking a major step toward ending decades of noncompliance with the 1972 Clean Water Act....The new Missouri rules were part of a sweeping overhaul of state clean water regulations that added specific pollutant limits to 90,000 miles of previously unprotected rivers and streams and 2,100 lakes across the state.

Hog waste spill in Callaway raises concerns about CAFO plans. Columbia Daily Tribune, Rudi Keller. October 22, 2014. Waste from a Callaway County hog farm spilled while it was being applied to farm land this week, allowing up to 10,000 gallons of black, foul-smelling effluent to flow into an intermittent waterway that is a tributary of Millers Creek.

Three Missouri cities to receive funds for wastewater system planning. MO DNR. October 22, 2014. The city of Jonesburg in Montgomery County will receive a $50,000 grant, the city of Hollister in Taney County will receive a $48,000 grant and the city of Ewing in Lewis County will receive a $21,600 grant. The grant funds will go toward development of plans to evaluate wastewater treatment and collection system upgrades.

Missouri, Illinois drop in state efficiency rankings. St. Louis Post Dispatch. Jacom Barker. October 22, 2014. Missouri is among the worst-ranked states for energy efficiency, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, falling to 44th in the group’s annual scorecard ranking....ACEEE’s annual ranking is one of the more comprehensive energy efficiency policy surveys in the country. The study, released Wednesday, looked at 2013 conditions. Last year, when the study looked at 2012 conditions, Missouri was ranked 43rd.

Conservation Commission takes action to protect deer in Missouri. MDC, Heather Feeler. October 17, 2014. The Conservation Commission unanimously voted to approve proposed amendments to regulations regarding the operation of hunting preserves and wildlife breeding facilities that hold white-tailed deer, mule deer, their hybrids, and other members of the deer family, known as cervids, to prevent the spread of diseases, including chronic wasting disease, to the state's deer herd.

Open Space Council for the St. Louis Region receives $25K Grant for Lower Meramec Watershed Stewardship, Education. U.S. EPA Region 7, Chris Whitely. October 16, 2014. The non-profit Open Space Council for the St. Louis Region has received a $25,000 grant from the national 2014 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program to support hands-on stewardship and watershed education efforts aimed at restoring 500 miles of five rivers in Missouri’s Lower Meramec Watershed.

Student Team at University of Missouri-Columbia to receive $14,874 to study treatment of food waste with pig manure. U.S. EPA Region 7, Chris Whitley. October 15, 2014. The UMC project, “Feasibility and Life Cycle Assessment of Anaerobic Co-Digestion of Campus Food Waste and Swine Manure,” is one of only 42 student team projects funded this year in Phase I of EPA’s People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) program, EPA headquarters officials announced today. The P3 program is designed to stimulate the development of projects and designs that deliver sustainable, alternative approaches to address environmental challenges.

City, county, CU to receive $67,000 in assistance from EPA for integrated planning. Springfield News Leader, staff. October 15, 2014. Springfield is one of five communities that will receive $67,000 each in technical assistance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help develop components of integrated plans for wastewater and stormwater management, according to a city news release. The assistance will be provided by EPA contractor Tetra Tech.

As deadly bat disease spreads, Columbia researcher offers hopeful answer. Columbia Missourian, Matthew Patston. October 14, 2014. [Sybill] Amelon is leading one of the most promising efforts yet to control the disease [white nose], and hopes are high for her research. Along with a biologist from Georgia State University, Amelon has developed a breakthrough bacterial treatment that could revitalize a devastated population and reclaim caves for bats in North America.

State asks Bridgeton Landfill owners to do more to keep fire from spreading. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Blythe Bernhard. October 13, 2014. The owners of the Bridgeton Landfill need to step up their efforts to keep an underground fire from reaching nuclear waste at the adjacent West Lake Landfill, according to a letter released Monday by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Mokane water consumers notified of contamination violations. KRCG 13 by Ashley Zavala. October 10, 2014. he most recent violation reported this past August involves coliform bacteria at the maximum contaminant level. ...A spokesman for the Enviromental Protection Agency says this type of violation refers to water containing subtances found in human or animal intestines and feces....The EPA says it can happen if the water isn't monitored properly, if there's inadequate facilities or treatment, or if there is a break in the water distribution.

EPA recognizes Webster Groves, MO as a Leading Green Power Community. EPA. October 8, 2014. The city of Webster Groves, Mo., has been officially designated by EPA as a Green Power Community, in recognition of its collective use of more than 7 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, enough to meet three percent of the community's total electricity use.

September 2014 (to MEEA October Newsletter)

St. Louis area greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2013. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. September 30, 2014. Greenhouse gas emissions from St. Louis-area power plants and factories ticked up last year, mirroring a national trend that saw rising emissions as utilities burned slightly more coal during 2013.

St. Louis Health Department calling for study of disease and Coldwater Creek. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Blythe Bernhard. September 25. 2014. St. Louis County health department officials have joined their state counterparts in asking for further investigation into health concerns that could be linked to nuclear waste contamination in Coldwater Creek, which runs from St. Ann to the Missouri River.

Cities of Hunnewell and Charleston receive funds to evaluate wastewater issues. MO DNR, Gena Terlizzi. September 24, 2014. The department has awarded a $32,000 grant to allow the city of Hunnewell to plan for wastewater system upgrades. The funds, provided through the Small Community Engineering Assistance Program, will be used to hire an engineer to evaluate concerns and identify improvements that could be made to the city’s wastewater treatment facility....The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded a $50, 000 grant to allow the city of Charleston to investigate wastewater concerns. The funds, provided through the Small Community Engineering Assistance Program, will be used to hire an engineer to evaluate concerns and identify improvements that could be made to the city’s wastewater collection system.

DeKalb County water system gets $830,000 in grants and loans to improve drinking water system. MO DNR, Gena Terlizzi. September 23, 2014.The district will receive the finds in the form of a $407,751 grant and a $423,000 low-interest loan. The current water tower will be replaced with a new 150-thousand gallon elevated water storage tank. The project is estimated to cost $830,751 and is expected to be completed in June 2015. The loan will be repaid over a period of 20 years. This funding package will save the district ratepayers more than $400,000 in principal and $203,000 thousand in interest payments over a conventional loan.

Proposed wind farm near wildlife refuge will move. Columbia Daily Trinbune/AP. September 22, 2014. The proposed Mill Creek Wind Energy Project was to be built near Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Holt County. Environmentalists, conservation officials and birding groups had said the 84 to 118 wind turbines would endanger millions birds and bats.

New initiatives increase sustainability on MSU's campus. Springfield News-Leader, Christine Temple. September 20, 2014. A new car sharing program, campus accreditation and a local ecology exhibit sponsoring are being highlighted this month as sustainability practices at Missouri State University.

Deer-vehicle collisions decline as herd numbers fall due to hunting, disease. Columbia Daily Tribune, Rudi Keller. September 20, 2014. Deer populations in Missouri declined dramatically in the past decade, a combination of more liberal hunting rules for does and young bucks and the onset of a severe disease during the 2012 drought.

Springfield environmental task force considers air quality. Springfield News-Leader. September 18, 2014.Common air pollutants of concern in the Ozarks include ground-level ozone and particulate matter. The most common sources for ground-level ozone locally are automobiles and other fossil-powered engines – underscoring the need for Springfieldians to shift their way of thinking when it comes to transportation options. Open burning and land disturbance are the most common source of particulate matter.

MDC needs hunter help with CWD sampling in north-central Missouri. MO Department of Conservation, Joanie Straub. September 17, 2014. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is again working with hunters and landowners from around the state, along with taxidermy shops and meat processors in north-central Missouri, to collect tissue samples from adult deer harvested during the fall archery and firearms deer seasons. The cooperative effort is part of MDC's ongoing work to detect cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Missouri's free-ranging deer....The sampling effort is taking place Sept. 15 to Jan. 15, 2015.

Sierra Club endorses Grain Belt project: PSC sets hearings. Columbia Daily Tribune, Jodie Jackson Jr. September 16, 2014. The Missouri Chapter of the Sierra Club has endorsed a plan for a high-voltage wind energy transmission line, saying the Grain Belt Express Clean Line project would help move the state away from its reliance on coal.

Trailnet, Incl, receives $119,797 EPA Cooperative Agreement to help plan for Low-Stress Bike and Pedestrian trails in St. Louis. EPA Region 7, Chris Whitley. September 16, 2014. Trailnet, Inc., a non-profit organization in St. Louis, Mo., will receive $119,797 from EPA to work with local residents, governments, business leaders and universities to plan and design more easily accessible and safe bicycle and walking routes in the city....The funding to Trailnet comes through EPA’s Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program, which provides funding for non-profit and tribal organizations to partner with stakeholders from across industry, government, and academia to develop and implement solutions that significantly address environmental and/or public health issues in American communities.

Missouri Prairie Foundation citing 50th anniversary in effort to raise $4 million. Joplin Globe, Andra Bryan Stefanoni. September 12, 2014. The Penn-Sylvania Prairie. Undeveloped by its previous owners, and then protected and managed since 1971 by its current owner, the Missouri Prairie Foundation, it is on track to remain unchanged in perpetuity.It bears two distinctions, noted the foundation’s executive director, Carol Davit. “It is the first prairie the foundation purchased, but more importantly, it was found this summer to be the most diverse prairie of any in the state,” she said.
There could be other such prairies out there, Davit said. At any moment, they might be sold, developed, converted to agricultural use.

Ameren increasing water tests at Callaway Nuclear Plant. Columbia Daily Tribune/AP. September 6, 2014. The decision comes after Ameren found radioactive tritium and Cobalt-60, both byproducts of a nuclear reaction, in a monitoring well near its cooling tower in July at higher levels than allowed by federal water standards, The Jefferson City News-Tribune reported.

Bellefontaine Cemetary holds 3 state champion trees. MO Department of Conservation, Dan Zarlenga. September 5, 2014. The cemetery's three champions include the state's largest American Elm (Ulmus Americana), Red Mulberry (Morus rubra), and Shingle Oak (Quercus imbricaria).
Bellefontaine Cemetery has a storied history. According to the cemetery's horticulturist Kyle Cheesborough, it was founded as a rural landscape cemetery in 1849. At the time, it was five miles outside the city boundary. Bellefontaine Cemetery was established after a deadly cholera epidemic attacked St. Louis during the summer of that same year, leaving more than 4,000 victims. It took its name from Fort Bellefontaine since it was on the road to the fort, which was located on the Missouri River north of the cemetery.

Nonprofits receive KCP&L grants. St. Joseph News-Press. September 4, 2014. Missouri Western State University will receive one of the grants to install two electric vehicle charging stations on campus. Pickett Elementary School will use its grant for a plastics recycling program that will be managed by a student-led environmental group. St. Joseph Habitat for Humanity/United Way of Greater St. Joseph will use its funds for aluminum can recycling cottages that will be placed at businesses throughout the city.

August 2014

Exelon doubts EPA will order removal of West Lake radioactive waste. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. August 31, 2014.“It is unknown when the U.S. EPA will select a final remedy for public comment, but it will likely be sometime in 2015 at the earliest,” Exelon Corp. wrote in its most recent quarterly financial report. “A complete excavation remedy would be significantly more expensive than the previously selected additional cover remedy; however, (Exelon) Generation believes the likelihood that the U.S. EPA would require a complete excavation is remote.”

'Stealth' North Dakota Bakken oil pipeline project faces fight. Pioneer Press, Mike Nowatzki. August 30, 2014. A major oil pipeline that would cross the Missouri River twice in North Dakota as it carries crude from the Bakken oilfields to Illinois faces a fight from activists in Iowa but so far has largely flown under the radar here. (Bismarck)

Operation Roadhouse - Colorado man pleads guilty to illegally trafficking in paddlefish. Missouri Department of Conservation, US Attorney Western District. August 21, 2014. Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Colorado man has pleaded guilty in federal court to illegally trafficking in paddlefish caviar after being caught in an undercover operation in the Warsaw, Mo., area.

Mo. utilities look to Kansas wind to comply with carbon proposal. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. August 19, 2014. Empire District Electric Co., which serves Joplin and other areas in southwest Missouri, and Kansas City Power and Light say Kansas wind turbines could play a big role in meeting emission targets proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. Each utility has generation and customers in each state.

Conservation Department continues alligator gar restoration. Missouri Department of Conservation, Candice Davis. August 14, 2014. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) stocked alligator gar today as part of a program that began in 2007 at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge and has grown throughout areas of Southeast Missouri.

Teacher Darrin Peters from Fenton MO to receive 2014 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. EPA News Release. August 14, 2014. Darrin Peters, a teacher from Rockwood Summit High School in Fenton, Mo., has been named the recipient of a 2014 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators, EPA Region 7 announced today.

Sen. Blunt touts river's future, expounds on 'executive overrreach'. Southeast MIssourian, Ruth Campbell. August 14, 2014. Talking about the inland waterway system as the Panama Canal expands to nearly double its capacity by 2015, Blunt said he thinks the Mississippi River is about to become more important than it's been in 100 years. He said the river provides a link to the world economy at a time when world food demand is expected to double in the next 55 years.

Hog-Waste-to Energy plant under construction. Environmental Leader. August 12, 2014. An $80 million hog-manure-to-energy project is under construction in Northern Missouri, developed and constructed by Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE) in collaboration with Murphy-Brown of Missouri (MBM) the livestock production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods.

Monsanto moves closer to USDA approval of new cotton, beans. St. Louis Business Journal, Angela Mueller. August 7, 2014. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said this week that its analysis shows that new genetically modified cotton and soybeans developed by Monsanto should be approved. The new crops are more tolerant of Roundup.

MIssouri S&T receives NSF funding to study climate variability. MST, Mary Helen Stoltz. August 5, 2014. “The Missouri Transect: Climate, Plants and Community” project received funding from the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), a program initiated by the U.S. Congress to support fundamental research, education in in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and workforce development in areas related to the economy. Other institutions include MU-Columbia, MU-KC, UMSL, Washington University, Lincoln University, St. Louis Science Center and St. Louis University.

Missouri American Water announces 7 projects to receive funding from Environmental Grant Program. Mo American Water. August 4, 2014. Recipients include Missouri River Relief for a clean up in Jefferson City and St. Joseph, the Alliance of Southwest Missouri for a drug drop off program in Joplin, the City of Ballwin to replace asphalt with permeable paving in Ferris Park, Rankin Technical College for their Water World Explorers Camp,Table Rock Lake Community Service for Replant Kimbering, the St, Joseph Youth Alliance for proper disposal of unused prescription medication, Earth Dance for water management landscaping in Ferguson.

Kennett lawsuit against EPA moving ahead slowly. Southeast Missourian/Daily Dunklin Democrat,, Steve Patton. August 3, 2014. The city filed suit against the EPA in March, protesting the agency's treatment standards for its wastewater lagoon. The EPA filed its response to the lawsuit in late June, and a meeting is scheduled later this month with the judge hearing the case.

400 veterans and civilians rally to make over MDC Powder Valley Nature Center during service event. Missouri Department of Conservation, Dan Zarlenga. August 1, 2014. A mission that might have been impossible, is now accomplished, thanks to a hardy group of veterans and civilian volunteers numbering in the hundreds. The 4th Annual Summer Service Slam, which took place at the Missouri Department of Conservation's Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood July 12, was an overwhelming success, said Nature Center Manager Tamie Yegge.

July 2014

Water quality map can help you decide where to swim (in the Ozarks). KY3, Linda Russell, Mike Coonrod. July 31, 2014. Ozarks Water Watch has released it's Status of the Watershed 2014 report, and you can check it out with an interactive map here. The green dots are the best water quality, yellow is not quite as clean, and red means it's in the lower third of water quality in our area, but NOT necessarily that it's not safe.

Two Kansas City groups to receive $119,940 from EPA's Urban Waters Small Grants progrm for focus on Middle Blue River. EPA. July 30, 2014. The Blue River Watershed Association will receive $59,940 to work with its partner agencies to create and engage eight teams of underserved community youth by involving them in water quality monitoring studies, data collection, and community presentations and projects. ....The Heartland Conservation Alliance, Inc., will receive $60,000 to study 3,000 vacant lands in the Middle Blue River watershed for the purposes of identifying properties to redevelop with green infrastructure or low-impact development. This effort will build upon current work for developing an overall Blue River watershed restoration strategy. The goal of the project is to improve watershed health and community vitality.

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) to pay penalty and settle EPA allegations in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. Fox Business/AP. July 30, 2014. The EPA says the company violations involved large oil storage facilities situated in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, Iowa; Deerfield and Mexico, Missouri; and Columbus, Nebraska. The EPA says violations included a lack of EPA-required spill response plans and violations of industrial stormwater requirements for Clean Water Act operating permits.

Feds weigh in on Bridgeton landfill concerns. KSDK, Grant Bissell. July 26, 2014. A branch of the Centers for Disease Control is now weighing in on the radioactive West Lake Landfill and the neighboring Bridgeton Landfill after a recent report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health raised concerns for firefighters near the landfills.

MDC awards Troy woman first place in Trees Work slogan contest. Missouri Department of Conservation, Dan Zarlenga. July 24, 2014.The goal of MDC's Trees Work campaign is to increase awareness of the benefits trees provide to all Missourians. As part of the campaign, MDC has produced a series of posters, each having a different slogan that begins with "Without trees . . ." and ends with "Trees Work!"... Winner Leslie Stephens' winning slogan was "Without trees we'd be up a creek without a paddle."

Cleanup of lead pollution at St. Joe State Park nearing an end. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Leah Thorson. July 22, 2014. A three-year lead cleanup project at St. Joe State Park — a popular place to ride all-terrain vehicles on the site of a shuttered lead mining and milling operation — is nearing an end...Park guests are encouraged to follow the recommendations listed in the lead exposure advisory, which can be found posted throughout the park, on all off-road vehicle permits and online.

Missouri receives $50,000 grant to support recreational boating. Lake News Online. July 18, 2014. A total of $16.6 million in grants are being awarded to 21 states under the Clean Vessel Act (CVA) program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. More than $700,000 was awarded to four states in the Midwest Region including $100,000 to Illinois, $362,140 to Indiana, $200,000 to Michigan and $50,000 to Missouri....With its award, the Missouri Department of Conservation plans to construct or renovate pumpout facilities at up to three marinas on Missouri’s largest lakes or major rivers within three years.

MDC urges pet owners in Columbia aera to be watchful of coyotes. Missouri Department of Conservation, Joanie Straub. July 9, 2014. "This summer, the MDC regional office in Columbia has received a higher-than-average number of calls from citizens who have spotted coyotes in their neighborhoods," said MDC Wildlife Regional Supervisor John George. "While it is not unusual, we would like to remind folks to be aware and practice vigilance with regard to their pets."

Missouri governor vetoes change to deer oversight. Joplin Globe/AP. July 8, 2014. Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have shifted responsibility for regulating Missouri deer ranches to the Department of Agriculture instead of the Department of Conservation.

Nixon signs law blocking St. Louis coal-related measures. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. July 8, 2014. Gov. Jay Nixon has signed a bill that will keep St. Louisans from passing ballot initiatives restricting public financial incentives for coal companies.

Research: Chemical alters development of turtles. St. Louis Post Dispatch/AP, Blythe Bernhard. July 5, 2014. A pilot study conducted at the University of Missouri showed that the synthetic chemical bisphenol A — or BPA, which is known to mimic estrogen and disrupt hormone levels in animals — can alter a turtle's reproductive system after exposure in the egg. Turtles are perfect creatures for this type of study, because their sex is determined by the temperature of the environment during their development in the egg.

Mississippi River faces climate change, fuding challenges. St. Louis Post Dispatch,Tim Barker. July 4, 2014. ...the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative decided earlier this year to move its headquarters out of Washington to be closer to the river. St. Louis offered to host the operation, giving it rent-free space in the Market Street offices of the St. Louis Economic Development Corp. Wellenkamp, a former St. Ann resident and a graduate of St. Louis University, is director of the Initiative, which works on behalf of 10 states and 124 member communities touching the river.

Missouri cities receive funding for local water projects. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. July 1, 2014. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded low interest loans to four cities for water related projects throughout the state. The receiving cities are Risco, Holland, Belton and St. Joseph. Projects include $44,150 for Risco for uv disinfection, $50,000 for Holland for a transmission line, a $7 million loan for Belton to improve its drinking water system and a $56 million low interest loan for St. Joseph for improvements to its wastewater facility.

June 2014

Kansas City promotes energy efficiency. KSHB, Jadiann Thomas. June 27, 2014. The Kansas City Energy Initiative was announced at KCP&L’s energy center downtown. According to a city spokesperson, Kansas City was only one of 10 cities selected in the United States to participate in the City Energy Project....Mayor Sly James said the city was also selected, in part, because it was the only city proposal that included a strong partnership with the regional Chamber of Commerce and the local investor-owned electrical utility, KCP&L.

EPA: No public health risk from radiation at Bridgeton sports complex. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Blythe Bernhard. June 26, 2014. Preliminary results of radiation screening at the Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex show no signs of a public health risk, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday.

MU, Extension join EPA task force on watershed issue. Columbia Daily Tribune, Ashley Jost. June 25, 2014. The Environmental Protection Agency has tapped 12 land grant universities, including the University of Missouri, from states along the Mississippi River to help in an ongoing effort to decrease pollution running into the river.

Messages seek to sway Gov. Nixon on Missouri deer. Southeast Missourian/AP, Chris Blank. June 22, 2014. Messages urging Gov. Jay Nixon to veto Missouri legislation dealing with deer are outnumbering those calling for him to sign the bills....Missouri lawmakers passed legislation this year that would classify captive deer as livestock with the Agriculture Department responsible for the industry.

Missouri, St. Louis-area landfill reach agreement. St. Louis Post Dispatch. June 19, 2014. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster's office and the owners of the Bridgeton Landfill reached an agreement Thursday on measures aimed at better controlling underground smoldering and reducing a strong odor that for months has troubled residents in a densely populated area of suburban St. Louis.

Grant to fund Missouri, Kansas pollution cleanup. St. Louis Post Dispatch/AP. June 19, 2014. Kansas counties included in the grant are Atchison, Brown, Doniphan, Jackson, Jefferson and Nemaha. The Missouri counties are Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Clinton, DeKalb, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway and Worth.

Appellate court overturns $240 million from Herculaneum smelter verdict. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Leah Thorsen. June 17, 2014. That sum was part of a $358 million verdict by a St. Louis jury against former owners of the smelter. The suit was filed by 16 plaintiffs who said they suffered from lead poisoning.

Pollution lawsuits target Sauget plant as settlemetn talks bog down. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Paul Hampel. June 14, 2014. Lawyers based in the Metro East and Alabama allege that byproducts of Cerro Flow Products’ copper recycling operation have poisoned scores of residents and workers for more than 80 years.

City of Springfield gets grant for South Creek. Springfield News-Leader Staff. June 13, 2014. The city of Springfield has received a $715,000 grant for its South Creek restoration project from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, according to a news release....The project will remove the concrete channel and restore the creek to a more natural condition in the 1-mile portion along Sunset Street between Campbell Avenue and Kansas Expressway.

St. Clair student wins statewide MDC Discover Nature Schools Science Fair competition. Missouri Department of Conservation, Dan Zarlenga. June 12, 2014. The title of Hannah Krouper's winning science fair project was The Allelopathic Effect of Common Missouri Plants. The allelopathic effect is when certain plants produce substances, called allelochemicals, that affect or inhibit the growth of other competing plants....Hannah prepared root extracts from 10 common Missouri plants she collected. She tested their allelopathic effect against lettuce seed. Hannah also prepared extracts from Japanese honeysuckle berries she obtained from MDC’s Caldwell Memorial Wildlife Area, tested them chemically, and discovered that they contained two known allelopathic chemicals.

Missouri files violation notice against Tyson Foods. St. Louis Post Dispatch/AP. June 11, 2014. MONETT, Mo. The state has filed a notice of violation against Tyson Foods after a chemical spill caused Monett's wastewater treatment plant to fail last month, leading to a large fish kill along a southwest Missouri stream.

New Conservation Department commissioner credits mentors for his conservation commitment. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jim Low. June 10, 2014.David W. Murphy, nominated to serve on the Missouri Conservation Commission, is a living example of what outdoor mentorship can accomplish. He says he wants to pay forward the gifts he has received....Gov. Jeremiah “Jay” Nixon announced the nomination June 4. If confirmed by the Missouri Senate, Murphy would serve a term ending June 30, 2019.

Rain gardens alleviating excess rain problems in KC. KSHB, Amy Hawley. June 10, 2014. Kansas City is the first city in the nation to use green solutions as part of its federally-mandated $4.5 billion, 25-year overflow control project....In the Marlborough neighborhood, Kansas City has spent $10 million to build green infrastructure to help control its 6 billion gallons a year overflow problem.

Citizens warn council on coal ash. Springfield News-Leader, Johnathan Shorman. June 9, 2014. Members of the Sierra Club said sites for potential expansion of City Utilities’ current coal ash landfill near the John Twitty Energy Center southwest of Springfield feature porous topography that could allow ash into the groundwater.

Endangered American Burying Bettle released at Wah'Kon-Ta Paririe. Missouri Department of Conservation, Francis Skalicky. June 9, 2014. Eighty-four male-female pairs of this federally endangered insect were released on June 3 at Wah’Kon-Tah Prairie in northern Cedar County. This project is being spear-headed by the St. Louis Zoo and its Center for American Burying Beetle Conservation. Other partners in the project are the Missouri Department of Conservation, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy.

If Springfield City Utilities can do it, so can state (editorial). Springfield News-Leader, LInday Ramey-Greiwe & Linda Leicht. June 7, 2014. Two years ago, CU began taking steps recommended in a report by a consulting firm in anticipation of new federal regulations.

Springfield: New task force aims to balance cost, environmental challenges. Springfield News Leader, Thomas Gounley. June 5, 2014. If you were given a limited amount of money to spend on improving area waterways, where would you put your focus?...It was just one scenario posed to the Environmental Priorities Task Force, a new group that is tasked with guiding decision-making regarding environmental planning for Springfield, Greene County and City Utilities of Springfield. The goal is an "integrated plan" that takes into accounts the challenges facing various resources — with limited funds.

New water standards for southeast MO towns require more money. Southeast Missourian, Samantha Rinehart. June 4, 2014. Concerns about wildlife prompted the Missouri Clean Water Commission to approve new rules that would strengthen protection for rivers, streams and lakes. The change came after more than a decade of warnings from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to update water quality standards. EPA approval also was required as the state made the revisions.

Black Bears increase in numbers in southern Missouri. Southeast Missourian/AP. June 4, 2014. Bear experts and advocates are working to educate Missouri residents about black bears as the number of the species increases in the state.

EPA proposes MO power plants to cut carbon emissions by 21 percent. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. June 3, 2014. By 2030, the nation’s power plants would reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels under a landmark proposal released by the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday to regulate emissions blamed for climate change....
But Missouri power plants won’t face as sharp a percentage decline as other states under the EPA’s plan, which sets different targets for every state depending on its energy mix.

High levels of benzene gas found at Bridgeton landfill. St. Louis Post Dispath, Blyteh Bernhard. June 2, 2014. High levels of benzene gas were discovered at the smoldering Bridgeton Landfill over the weekend, the state attorney general said Monday....Chris Koster filed an injunction Monday in St. Louis County Circuit Court against the landfill’s owner, Republic Services, seeking “more aggressive landfill management” by the company and more money to pay for the state’s monitoring of the site.

 

May 2014

Watershed Committee of the Ozarks to receive $255,552 for Little Sac River restoration project. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. May 29, 2014. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has announced a $255,551 grant to the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks for restoration and improvements to the Little Sac River. The funding is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.

Eastern Kansas facing water shortages. Kansas City Star. May 27, 2014. The state is planning a $20 million project to dredge sediment from the John Redmond Reservoir near Burlington. But researchers say by the end of the century, the state’s 24 federal reservoirs will have lost more than half their original capacity, and dredging won’t be possible.

Big Lake State Park opens three years after Missouri River flooding. Kansas City Star/AP. May 25, 2014. Flooding along the Missouri River swamped the popular vacation spot in 2011. The high water remained throughout the summer, ruining the park’s hotel and cabins.

Testing of Jasper Country streams under way. Joplin Globe, Susan Redden. May 24, 2014. Jasper County has started weekly testing of local streams and rivers for E. coli bacteria levels, but two other counties in the region are scaling back or dropping their assessments because of budget constraints.

Local water group hears Kansas, Oklahoma officials. Joplin Globe, Wally Kennedy. May 21, 2014. Representatives of the coalition have attempted to find a way to purchase water from the GRDA for use in Southwest Missouri. That effort has been met with opposition because of recent conflicts with Texas over out-of-state water sales.

Missouri State University cuts energy use 9.1 percent in April contest. Springfield News-Leader. May 20, 2014. Missouri State University says in an email it cut its energy use 9.1 percent in April, saving $9,909 while competing in a national competition among colleges to conserve electricity and water.

Company, EPA lapses lead to hazards on the Eleven Point River. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jack Suntrup. May 18, 2014. Coastal Energy Corp., which sells asphalt and other chemicals for road maintenance and building waterproofing, has operated at the river’s headwaters since 2002, without controversy — until this winter, when local environmental activists Tom Kruzen and Don Horton heard news of a disastrous chemical spill in Charleston, W.Va., that fouled the drinking water of 300,000 people.....The EPA found that employees at the facility haven’t been properly trained to manage spills; tank inspection records lack substance; and the earthen barrier that is supposed to block chemicals from entering the river has gaps and is smaller than what the company claimed.

Missouri lawmakers pass captive deer changes. Heartland Connection/AP. May 16, 2014. The bill given final approval by the House and Senate on Thursday would shift management of captive deer from the Conservation Department to the Department of Agriculture....Supporters say the move would stop the Conservation Department from adopting regulations potentially harmful to deer ranches to deal with an outbreak of chronic wasting disease. It is caused by a mutated protein that attacks a deer's nervous system, but does not harm humans.

Local agencies work to reduce Asian carp in rivers. Southeast Missourian, Samantha Rinehart. May 15, 2014. As Asian carp continue to dominate the Mississippi River, wildlife experts say eradicating the invasive species is impossible, but the growing population could be managed with help from the public.

Clarkson Valley must approve solar project or be held in contempt. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Stepehn Deere. May 15, 2014. A Cole County judge has given Clarkson Valley an ultimatum: Issue variances for a residential solar panel project or cough up roughly $11,000 in legal fees....Jim and Frances Babb have been battling the city for three years over the 100 solar panels they’ve placed on their property. The city initially maintained that it did not like the way the panels appeared, and has since passed an ordinance regulating the technology.

Jury finds property owner guilty in river shooting. Southeast Missourian/AP. May 14, 2014. The jury deliberated for about two hours before determining that Crocker shot 48-year-old Paul Dart Jr. of Robertsville. He was among 50 friends and extended family members on a float trip party. Crocker claimed self-defense in the gravel-bar encounter.

Missouri Senate rejects revival of solar rebates. Springfield News-Leader/AP. May 13, 2014The Missouri Senate has defeated an attempt to revive a program that provides rebates for solar energy panels.

Disease regulations for Missouri's white-tailed deer could be expensive. Southeast Missourian, Amity Shedd. May 13, 2014. The key to keeping Chronic Wasting Disease at bay in Missouri's white-tailed deer population is prevention, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation, and that could mean stricter, more expensive regulations for deer breeders.

General Assembly could put Tesla's operation at risk in Missouri. Kansas City Star, Lewis W. Diuguid. May 12, 204. Tesla Motors should feel upset at the Missouri legislature for its last minute move to bar automakers from going around car dealerships and selling directly to buyers....Tesla is small car company that manufactures electric vehicles. As a business offering something new and better for the environment overall, Tesla should have been given allowances to operate in a different way in the state.

Home, business cited as examples of energy efficiency, strength. Joplin Globe, Wally Kennedy. May 12, 2014. On Monday, the Shields home, located at 2501 S. Connor Ave., and Advanced Orthotics and Prosthetics, located at the northwest corner of 26th Street and Maiden Lane, were showcased in a green rebuilding tour....The tour was organized by GreenTown Joplin, a project of Greensburg GreenTown, a nonprofit organization that has helped Greensburg rebuild an energy-efficient community. GreenTown staff have been working in Joplin since August 2011.

Bridgeton radiation testing timetable announced. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jim Salter. May 9, 2014. Radiation testing at a baseball complex near a suburban St. Louis Superfund site will be completed by late this month and results should be available in 30-60 days after that, the Environmental Protection Agency's regional chief said Friday.

Environmental rules could drive rates. St. Joseph News Press, Greg Kozol. May 9, 2014. Great Plains Energy, the parent company of KCP&L, said it expects to eventually seek rate increases to cover the cost of up to $1.5 billion in new environmental mandates. The company made the disclosure in a regulatory filing along with its first-quarter financial results, which showed $23.4 million in earnings. That’s down 9 percent from the first quarter of 2013.

Grain Belt Express earns FERC approval to sell transmission service. St. Joseph News Press. May 9, 2014. The project involves construction of a 750-mile overhead direct transmission line that seeks to connect wind energy from western Kansas with utilities and customers in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and eastern states. Officials with Clean Line Energy Partners said it is designed to deliver up to 3,500 megawatts of electricity and provide enough energy per year from more than 1.4 million homes.

Solar-law exemption cited by Empire (Joplin) subject of lawsuit. Joplin Globe, Wally Kennedy. May 6, 2014. Great Rivers Environmental Law Center is arguing a law passed by the legislature just after Missorians voted to support Prop C, a statewide renewable energy standard, is illegal because the law targeted Prop C. The law, as written, allows Empire to refuse to offer its customers a rebate for solar installations.

Police arrest seven Washington U students at protest against Peabody Coal exec. St. Louis Riverfront Times, Lindsay Toler. May 5, 2014. After ending a seventeen-day sit-in to protest Washington University's close ties to coal giant Peabody Energy, seven students were arrested Friday while attempting to enter a board of trustees meeting and ask Peabody's chairman and CEO Greg Boyce to resign from the school's board.

James River Basin Partnership and City of Springfield partner on water quality art project. Springfield News Leader. May 1, 2014. The project, Storm Drain Reveal, invites local artists to paint murals on storm drains around the city....The 10 storm drains chosen this year all lead to Jordan and Fassnight creeks, which drain into Wilson’s Creek, then to the James River and eventually, Table Rock Lake.

April 2014

Less pollution, less cash for Missouri Air program. Jefferson City News Tribune/AP. April 30, 2014. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Air Pollution Control Program could run out of money by 2016 because polluters are reducing their emissions, which means less revenue from fees charged for pollutants, agency officials said....The financially struggling department also faces increased responsibilities when stronger federal clean air regulations take effect in the next few years, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Missouri House endorses bill targeting UN agreement (Agenda 21). Kansas City Star. April 29, 2014. Missouri House members have approved legislation barring state or local officials from adopting policies that infringe upon private property rights and are traceable to Agenda 21.

Ozone standards may change by summer in Perry, Ste. Genevieve counties. Southeast Missourian, Amity Shedd. April 27, 2014. Ozone levels in Perry and Ste. Genevieve counties could become more of an issue this year because the Environmental Protection Agency standard of 75 parts per billion may be lowered to 65 ppb....That drop is in no way achievable, said David Grimes, regional planner for the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission.

Nine more colleges and universities in IA, KS and MO become new members of EPA's Food Recovery Challenge. EPA. April 25, 2014. EPA Region 7 is announcing nine new collegiate members of EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge (FRC), a national initiative aimed at encouraging businesses, organizations and institutions to actively participate in food waste prevention, surplus food donation and food waste recycling activities....The nine new members from Region 7 include Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Luther College, Decorah, Iowa; Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Mo.; Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, Mo.; Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kan.; St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo.; Truman State University, Kirksville, Mo.; University of Iowa-Iowa City; and Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.

High levels of radiation found in soil at Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Blythe Bernhard. April 25, 2014. High levels of radiation have been found in a drainage ditch at the Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex, according to independent testing from residents who live near the radioactive West Lake Landfill.

Washington University students end Peabody protest. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. April 25, 2014. The group “Students Against Peabody” had been staging a demonstration in front of Brookings Hall on the Washington University campus since the beginning of April, asking officials to cut its ties with St. Louis-based Peabody.

New solar farm operating in western Missouri. St. Louis Post Dispatch/AP. April 25, 2014. A nearly 13-acre solar energy farm capable of converting sunlight into enough energy to power about 415 homes is being dedicated in western Missouri after operating nearly two months.

Missouri schools are missing chance to enter federal Green Ribbon program. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Opinion, Nate Beckmeyer, Class of 2018 St. Louis University H.S., Anne Marie Lodholz, St. Louis University H.S., Lori Diefenbacker, Webster University. April 22, 2014. Two years ago, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education participated in the inaugural year of the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon program, nominating four Missouri schools, ultimately awarding Crossroads College Prep and the College School the prestigious Green Ribbon award. This award recognizes schools that have exemplary energy efficiency, healthy learning environments and sustainable educational curriculum.... Although nationally 39 states participated this year, an increase of nine states over the pilot year, Missouri decided to opt out.

Sprint electronic recycling and food recovery programs to be honored by EPA Region 7 as nation observes Earth Day, April 22. EPA. April 21, 2014. EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks will join Sprint officials on Tuesday, April 22 – Earth Day – to present Sprint the EPA WasteWise National Partner of the Year Award for Very Large Companies. During his visit to Sprint’s headquarters campus in Overland Park, Kan., Brooks will commend Sprint for reducing its volume of solid waste and view first-hand its innovative recycling and food recovery programs.

Prairie chickens find new home. St. Joe News Press, Clinton Thomas. April 20, 2014.According to information from the Missouri Department of Conservation, the department and The Nature Conservancy have released 45 greater prairie chickens at the Dunn Ranch Prairie, northwest of Eagleville in Harrison County. The release should strengthen flocks of the birds in the area known as the Grand River Grasslands, including the Department of Conservation’s Pawnee Prairie.

Bridgeton landfill owners to pay nearby residents $6.8 million in lawsuit over stink. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Blythe Bernhard. April 18, 2014. Residents who live in the 400 homes closest to the smoldering Bridgeton Landfill will be compensated thousands of dollars for enduring foul odors from the site in an agreement reached Thursday in a lawsuit against the landfill’s owners.

Protecting Midwestern streams and wetlands under a proposed rule. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Opinion - Karl Brooks, EPA Region 7. April 17, 2014. The proposed rule helps clear the way for the CWA to do its job and ensure clean, healthy waters. The proposed rule will be open for public comment for 90 days from publication in the Federal Register. Visit www.epa.gov/uswaters to learn more about our proposal and the CWA.

EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers establish interagency agreement for work on West Lake Landfill's isolation barrier. EPA. April 17, 2014. As outlined in the agreement, which became effective April 15, 2014, those four tasks include providing technical assistance services, design review services, pre-construction and construction observation, and community relations support.

$55 million wastewater facility expected to open in fall in Cape Girardeau. Cape Girardeau Southeast Missourian, Samantha Rinehart. April 16, 2014. Treatment labs, a control center and a few offices will be in the administration building. The facility also will feature a presentation and conference room that will host tour groups and provide space for training facility operators in Cape Girardeau and surrounding areas.

Law firm donates radiation detector to residents around West Lake Landfill. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Blythe Bernhard. April 15, 2014. A lawyer who is suing the owners of West Lake Landfill has donated a $16,000 radiation detector to a group of concerned residents who live near the Bridgeton site.

Wash. U Chandellor and students meet over Peabody sit-in. Fox News, Chris Smith. April 12, 2014. Washington University student representatives and university chancellor Wrighton met Saturday to discuss the student’s demands to cut ties with Peabody Coal, as the Students Against Peabody entered into their 5th day of a sit-in outside Brookings Hall on the Washington University’s campus.

Lawsuit alleges West Lake Landfill radioactivity has spread off-site. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Blyteh Bernhard. April 11, 2014. A lawyer for a man who has lived near the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton for more than 30 years, and the lawsuit he filed Friday, say radiation has spread to nearby properties, potentially affecting the health of area residents and employees.

EPA enforcement settlement addresses pesticide violations by Chemical Universe, Inc., of North Kansas City, MO. EPA. April 10, 2014. An inspection by the Missouri Department of Agriculture of Chemical Universe, Inc., a pesticide producer in North Kansas City, Mo., has revealed alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Through an enforcement action with EPA Region 7, the company has agreed to pay a $34,740 civil penalty to settle the allegations related to the improperly reported production and distribution of misbranded and unregistered pesticides.

Speakers blast Ameren plan for ash landfill in Missouri River floodplain. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. April 9, 2014. For Ameren, the packed Knights of Columbus meeting hall in Washington, Mo., was not a friendly audience. Only one person out of more than 100 present spoke in favor of the utility’s plan to build a landfill to store the ash waste produced by its Labadie power plant — the largest in its generation fleet.

Wolves with STL ties being released into wild. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Joe Holleman. April 9, 2014. Working with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka is playing a key role in releasing two Mexican wolves into the Arizona wilderness. Only 85 Mexican wolves are known to exist in the wild.

Think lakes, rivers are clean? 81 percent say yes! Springfield News Leader, Wes Johnson. Aprl 7, 2014. Are our area lakes and rivers getting cleaner?...A lot of people think so, according to a new survey that finds more people believe water quality in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas is good or very good than they did in 2008.

Archery Tournament a record breaker. MDC, Jim Low. April 4, 2014. Going into this year’s tournament, the record stood at 294 points. Eighth-grader Joe Wilder, of St. Peters, edged that figure up to 295 on Friday afternoon. The following morning, Hunter Berry, a 12th-grader from Sarcoxie, nudged it up another notch to 296. But Lee’s Summit High School Freshman Shelby Winslow had the last word when she raised the bar to 297 points.

MDC pallid sturgeon survey underway. St. Joe News Press, April 4, 2014.Darby Niswonger never tires from doing her unique job of pulling the federally endangered pallid sturgeon from the muddy Missouri River each spring.

Metro Lighting of Brentwood, MO receives 2014 Energy Star Excellence in Retailing Award. EPA. April 3, 2014. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have selected Metro Lighting of Brentwood, Mo., for a 2014 Energy Star Excellence in Retailing Award. Metro Lighting is receiving the Excellence Award for leading the retail sector in promoting energy-efficient products, homes, or buildings.

Questions swirl around bill that could exempt smelly Bridgeton landfill from lawsuits. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Virginia Young. April 3, 2014. The troubled Bridgeton landfill could gain immunity from some lawsuits by nearby residents under an amendment that the Missouri Senate tucked into a bill aimed at cleaning up St. Louis neighborhoods.

Group to protest planned energy network. St. Joe News Press. April 1, 2014. Block Grain Belt Express-Missouri said it opposes the Clean Line Energy Partners wind-powered project from occurring anywhere in the state. The session is part of a series of informational meetings aimed at building support for the movement.

Healthiest counties: Christian is 5th, Greene at 40. Springfield News-Leader, Jackie Rehwald. April 1, 2014. The rankings are done by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, N.J., and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Researchers collect data on health factors like smoking, obesity, access to health care, education, poverty, pollution and housing problems, as well as health outcomes like premature death, physical and mental health, and low birth weight.

March 2014

Ameren, environmental groups square off on coal ash landfill. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. March 31, 2014. Trucking coal ash from its Labadie power plant to a remote landfill would cost Ameren Missouri — and ultimately ratepayers — $100 million more than keeping it nearby, the utility says. But critics worry Ameren’s preferred site invites an environmental catastrophe that could cost a whole lot more.

Commitment to fishery conservation and hunter education earn MDC staff honors. MDC, Francis Skalicky. March 31, 2014. James Civiello’s and Craig Fuller’s long-time dedication to improving the state’s fishing opportunities and aquatic resources, and Dwayne Bowden’s work with hunter education, have earned the three southwest Missouri individuals recognition from the Conservation Federation of Missouri.

Champion black maple found in Harrison County. MDC, Bill Graham. March 28, 2014. This new champ is 58 feet tall with a crown spread of 81 feet and a trunk circumference measurement of 115.8 inches. The tree is owned by John Milligan of rural Gilman City. Milligan was recently presented with a state champion tree plaque by Jason Severe, an MDC forester.

Department awards reclamation contract for abandoned Henry County coal mine lands. DNR. March 27, 2014. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Land Reclamation Commission have awarded a $299,208 construction contract to a Carrollton company for the reclamation of approximately 20 acres of abandoned coal mine lands near Montrose in Henry County.

Southeast Missouri couple passes hummingbird torch. MDC, Jim Low. March 25, 2014. At the peak of their hummer-feeding career, Judy and Jim Ainsworth put out 24 feeders, each holding 48 ounces of nectar, every April and went through 10 pounds of sugar a day during the peak feeding months from May through August.

Labadie landfill hearings start Monday. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jacob Barker. March 25, 2014. Ameren Missouri and opponents of its plan to build a coal ash landfill next to its Labadie power plant will present their cases to the Missouri Public Service Commission starting on Monday.

Discover nature with webcam of peregrine falcons nesting. MDC. Joe Jerek. March 24, 2014. Through a cooperative effort, Ameren Missouri, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), and the World Bird Sanctuary (WBS) are providing the public with a third year of their online “FalconCam” for a bird’s-eye view of the peregrine falcons raising their chicks.

EPA Regional Administrator Brooks responds to Missouri AG Koster on West Lake Landfill site. EPA, Chris Whitley. March 21, 2014. Brooks notes that EPA Region 7 experts are taking decisive actions at the West Lake Supefund site and that EPA's jurisdiction under CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, aka Superfund) means taht release of hazardous substances wherever they have come to be located.

Missouri environment group, NRC weigh in on Callaway reactor. Fulton Sun, Dean Asher. March 19, 2014. As part of the Callaway Energy Center's request for a 20-year extension on its operating license, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) held public meetings Wednesday in Fulton to discuss the first draft of its environmental impact statement on the plant.... Publiccomment was accepted to take into consideration for the NRC's final draft due in November, and plenty of it came from the Missouri Coalition for the Environment members in attendance.

Area ash trees under attack from the Emerald Ash Borer. Kansas City Star, Teri Schaefer. March 18, 2014. A Kansas City arborist has found an emerald ash borer-infested tree on 37th Street and Warwick Boulevard, headed toward the lovely ash tree-lined boulevards of Ward Parkway.

Bald eagles flock to Kansas City area. Kansas City Star, Linda Cruse. March 18, 2014. They usually arrive in the Kansas City area in mid-November, following waterfowl south in search of open water. An unusually cold winter has driven more birds south than normal,(Wildlife Biolgist Mike) Watkins said.

Johnson County votes today on fracking. Southeast Missourian, Amity Shedd. March 18, 2014. The national hydraulic fracturing debate will hone in close to home today as Johnson County voters take to the polls to vote on whether their county commission should oppose any effort to begin fracking in the county (Johnson County IL)

Wind power line proposal irks some Midwest farmers. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jim Salter. March 16, 2014. Clean Line Energy Partners wants to spend $2.2 billion to build a 750-mile-long high-voltage overhead transmission line. Towers 110 to 150 feet tall, 4-6 per mile, would carry lines with power generated by Kansas' modernistic windmill turbines through sparsely populated northern Missouri, through the cornfields of Illinois and to a substation in Sullivan, Ind. The exact route has not been finalized.

New addition to Novinger waste water plant. Heartland News, Vanessa Alonso. March 12, 2014. "It (a UV treatment station) means one less thing we have to worry about for the next 5-7 years. We know that more requirements are coming from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Natural Resources. We have to plan ahead for that rather than waiting for that moment. For right now, this is something we needed to get taken care of in the infrastructure of the city," said City of Novinger Mayor Jeff Dodson.

MDC testing results show no new cases of chronic wasting disease. MDC, Joe Jerek. March 11, 2014. Following the testing of 3,666 free-ranging deer harvested during and after the 2013 deer-hunting season, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has detected no additional cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Missouri free-ranging deer.

Neosho National Fish Hatchery honors veterans. Joplin Globe, Katie Lamb. March 8, 2014. Despite the chilly weather, dozens of veterans, active military members and their families went fishing at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery during the free fishing derby...Inside the hatchery’s visitor center Saturday, Jeffrey Jones, an artist from Neosho, worked on a what will eventually become a mural in the gift shop.

Water, water everywhere but where it's wanted. Kansas City Star, Dave Helling. March 6, 2014. Quietly, western Kansas interests and others recently revived discussion of the water transfer (from the Missouri River to western and central Kansas) putting aside a chunk of money this year to update the 1982 study. They even have a name: the Kansas Aqueduct Project.

Department of Natural Resources awards Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Governments grant for Camden County study. DNR. March 5, 2014. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded a $113,800 grant to the Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Governments to conduct a sewer line extension feasibility in the area known as the Camelot Estates Sewer District.

Water, land and litigation: Lawsuit renews vigorous debate over future of Missouri River. Kansas City Star, Dave Helling. March 5, 2014. More than 200 farmers and landowners in the Missouri River basin sued the federal government Wednesday, accusing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of improper decisions (emphasizing fish and wildlife at expense of flood control) they say led to costly flooding.

Opponents of power line wating to see next step. Joplin Globe, Andra Bryan Stefanoni. March 3, 2014. It’s a waiting game this week, say Missouri landowners, lawmakers and an Arkansas group that has campaigned for the past year to stop a 345,000-volt transmission line from being built.

MDC explains winter fish kills are no cause for alarm. MDC, Jim Low. March 3, 2014. MDC Resource Scientist Rebecca O’Hearn says winter fish kills are normal occurrences. What is not normal, she says, is the number and size of this year’s winter kills.

 

February 2014

Sewer permits water testing bill heads to House. Jefferson City News Tribune, Bob Watson. February 28, 2014. Missouri state senators approved a bill Thursday that would require water testing before the Clean Water Commission could impose tougher sewer permit requirements.

Outdoorsman oppose Conservation Department oversight bills. Southeast Missourian, Paul Davis. February 27, 2014. Senate Joint Resolution 42 and House Joint Resolution 57 seek to require any rules and regulations passed by a state agency to be approved by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, which consists of five senators and five representatives. The bill includes the Department of Conservation rules and regulations, which to-date have been reviewed by a 4-member commission apponted by the Governor.

Q & A with Big Muddy Paddler Janet Moreland. Kayak Touring, Virginia Marshall. February. Janet Moreland believes it is never too late to pursue your passions. The 56-year-old mother from Columbia, Missouri, graduated from university with a degree in education in December 2012. Less than four months later, she set out in Blue Moon, her 17-foot Eddyline Shasta tandem kayak, on a 3,800-mile expedition from the headwaters of the Missouri River at Brower’s Spring, Montana, to the Gulf of Mexico. On December 5, 2013, she became the first woman to complete a solo, source-to-sea descent of the Missouri/Mississippi River system, the fourth longest river in the world.

Karl Brooks: EPA is working toward a remedy at West Lake Landfill (Opinion). St. Louis Post Dispatch. February 20, 2014. Worries, impatience and questions surround the West Lake Landfill Superfund site in Bridgeton. Good people want assurance and action. They expect answers from the Environmental Protection Agency....While the EPA cannot promise swift action, this fact remains true:...Scientific evidence shows no one living or working around West Lake is experiencing harmful exposures to its hazardous contaminants, including the radiologically contaminated materials, because the EPA has securely contained them.

Midwest Regional Climate Hub (MRCH) to help producers, coordinate climate-related agricultural research. Missouri Beginning Farmers/MRCH, Jerry Hatfield. February 20, 2014. Formation of the Midwest Climate Hub provides an opportunity to increase agriculture’s response to climate change and weather variability by coordinating climate-related agricultural research across a diverse array of regional partners. It also provides an opportunity to mold that science into evidence-based tools, educational materials and outreach activities.

Nixon backs fed plan for the rivers. Columbia Daily Tribune/AP. February 8, 2014. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon yesterday endorsed the same plan the federal government is backing for managing the spring-fed Current and Jacks Fork rivers, as long as the National Park Service is flexible about implementing its proposal.

Share the Harvest provides more than 227,350 pounds of deer meat this year to feed hungry Missourians. MDC, Joe Jerek. February 5, 2014. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), 4,487 deer hunters donated 227,358 pounds of venison from the 2013 Missouri deer harvest to the state’s Share the Harvest program.

Locals oppose riverways plans. Columbia Daily Tribune/AP. February 4, 2014. As the National Park Service updates its management plan at the Ozark National Scenic Riverways for the first time in three decades, the federal agency is trying to balance the competing needs of preservationists who want more environmental protection against nearby property owners fighting for less government regulation, not more. Many of the conservationists hail from Columbia, Kansas City and St. Louis, with opposition concentrated in the southern Missouri counties where the two rivers wind for more than 130 miles.

Big payoff for U.S. EPA Climate Protection Partnerships. Triple Pundit,Tina Casey. February 3, 2014. The Environmental Protection Agency has just released its annual Climate Protection Partnerships report. The most recent data from 2012 highlights the achievements of EPA partnerships with more than 21,000 organizations, reducing energy bills by $26 billion, and the prevention of more than 365 million metric tons of GHG emissions. Missouri highlights:

January 2014

Hunting rights amendment touted. News Tribune, Scott Delhomme. January 30, 2014. Representatives exchanged stories about the first game hunted by their children and grandchildren while discussing two bills that would introduce a constitutional amendment to protect Missourians’ right to hunt and fish.

Doubts about the future of a national park in the Ozarks. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Todd C. Frankel. January 26, 2014. Last November, the park service released a 534-page tentative blueprint for how the park will be managed for the next two decades. Under this plan, floating and other recreation would still be allowed, but with more restrictions. Supporters of the plan say the park has been overwhelmed by visitors, especially during the summer, and the activity needs to reined in. Opponents, including a U.S. congressman, say that’s nonsense. And some of them — mostly people living near the rivers — want the entire park to be stripped of federal control and handed over to the state.

Bat with white nose syndrome found in western Missouri. Kansas City Star/AP. January 23, 2014.Tony Elliott, a bat specialist for the Missouri Conservation Department, said three tri-colored bats with white nose syndrome were recently found in an old limestone quarry in Jackson County, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/LYDPI3 ). Animals with the disease were found last winter in east-central Missouri, and before that it was found in the cave colonies of Pike County near the Mississippi River.

St. Louis receives $9.5 million loan for drinking water improvements. MO Department of Natural Resources. January 22, 2014. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded St. Louis a $9.5 million low-interest loan to make improvements at the Chain of Rocks Water treatment plant, including replacing pumps and piping. The entire project is estimated to cost $11.25 million and is expected to be completed in February 2017.

Department announces $52 million loan for St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District wastewater treatment improvements. MO Department of Natural Resources. January 22, 2014. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded a $52 million low-interest loan to the St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District to rehabilitate and upgrade the Missouri River Wastewater Treatment Plant and collection systems throughout the district. ... The funding will support two separate sewer projects, which are designed to rehabilitate and upgrade the Missouri River Wastewater Treatment Plant and its collection system. The Missouri River Wastewater Treatment Plant project is in its final phase, which consists of an activated sludge treatment facility and six final clarifiers, is estimated to cost $17 million and is expected to be complete in 2014. The second project focuses on public inflow and infiltration reduction, and is aimed at reducing sanitary sewer overflow occurrences. The first phase of this project is estimated to cost $35 million and expected to be complete in 2016.

Missouri deer harvest follows regional trend. MO Department of Conservation, Jim Low. January 21, 2014. Hunters checked 50,507 Deer during Missouri’s archery deer season, bringing the state’s overall deer harvest to 250,787. That number is down from the 10-year average of 293,056.

Core sampling phase of engineering survey to begin week of January 13 at West Lake Landfill Superfund Site in Bridgeton, MO. EPA Region 7, Chris Whitley. January 8, 2014. Contractors working under the oversight of EPA Region 7 will begin a new core sampling phase of an engineering survey during the week of January 13 at the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site in Bridgeton, Mo. ... The survey will examine the area between Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill and West Lake Landfill to locate radiologically-impacted material that may be present and identify the location for future construction of an isolation barrier that will separate the two landfills.

DNA testing confirms canine shot in Wayne County is a wolf. MO Department of Conservation, Candice Davis. January 13, 2014. DNA testing by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has confirmed that a canine shot in Wayne County in late November by a private landowner while hunting is a grey wolf, most similar to grey wolves from the Great Lakes population.

MDC scientist says extreme cold had little effect on Emerald Ash Borer in Missouri. MO Department of Conservation, Joanie Straub. January 13, 2014. Although we may wish recent sub-zero temperatures and snow would have a positive effect by killing insect pests — such as emerald ash borer (EAB) larvae — it does not appear to be the case in Missouri. Most EAB, the tiny invasive green insect that is threatening the Show-Me-State’s ash trees, probably survived the extreme cold.

DNR awards $95,670 low-interest loan to Grandin for wastewater improvements. MO Department of Natural Resources. January 9, 2014.The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded the southeast Missouri town of Grandin a $95,670 loan for improvements to its wastewater treatment plant.

Sprint wins top 'eco-friendly' carrier award at CES. Kansas Ctiy Business Journal, Bobby Burch. January 9, 2014. Sprint Corp. recently earned the title of most “eco-friendly wireless carrier,” according to the research and consulting firm Compass Intelligence. ... More than 60 journalists and analysts who cover telecom awarded the Overland Park-based company the accolade Wednesday at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Osage Beach student goes "with the flow", wins Earth Day 2014 slogan contest. MO Department of Natural Resources. January 8, 2014. An Osage Beach student’s suggestion to “go with the flow” won top honors in the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Earth Day 2014 Slogan Contest.

Illinois coal stages a comeback. St. Louis Business Journal, Staff. January 7, 2013.The use of scrubbing technology by companies such as Peabody Energy Corp. has put coal from the Illinois basin back in play.... Coal from the basin contains high amounts of sulfur, and with the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970, mining in the region became less popular. However, the spread of scrubbing technology is making the area a viable mining region once again, the Wall Street Journal reports.

December 2013

Local business receives national award for promoting sustainabilty. Heartland Connection, Kaitlin Berry. December 29, 2013. The Milkweed Mercantile was named one of the top "green" small businesses by Green America earlier in December....The mercantile is located in Dancing Rabbit Eco-Village, just north of Rutledge, Mo., and promotes a sustainable lifestyle centered on community. The Mercantile consists of a cafe and eco-inn, made entirely of sustainable materials. It was selected as a finalist for the award by a panel of experts in green living, then people from around the nation voted and named it the top green small business for travel.

Sprint awarded fed funds for clean energy. Kansas City Business Journal, Bobby Burch. December 27, 2013. The U.S. Department of Energy awarded Sprint $250,000 to test fuel cell-powered backup systems for rooftop telecommunications systems. The new systems should reduce carbon emissions while being easier to install and refuel than older systems.

Former MIssouri mine owners to pay $1.4 million in damages. St. Louis Business Journal, Staff. December 26, 2013. Teck American Inc. and DII Industries Inc. entered a consent decree with the state of Missouri and U.S. government that called for the payment, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Subject to court approval, the agreement would settle a lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis, that alleges the companies damaged the Magmont Mine and Mill Site near Bixby, Mo., by releasing hazardous substances into the air, water and soil.

"Clean Marina" program launches at Table Rock Lake. Springfield News Leader, Staff. December 26, 2013. A new program that encourages marinas to keep oil, gasoline and runoff pollution from reaching Table Rock Lake is now in place....The Missouri Clean Marina program is a joint effort by the nonprofit Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition and Ozarks Water Watch and so far has drawn interest from 10 Table Rock Lake marinas, according to Ronna Haxby, projects manager with Ozarks Water Watch.

Snowy owls arrive early in Missouri. Heartland News/AP. December 26, 2013. The owls are being spotted farther south and earlier than usual in Missouri. The owls have been seen since December 1 in Kirksville, Trenton, Macon and Smithville Lake near Kansas City.

Northern Missouri hog farms will produce biogas. Kansas City Star, Steve Everly. December 23, 2013. A Smithfield Foods subsidiary on Monday announced a $100 million joint venture to turn hog manure into energy at its farms in northern Missouri....Murphy-Brown of Missouri, formerly called Premium Standards Farms, is providing the manure to produce biogas, a fuel similar to natural gas. Roeslein Alternative Energy is providing the management and has engaged an investment banking firm to underwrite the project’s financing.

Columbia nature school piques interest at open house. Columbia Daily Tribune, Catherine Martin. December 13, 2013. The nature school is planned to open in the 2015-16 school year in a building at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. It will be a lottery school that will accept 100 fifth-graders.

Sierra Club threatens suit over Ameren air quality. KMOV/AP. December 12, 2013. An environmental group says it plans to soon sue utility provider Ameren over what it calls repeated violations of federal air pollution standards....The Sierra Club told Ameren Corp. it plans legal action in the next 60 days over what the group says are nearly 10,000 violations of the Clean Air Act since 2008 at coal-fired power plants in St. Louis, Jefferson and Franklin counties.

Bill would set E. coli limit for beach closures. Columbia Daily Tribune, Rudi Keller. December 12, 2013. On Aug. 20 at Watkins Woolen Mill State Park in Clay County, three water samples taken at the swimming beach showed elevated E. coli levels. Park officials posted a sign warning that swimming was not recommended.....Before July 12, the beach would have been closed for at least a week. A new law took effect that day directing the Division of State Parks and Historic Sites to post warning signs instead.

Corps works again to clear Mississippi. Columbia Daily Tribune/AP. December 11, 2013. The up-and-down Mississippi River is down again, and the Army Corps of Engineers began rock removal efforts yesterday in an attempt to ensure the river remains open to barge traffic through the winter.

More radioactive waste found at Bridgeton Landfill. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Margaret Gillerman. December 9, 2013. Additional radioactive material has been discovered at a Bridgeton landfill, according to Florissant City Engineer Tim Barrett.....The radioactive material was discovered during exploratory work for construction of a cutoff trench to separate the known radioactive waste from an underground fire smoldering in the South Quarry of the adjacent Bridgeton Landfill.

Trailnet, EPA, Launch St. Louis Environmental Justice Project. EPA, Staff. December 6, 2013. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be in St. Louis on Tuesday, Dec. 10 to award $29,623 to Trailnet of St. Louis as part of EPA’s competitive Environmental Justice Small Grants Program. Trailnet’s Neighborhood Greenways St. Louis project will encourage residents in the City of St. Louis to prevent and reduce pollution, help with watershed management, and reduce rates of obesity and asthma by advocating for safe and inviting spaces for walking and biking.

New Springfield school to use less energy. Springfield News Leader, Claudette Riley. December 2, 2013. The Springfield school board recently gave the go-ahead for architects and engineers to design a 450-student building at 2524 S. Golden Ave. that dramatically reduces energy usage....That decision also leaves open the possibility of eventually adding a renewable energy source to transform Sherwood into the state’s first school capable of achieving a “net zero” rating, meaning it generates as much energy as it consumes.

Kansas' Missouri River aqueduct project faces daunting challenges. Columbia Daily Tribune/AP. December 1, 2013. Aside from the potentially billions of dollars it could cost to divert water from the Missouri River to western Kansas, the negotiations among interested parties would make such an infrastructure project a daunting task.....States along the river depend on water for agriculture, industry, municipalities and navigation, beginning at the headwaters in Montana and extending to the confluence with the Mississippi at St. Louis. Officials say getting all those interests to sign off on a project that would divert 4 million acre feet of water for western Kansas will take time and effort.

November 2013

Department of Natural Resources awards $4 million to Carl Junction for wastewater improvements. DNR. November 29, 2013.The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded $4 million in funding to the city of Carl Junction to expand the city’s wastewater treatment facility and rehabilitate the sewer collection system.

Diverse factors reduce November deer harvest. MDC, Jim Low. November 27, 2013. Hunters shot 157,273 deer during the November deer season, down 24% from the 10 year average. Biologists suggests different reasons in dfferent areas, but the drought last year probably increased the incidence of hemorrhagic diseases because deer had to gather around stagnant water sources that bred the flies that carry the disease.

Department of Natural Resources awards Monett $13 million for drinking water system improvements. DNR. November 27, 2013. The department awarded the city a $2 million grant and an $11,012,000 low interest loan. The money will be used for several projects, including the construction of a single-stage treatment facility for two drinking water wells designed to provide a treatment capacity of 1,800 gallons per minute. It will also be used for the installation of approximately 6,500 linear feet of water lines and a 1,000 gallon-per-minute booster pump station.

Missouri State Parks acquires 330 acres near Current River State Park. DNR. Novmeber 25, 2013. Missouri State Parks today announced that the state has acquired 330 acres of property in Shannon County. The property, historically referred to as Camp Zoe, is located adjacent to Current River State Park and downstream from Montauk State Park. It also abuts the 64,000-acre Roger Pryor Pioneer Backcountry, which is managed by Missouri State Parks.

Nuclear critic urges removal of radioactive waste at West Lake Landfill. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jeffrey Tomich. November 21, 2013. The West Lake Landfill is, in reality, an unregulated radioactive waste dump that should be cleaned up under the same federal program as similar St. Louis-area sites contaminated with World War II-era uranium processing residues, a nuclear industry critic said in a report.

MIssouri Department of Natural Resources Clean Diesel Program awards funds to improve school bus fleets. DNR. Novmeber 12, 2013. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded five school districts funding to replace aging school buses with cleaner running versions through the Missouri Clean Diesel Program. ....The following districts will receive awards of up to 25% of the cost of a new school bus, with a maximum of $20,000 per recipient: Clever R-V School District; Hannibal Public Schools; Joplin Schools; Ozark R-6 School District; West County R-IV School District

Recovery begnis at Dunn Ranch for endangered Topeka shiners. MDC, Bill Graham. November 12, 2013. Biologists on Wednesday watched with hope as 3,300 hatchery-reared minnows of the endangered Topeka shiner swam away in ponds and a creek in Harrison County in northwest Missouri. A decades-long effort to protect and restore a fish that evolved in prairie streams now has fresh fins in the water.

B-cycle rolls out aggressive expansion plans. Kansas City Business Journal, Staff. November 12, 2013. Kansas City's bike sharing program B-cycle is looking for sponsors as it moves forward on an aggressive plan to roll out as many as three dozen more docking stations around the Country Club Plaza and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, The Kansas City Star reports.

Business leaders reflect on economic, personal benefits of elk restoration. MDC, Candice Davis. November 7, 2013. Business leaders from the Missouri Ozarks took an extensive tour of Missouri’s Elk Restoration Zone during the area’s prime elk-bugling season. According to Elk Program Manager David Hasenbeck, with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), approximately 20 community leaders recently viewed habitat and received an update on elk restoration efforts. The group saw 51 elk during the tour of MDC's Peck Ranch Conservation Area (CA), viewed habitat work on nearby private land and visited MDC's Current River CA.

MIssouri approves long-overdue water standards. St. Louis Business Journal, Staff. November 7, 2013. The Missouri Clean Water Commission approved revised regulations that will help protect additional streams and rivers in the state.

St. Joe schools to get solar panels. NewsPress/KNPN, Andrae Hannon. November 1, 2013. The St. Joseph Board of Education voted Friday on a plan to save money and, at the same time, to help the environment....Meeting in a special session, the board voted unanimously to hire Brightergy, a Kansas City contractor, to equip the school district’s various buildings with solar panels. Over a 20-year period, solar energy could save the district more than $1.7 million in heating costs, Superintendent Fred Czerwonka told the board.

Ozark National Scenic Riverways announces release of draft general management plan. National Park Service. November 1, 2013.Ozark National Scenic Riverways Superintendent Bill Black announced today that the Draft General Management Plan/Wilderness Study/Environmental Statement (Draft Plan) will be available for public review on November 8.

October 2013

Veolia drops bid to consult St. Louis water department. St. Louis Business Journal, Staff. October 30, 2013. Fears from some residents that a French firm could take over the city's water appeared to end Tuesday, when Veolia Water North America dropped itself from consideration for a consulting contract with the city.

Kudzu causing problems for Stoddard County. Southeast Missourian, Mike McCoy. October 29, 2013. Stoddard County Commissioner Greg Mathis says there is an increasing amount of kudzu appearing in the county and that an eradication program should be started before the plant causes problems in drainage ditches and croplands.

Cities honored during Metro East Air and Health Forum. St. Louis Post Dispatch. October 23, 2013. The third annual Metro East Air and Health Forum was highlighted by a special presentation of awards to two Metro East communities and two Metro East schools, recognizing the steps being taken by each to help improve regional air quality, according to a press release. The cities honored were Edwardsville and Granite City.

MDC confirms mountain lion sighting in Shannon county. MDC, Joe Jerek. October 6, 2013. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has confirmed the sighting of a mountain lion on private land in Shannon County approximately nine miles west of Eminence. The confirmation is based on a trail camera photo taken Sept. 29. The name of the landowner and the property location are not being released at the request of the landowner.

Restoring the Ozark chinquapin: Top producer of food for wildlife threatened by chestnut blight. Joplin Globe, Andrea Bryan Stefanoni. October 6, 2013. In his off hours,Cheyne Matzenbacher serves as a board member of the year-old Ozark Chinquapin Foundation, working to plant and cross-pollinate the tree and create public awareness.

Bagnell Dam going green to increase voltage. The Lake Today, Ceil Abbot. October 2, 2013. Ameren Missouri is replacing four aging transformers at Bagnell Dam with new environmentally safe models that have never before been used in North America....The new transformers, which cost about $4 million each, are powered with a special type gas that is not only safer for the environment, but is also safer for those who live, work and play at Lake of the Ozarks.

September 2013

Kelly schools pick up recycling efforts. Standard Democrat, Leonna Heuring. September 29, 2013. This school year -- thanks to Scherer's passion for a cleaner environment and a new grant -- recycling bins are placed throughout the district, and in addition to collecting paper, they collect cans, plastic and cardboard....Last winter, the district was awarded a grant through Bootheel Solid Waste Management District to implement a recycling project districtwide beginning with the 2013-2014 school year.

MDC seeks vandals who defaced Castor River Shut-Ins in southeast Missouri. MDC, Candice Davis. September 27, 2013. A favorite conservation area in southeast Missouri has been defaced, and Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) officials are looking for the vandals. Foresters who maintain the area submitted photos to MDC’s Southeast Regional Office on Wednesday that show nine spray-painted areas on what are Missouri’s only known pink granite shut-ins.

Springfield utility planning big solar project. AP via Jefferson City News Tribune. September 23, 2013. A Springfield utility, a St. Louis development company and a North Carolina solar company are planning to build what would be the largest solar farm in the state of Missouri, officials say.....The 4.95-megawatt system will be built close to a City Utilities generation station near Springfield and would produce enough energy to power about 875 homes there. More at Springfield News-Leader

Springfield neighborhoods' "walkability" assessed by students. Springfield News-Leader, Katie Lamb. September 23, 2013. More than 400 Missouri State University students kicked off the Walkable Neighborhood Project on Saturday and assessed 11 Springfield neighborhoods for how safe, pleasant and easy it is to walk through the areas.

Columbia City Council approves tougher energy efficiency rules for new homes. Columbia Daily Tribune, Andrew Denny. September 17, 2013. The Columbia City Council voted at its regular meeting Monday night to adopt the International Code Commission's 2012 update of the energy-efficiency standards for its residential building codes as they were presented by the organization.

IKEA plans massive geothermal project for KC location. Kansas City Business Journal, Autumn MorningSky. September 17, 2013. IKEA plans to construct the largest geothermal heating and cooling system in Kansas or Missouri at its Merriam, Kan., store, the Swedish furniture retailer announced Tuesday.....It's already started on the multimillion-dollar project, which uses a ground source heat pump system, and expects to complete it by winter. It's using Colorado-based Major Geothermal to design, develop and install the system — its second in the United States.

Missouri lawmakers override veto on lead lawsuit bill. CBS-St. Louis. September 12, 2013.A lead mining company won a legal shield against the potential for large-dollar judgments in some liability lawsuits as the Missouri Legislature voted Wednesday to override a gubernatorial veto of the measure.

Missouri's power plants among worst U.S. greenhouse gas polluters. St. Louis Public Radio, Veronique Lacapra. September 12, 2013. Missouri's coal-fired power plants are among the largest sources of carbon dioxide pollution in the country and a significant contributor to global warming.That's according to a new report released this week by the advocacy group Environment America.The report ranks Missouri tenth among U.S. states when it comes to carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Neighboring Illinois ranks seventh.

Governor Nixon's veto sustained on Agenda 21 bill. News Tribune/AP. September 12, 2013. Missouri lawmakers have sustained the veto of legislation barring state or local officials from adopting policies infringing upon private property rights and traceable to Agenda 21....Agenda 21 is a nonbinding resolution adopted in 1992 by the United Nations that encouraged sustainable development. Its title is a reference to the 21st century, and it encourages changes in global consumption, management and conservation practices.

Environmentalists, industry back new Missouri water quality standards. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jeffrey Tomich. September 11, 2013. Environmentalists and industry groups differ on some aspects of a proposal to vastly expand the number of Missouri rivers, streams and lakes protected from E. coli bacteria and other toxic pollutants....But they agreed on Wednesday that the rule itself should be approved....That was the clear message during a 90-minute hearing before the Clean Water Commission, a citizens panel appointed by the governor that sets water policy in the state.

Department of Natural Resources recognized for online permitting process. DNR News Release. September 12, 2013. The Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) has selected DNR’s ePermitting program as one of three State Program Innovation Award winners for 2013. The award will be presented at the organization’s annual meeting later this month.

Columbia City Council adds 15% restriction on impervious surface as it OKs plan for subdivision next to Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Columbia Daily Tribune, Andrew Denny. September 4, 2013.The Columbia City Council approved an amended version of a controversial rezoning request to allow for the construction of a residential subdivision just north of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park that limits impervious surface to 15%.

August 2013

Snapping turtles finding refuge in urban areas while habitats are being polluted or developed, MU researcher finds. University of Missouri News Bureau. August 26, 2013. In the Midwest, people have a fear of encountering snapping turtles while swimming in local ponds, lakes and rivers. Now in a new study, a University of Missouri researcher has found that snapping turtles are surviving in urban areas as their natural habitats are being polluted or developed for construction projects. One solution is for people to stop using so many chemicals that are eventually dumped into the waterways, the scientist said.

Environmentalists sue MIssouri over renewable energy. AP/Kansas City Star. August 25, 2013.An environmental group has asked a Missouri judge to overturn the way state officials have implemented a 2008 ballot initiative meant to increase the use of renewable energy sources by power companies. ...The voter-approved measure requires investor-owned utilities to tap renewable energy sources for at least 5 percent of their electricity by 2014, with that amount rising to 10 percent by 2018 and 15 percent by 2021, the Jefferson City News Tribune reported.

35 acres of abandoned MO mine to be reclaimed. ABC 17 News. August 21, 2013. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources awarded a $609,942 contract to Pangea Group of St. Louis to reclaim surface-mined lands about two miles east of Millersburg. The land is on private property.

Missouri group sues Army Corps over pipeline plans. Springfield News-Leader. August 20, 2013. The Missouri Coalition for the Environment sued the Army Corps on Friday in federal district court in Washington, D.C. The group is represented by the Great Rivers Environmental Law Center, also of St. Louis....The coalition says it was improperly denied records sought under the federal Freedom of Information Act about Canadian company Enbridge’s plan to build a 600-mile oil pipeline from Illinois to Oklahoma.

Flanagan South Pipeline raises concerns, offers benefits to Missouri. Beacon, Tina Casagrand. August 19, 2013. ...These lessons(the Michigan pipeline spill) are worth remembering as Enbridge Energy, Inc., builds a new pipeline through Missouri. Called Flanagan South, the pipeline will run 600 miles between Pontiac, Ill. and Cushing, Okla. It carries more than twice the capacity of the failed pipeline in Michigan and is twinned beside another Enbridge pipe called Spearhead, 60 years Flanagan’s senior.

Lead company wants Missouri lawmakers to override veto of liability cap. Insurance Journal, David A. Lieb. August 19, 2013.A Missouri lead company has launched an aggressive effort to persuade lawmakers to override a gubernatorial veto of a bill that would shield it from large punitive damages in liability lawsuits.

American Water announces 2013 Environmental Grant Award recipients. WaterWorld. August 12, 2013. Missouri American Water is issuing five grants totaling $22,000 to the following organizations:

Missouri flooding forces campground evacuation, water rescues. Kansas City Star. August 8, 2013. Flash flooding was reported in southern Barry and Stone counties, including Roaring River State Park, after an estimated 6 inches of rain fell early Thursday.

 

July 2013

Alligator gar restored to Bootheel Conservation Areas. MDC News. July 30, 2013.The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) alligator gar stocking program that began in 2007 at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge has grown to extend throughout areas of Southeast Missouri. Christopher Kennedy, MDC’s Fisheries Regional Supervisor, said the project is part of the Department’s mission to protect and manage fish in the state.

Department of Natural Resources awards $500,000 to reduce pollution in Joplin Creek. MO DNR, July 29, 2013. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded an additional $500,000 to Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center in Joplin for water quality improvement projects in and around Joplin Creek and the Turkey Creek watershed. The funds will be used to support programs designed to reduce nonpoint source pollution caused by water runoff. They will also be used to continue educational efforts on water quality and watershed best management practices for students and the general public.

Department of Natural Resources awards $3 million to Jackson County Water Supply District No. 16. MO DNR, July 29, 2013. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded Public Water Supply District No. 16 of Jackson County a $3 million funding package for the addition of a new booster pump station and approximately 5,100 feet of drinking water piping....The funding package, which includes a $1.5 million grant and $1.5 million low-interest loan, will help pay for distribution system improvements to allow the district to purchase water from Independence, which has the capacity to meet the district’s drinking water needs for the next 20 years.

Pair of settlement agreements with responsible parties to clear way for $30 M cleanup of Carter Carburetor site in St. Louis MO. U.S. EPA. July 29, 2013. EPA Region 7 has reached settlement agreements with two corporations, enabling work to begin before the end of summer 2013 on a long-awaited $30 million environmental cleanup of the Carter Carburetor Superfund Site in North St. Louis, Mo....News of the separate settlements with ACF Industries, Inc.; and Carter Building Incorporated (CBI), was announced today by EPA officials and U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, Jr., at a community celebration event at the Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club, 2901 North Grand Avenue, adjacent to the Superfund site.

Peregrine falcon nests in Kansas City area produce 13 young birds. MDC News, Bill Graham. July 18, 2013. Peregrine falcons nesting high atop buildings and power plant smokestacks in the Kansas City area produced 13 offspring this spring. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and cooperating partners monitor five sites in the metro area where nest boxes are placed on structures.

Three entities in Missouri to receive total of $1.6 M in supplemental funds to clean and redevelop brownfields. U.S. EPA. Juy 15, 2013. The Environmental Improvement and Energy Resources Authority (EIERA), a quasi-governmental financing agency based in Jefferson City; and the St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) will each receive $300,000 to address hazardous substances and $200,000 to address petroleum contamination. The City of Springfield will receive $250,000 to address hazardous substances and $350,000 to address petroleum.

Blueways battle isn't over-two hearings set. News-Leader, Dierdre Shesgreen. July 11, 2013. The House Natural Resources Committee has agreed to hold a field hearing in West Plains to examine how and why the White River Watershed was initially designated to be part of the federal Blueways system.....“Earlier this month Southwest Missourians won an important victory when the U.S. Department of the Interior rescinded the National Blueway designation for the White River watershed,” Long said in a statement on Monday. But “there are still unanswered questions about the Interior Department’s Blueway program and their actions. We need these questions answered to help other states should the department take similar action on other rivers and watersheds across our nation.”

Lee's Summit archer takes third at NASP world championship. MDC News, Bill Graham. July 9, 2013. Shelby Winslow of Lee’s Summit recently scored 290 out of a possible 300 to win third place in an international archery tournament June 29 and 30. Winslow represented Summit Lakes Middle School at the 2013 NASP World Championship in St. Louis. The tourney is part of the National Archery in Schools Program.

A new invasive species in Missouri - Spotted Wing Drosophila. Missouri Beginning Farmers website, Debi Kelly. July 8, 2013. A couple of weeks ago the LU IPM (integrated pest management) program started the first-ever monitoring system for Spotted Wing Drosophila, (Drosophila suzukii), (SWD) using funds provided by a MO Department of Ag grant. SWD has been detected in three Missouri farms: St. Charles (June 26, 2013), Truxton (June 26, 2013), and Rogersville (near Springfield, June 27, 2013). These farms are the first ones where we deployed monitoring traps.

Arkansas' troubled Buffalo River, like the Current, needs attention. St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial, Kally Coleman. July 7, 2013. The Friends of Ozark Riverways, joined by several Arkansas environmental groups, is pushing for better regulations and tougher enforcement for the Current and its tributary Jacks Fork. The Current was the first river to be placed under the stewardship of the National Park Service. Now its sister across the border, the Buffalo River, the Ozark’s Arkansas jewel, is facing similar threats.

Nixon axes 'Agenda 21' legislation. Missouri Net. July 1, 2013. Nixon states in a press release that he has struck down two pieces of legislation that would have imposed new mandates on local communities in an attempt to solve problems that do not exist, including a decades-old nonbinding United Nations’ resolution known as “Agenda 21” and supposed threats to federal holidays. One of the bills, House Bill 278, would have hampered efforts by local governments to enforce existing fireworks ordinances around July 4, he says.

June 2013

White River's Blueway designation prompts backlash from conservation groups, state agencies. Kansas City Star, Heather Hollingsworth (AP). June 29, 2013. One-time backers of naming it a National Blueway say concerns that the designation could lead to new regulations are unfounded. But they’re still planning to send letters this coming week to the Department of the Interior asking that the designation be stripped. They say the designation has become too contentious and that there’s little upside to keeping it.

Monsanto receives Gulf Guardian Award for Mississippi River Watershed Partnership. PRNewswire. June 27, 2013. At a ceremony last night in Tampa Bay, Fla., the Environmental Protection Agency's Gulf of Mexico Program recognized Monsanto Company with the First Place 2013 Gulf Guardian Award in the Business/Industry Category for the company's Mississippi River Watershed Partnership. The Gulf of Mexico Program applauded the efforts of Monsanto and its partners for their efforts in environmental stewardship for the benefit of the Gulf of Mexico....The Mississippi River Watershed Partnership aimed to reduce nutrient runoff and sediment movement into the largest river system in the United States. Monsanto contributed a total of $5 million in financial support to agricultural and conservation groups—Delta Wildlife, The National Audubon Society and The Nature Conservancy—that worked with farmers and urban areas to help reduce runoff into the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.

SunCoke reaches deal with EPA over air pollution claims. St. Louis Business Journal, Diana Barr. June 27, 2013. SunCoke Energy and two subsidiaries agreed to pay nearly $2 million to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at the Gateway Energy and Coke plant in Granite City and the Haverhill Coke plant in Ohio....The agreement, announced Wednesday by the U.S. Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency, calls for the companies to also spend $255,000 on a lead abatement project for low-income residences in Southern Illinois. SunCoke is based in Lisle, Ill.

Bear confirmed in Benton County. MO Department of Conservation, Bill Graham. June 27, 2013. A black bear confirmed in Benton County on Tuesday, June 25, could be the same one that has been on a path through Barton, Vernon and Bates counties in recent weeks. The bear was in brush near a field beside Route C about five miles west of Lincoln. A citizen notified Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC ) Agent David Harms about the bear. Agent Harms responded, confirmed the sighting, and took some distant photos.

Angry residents tell EPA officials to remove West Lake nuclear waste. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jeffry Tomich. June 26, 2013. The regional head of the Environmental Protection Agency came to the St. Louis area Tuesday night to quell fears about tons of radioactive waste buried at the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton....But a public meeting that drew hundreds of people to Pattonville High School only stoked more anger and frustration among north St. Louis County residents searching for answers.

Two state park beaches remain temporarily closed for water quality issues. MO Department of Natural Resources. June 26, 2013. Even though bacteria levels at Lake of the Ozarks’ Grand Glaize beach located in Osage Beach and Harry S Truman’s public beach located in Warsaw were minimal, the beaches will remain closed because the overall geometric mean exceeds the department’s standard for state park beaches. Once tests from the public beaches indicate the geometric means are within the standard suitable for swimming, the beaches will reopen.

Cape Girardeau sinkholes grow in size, number. SE Missourian, Samantha Rinehart. June 20, 2013. Cape Girardeau public works director Tim Gramling on Wednesday said continued Mississippi River flooding means the sinkholes that have shown up in the South Sprigg Street area remain "active" with the potential to grow.

Henry Oates is Missouri winner for White House "Healthy Lunchtime Challenge". Recipe Challenge Website. June 20, 2013. Henry Oates, age 8, of Adrian Missouri, won for Missouri with "Confetti Peanut-Ginger Party Pasta"

Arch Coal wants new hearing in battle with EPA. St. Louis Business Journal, Staff. June 14, 2013. Arch Coal Inc. has requested a rehearing in its long-running battle with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the agency's veto of a water pollution permit for a West Virginia mine.

Receding flood waters reveal extensive damage at Columbia Bottom. MO Department of Conservation, Dan Zarlenga. June 13, 2013. The massive flood waters that crested the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area levee June 2 and toppled the State Champion eastern cottonwood tree also left a large portion of the area’s road system devastated, among other damage.

St. Louis Community College selected to receive $199,994 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant. EPA Region 7 Newsroom, Belinda Young. June 13, 2013. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7 today announced that St. Louis Community College (SLCC) has been selected to receive $199,994 to train unemployed and underemployed residents of St. Louis in hazardous waste cleanup....Residents who are unemployed, receive public assistance, or are low-income employed and living within the St. Louis metropolitan area, including the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County in Missouri, and East St. Louis and surrounding counties in Illinois, will be recruited for this training program....Through this training program, SLCC plans to graduate 81 students, place 55 graduates in environmental jobs, and track graduates for one year.

Endangered American burying beetle gets second release on MDC Prairie. MO Department of Conservation, Bill Graham. June 12, 2013. Scientists working to restore a unique and endangered insect to Missouri -- the American burying beetle -- got some good news recently. And for the second year they released captive-propagated beetles at the Wah’Kon-Tah Prairie....Crews checking insect traps near last year’s release site found a female American burying beetle that survived winter, said Bob Merz, who directs the recovery program for the insect at the Saint Louis Zoo. Merz and conservation partners released 302 additional pairs on June 4 to help restore a highly unusual insect.

Elevated lead levels found in songbirds in southeast Missouri. USGS Newsroom. June 12, 2013. About half of ground-feeding songbirds collected from a historic lead mining district in southeast Missouri contained toxic levels of lead in their blood and internal organs, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study. Elevated lead levels were also found in soils and earthworms in the lead district sites examined, which included the "Missouri Mines" in the Old Lead Belt; "Washington State Park," on the Big River floodplain; and the “Viburnum Trend," within Mark Twain National Forest.

EPA Grant of $200,000 awarded to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. EPA Region 7 Newsroom, Denise Morrison. June 11, 2013. EPA has awarded a $200,000 Environmental Education Grant to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., for a collaborative project to teach health care students about pediatric environmental health and healthy homes, with emphasis on indoor air quality and pesticide use in homes....The Environmental Education for Health Care Initiative will provide students with information on the health effects that can occur from environmental exposures in homes, such as asthma, lead poisoning and skin reactions from pesticides. This project will provide in-depth knowledge about environmental health and home-related hazards. Students will learn how to take a basic environmental history and provide an overview of how to perform environmental health assessments using a combination of visual assessment techniques.

Need for solid waste management districts questioned. News-Leader, Jonathan Shorman. June 10, 2013. Before the 2013 legislative session began in January, Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, filed a bill to eliminate Solid Waste Management Districts. The bill did not pass, but lawmakers have instead taken steps to examine whether the districts are needed....The districts are responsible for nominating recycling and reuse projects to receive grant money from the state. The money comes from a fee collected on every ton of waste deposited in a landfill. Currently, the charge is $2.11 a ton. The Department of Natural Resources takes a portion of the fee for itself. The rest is given to the waste management districts.

Governor Nixon launches 100 Missouri Miles Challenge to encourage physical activity. Govenor's Website. June 8, 2013. Gov. Jay Nixon and First Lady Georganne Nixon today were joined by local parks officials as well as fitness and outdoor enthusiasts in Forest Park in St. Louis to launch the Governor's 100 Missouri Miles Challenge. The challenge encourages Missourians to complete "100 Missouri Miles" of physical activity by the end of the year, while enjoying the incredible outdoor resources found in the Show-Me State. Missourians taking the challenge can register through www.mo.gov, and track their progress alongside the Governor's and First Lady's. Missourians can also connect with the challenge through Facebook and Twitter.

St. Louis area state champion tree toppled by violent storms. MO Department of Conservation, Dan Zarlenga. June 7, 2013. The Missouri State Champion eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoids) was toppled May 31, apparently the casualty of extremely strong winds, says the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). The tree was located on Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in Spanish Lake.

EPA conducting sampling at the HPI Products Inc. site in St. Joseph, MO. EPA Region 7 Newsroom, Ben Washburn. June 6, 2013. EPA Region 7 is conducting sampling at the HPI Products Inc. site at 1300 S. 8th Street in St. Joseph, Mo. EPA is conducting pesticide, herbicide, and metals sampling at the site of a grain elevator demolition, due to a potential chemical release during the demolition....HPI Products began the elevator demolition without consultation with the EPA. Upon learning of the demolition, EPA halted the work at the site pending sampling to determine if there is a human health risk associated with the demolition of the elevator....No further demolition or work will be completed until the sampling results are final, which is expected to be in the second half of June.

Nature Conservancy wins Clean Water Award from the Open Space Council. Nature Conservancy. June 3, 2013. The Nature Conservancy has been awarded the prestigious William C. Shock Water Conservancy Award by the Open Space Council of the St. Louis Region. The award recognizes the Conservancy’s achievements as a leader in Missouri freshwater conservation....'The leadership, good science and stewardship provided by the Conservancy and its staff and board has helped to truly create a more livable environment and healthy waters for fish, wildlife, present and future generations of Missourians,” said Ron Coleman, Executive Director of the Open Space Council.

River communities prepare for flooding. WPSD, Kathryn DiGisi. June 3, 2013. The Mississippi River is expected to crest Thursday at Cape Girardeau 13 feet above flood stage.The Corp of Engineers says Cape Girardeau and Dutchtown will be most heavily affected.They do not expect this particular flood to reach the Birds-Point, New Madrid Floodway area.The flood gates are closed on Broadway and Water Street in Cape Girardeau.

May 2013

Molly Rockamon honored by Lady Godiva Program for environmental work. May 2013. Molly initially founded EarthDance to preserve the Mueller Farm. The Mueller family had been growing organic food for the St. Louis region since 1883 and Molly saw a need to preserve this historic farm. In 2009, Rockamann inaugurated the nation’s first part-time Organic Farming Apprenticeship Program, turning the Mueller Farm into a regional hub for growing food, farmers, and community. Since then, EarthDance has graduated 94 beginning farmers, and reaches more than 5,000 people annually through its Community Supported Agriculture program, farm tours, youth programs, and participation in local farmers markets.

PAUSE students build pollinator habitat. St. Louis Post Dispatch Photo Essay, Christian Gooden. May 31, 2013. PAUSE participants built a sculpture that will serve as a habitat for leaf cutter bees and other bee species native to Missouri at the St. Louis Zoo maintenance facility on Thursday, May 30, 2013. The piece, which is made from all recycled parts, will be placed in a Florissant community garden created to help foster bee pollination for the PAUSE (Pollinators, Art, Urban Agriculture, Society and the Environment) program. PAUSE is supported by Museums Connect and The St. Louis Zoo is the facilitator.

EPA settlement raises questions about coal ash in Missouri. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jeffrey Tomich. May 31, 2013. The owner of a Jefferson County business reached a settlement with regulators requiring the repair of environmental damage at a site where 140,000 tons of Ameren Missouri coal ash was dumped....The Environmental Protection Agency claims unauthorized disposal of ash, which contains harmful metal such as arsenic, chromium and selenium, fouled wetlands, a tributary to Plattin Creek and part of Willers Lake in Jefferson County. All of the ash came from Ameren’s Rush Island plant just a couple of miles away.

Washington will receive a federal grant for historic preservation project. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. May 31, 2013. Washington will receive a $15,000 grant through the federal Historic Preservation Fund, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources announced today. The city, which is a Certified Local Government, will use the grant to complete a reconnaissance-level historic survey of all properties along Fifth Street from Louis Street east to Highway 47. The grant project will also include revising the boundaries for the Downtown Washington Historic District that was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1989 and the John B. Busch Brewery Historic District that was listed in the National Register in 2000.

Four state park beaches temporarily closed for water quality issues. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. May 30, 2013. The state park beaches at Finger Lakes located in Columbia, Harry S Truman located in Warsaw and Wakonda located in La Grange are closed following results of water samples taken Tuesday that indicated bacteria levels higher than those recommended for waters used for swimming. Earlier this week, the state park beach at Thousand Hills located in Kirksville closed due to flooding. The beach remains closed due to flooding as well as high bacteria levels.

Baby peregrine falcons stirring in the Commerce Tower nest. Missouri Department of Conservation, Bill Graham. May 29, 2013. At least three peregrine falcon chicks are stirring in their nest on a ledge at the Commerce Tower skyscraper, said Joe DeBold, an urban wildlife biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). The eggs hatched late last week and the falcon family can be watched on live streaming video at mdc.mo.gov/node/21769

Smouldering landfill could threaten nuclear waste. St. Louis Post Dispatch, AP. May 29, 2013. Just below the surface of the Bridgeton Landfill, a layer of trash has been burning since at least 2010, fueled by an underground reaction of decomposing waste. The smoldering causes a noxious odor so overpowering that people in surrounding neighborhoods are reluctant to come out of their homes. Republic Services, the Phoenix-based owner of Bridgeton, is spending millions of dollars to ease the smell problem....But the smell is just the most immediate concern. Environmentalists are alarmed by the possibility that the fire could someday reach the nuclear waste in the neighboring West Lake Landfill, owned by a subsidiary of Republic Services.

Wal-Mart and EPA settle civil case. EPAChemical Cleanup Enforcement Cases. May 28, 2013. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has reached agreement with Walmart to resolve violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The violations resulted from the mismanagement of hazardous waste at Walmart stores across the country and the mismanagement of damaged pesticide containers by Walmart and its contractor, Greenleaf LLC, at the Greenleaf facility in Neosha, Missouri. To resolve the violations of RCRA and FIFRA, Walmart entered into an administrative Consent Agreement and Final Order, which includes injunctive relief obligations to prevent future violations.

Feds estimate cost of saving cave-dwelling fish in Missouri. Kansas City Star, AP. May 26, 2013. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's estimate of the cost of saving a small cave-dwelling fish in southeast Missouri ranges from $140,000 to $4 million over the next 18 years. The service said the cost for protecting the grotto sculpin in Perry County depends largely on the value of existing efforts, as well as whether the species is classified as endangered and if the area where it lives is designated a critical habitat.

Young volunteers build healthy environment, one yard at a time. Kansas City Star, Mark Davis. May 25, 2013. It was the fourth Saturday in the month, the day the group of 48 youngsters tackle community projects. The mowing targeted a few abandoned homes near the Lucile H. Bluford Library in midtown, where the boys meet most Saturdays of each month....Saturday’s project meant lots of raking and picking up trash along with mowing by older members of the program, who got training from a local lawn service. Other Saturday sessions have helped Harvesters and local churches.

Striped bass to be stocked in Bull Shoals. Missouri Department of Conservation, Francis Skalicky. May 16, 2013. Thanks to a cooperative effort that involved input from anglers in Missouri and Arkansas, area “striper” anglers will soon have increased opportunities to hook this popular catch at Bull Shoals Reservoir. Later this summer, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) staff will produce 16,000 fingerlings and stock them on the Missouri side of this popular Ozarks reservoir, which spans portions of Arkansas and Taney and Ozark counties in the Show-Me State. This will be the inaugural event of an every-other-year stocking plan that will use fish raised at MDC hatcheries.

Five year Missouri poaching case against 46 ends in federal court. Missouri Department of Conservation, Candice Davis. May 13, 2013. The investigation began in the fall of 2008, when the MDC’s special investigation unit set up an operation targeting illegal poaching activity that was occurring on the Mark Twain National Forest in Ripley County. MDC joined with the USFWS and the US Attorney’s office in St. Louis on operation “Pulling Wool” to stop the deer dogging activity. Deer dogging is illegal and is commonly found in Missouri’s Ozark country in the south-central part of the state. The practice includes using dogs to run deer toward shooters strategically set up at known deer crossings.

Drivers of natural gas powered vehicles to get more places to fill 'em up. Kansas City Star, Steve Everly. May 13, 2013. After months of talks, officials are nearing a deal with Clean Energy Fuels, which owns and operates natural-gas stations across the country, to open one in Kansas City. It would provide compressed natural gas to city-owned vehicles as well as to other fleets and the public.

Missouri FFA/High School Trap Championship draws 850 students. Missouri Department of Conservation, Joe Jerek. May 6, 2013. Austin Harris of St. Charles, Nate Carl of Liberty, Jess Johnson of St. Charles, Jonathon Wolf of Washburn, and Taylor Kennemer of Logan all had perfect scores for the day, forcing a shoot-off to decide the top overall shooter. After an additional three rounds of 25 clay birds, Johnson from the Gateway Claybusters of St. Charles came out on top with a 175 for 175 score....Top honors for the Ladies Division went to Cecilia Young of House Springs with a score of 99 out of 100. The top scoring team was Gateway Claybusters Team Orange with a score of 496 out of 500.

2013 spring turkey harvest ticks up another notch. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jim Low. May 6, 2013.Hunters shot 42,220 turkeys during Missouri’s regular spring turkey season. That is an increase of 1,773, or 4 percent, from 2012....Top harvest counties during the regular spring turkey season April 15 through May 5 were Franklin with 996 birds checked, Texas with 879, and Callaway with 710....This year’s spring turkey season was the safest on record, with only one firearms-related hunting incident reported. That incident was nonfatal and occurred during the regular season.

April 2013

EPA to recognize St. Louis Cardinals for reducing food waste. EPA Region 7, Kris Lancaster. April 26, 2013. EPA Region 7 will recognize the St. Louis Cardinals baseball club for efforts to divert, donate and compost food waste around Busch Stadium, in an on-field ceremony prior to the Cardinals-Reds game on Monday, April 29. Check out the 4aGreener Game initiative at http://stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/stl/ticketing/group_theme.jsp?loc=greenweek

EPA honors Missouri University of Science and Technology Student and Faculty Team in Campus RainWorks Challenge Competition. EPA Region 7, Kris Lancaster. April 22, 2013. EPA announced today that the Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Mo., was awarded second prize among small institutions in EPA’s first-ever Campus RainWorks Challenge competition.....

Fourth grade students from Ellisville, MO to receive EPA Region 7's 2012 President's Environmental Youth Award. EPA Region 7, Denise Morrison. April 22, 2013. Fourth grade students from the Rockwood School District’s Center for Creative Learning in Ellisville, Mo., have been selected to receive EPA Region 7’s 2012 President’s Environmental Youth Award for their work on an Action4Air vehicle anti-idling campaign to reduce idling at the Center for Creative Learning.....

Missouri Senate votes to cut funding for recycling program. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Viginia Young. April 22, 2013.The state budget that the Missouri Senate is considering would chop funding for a statewide recycling grant program, a move that recycling advocates call shortsighted.....

White deer seen again in the Lake of the Ozarks area. Missouri Department of Conservation, Bill Graham. April 22, 2013. Seeing a white color phase of a white-tail deer is rare. But Michael Utt of Sugar Creek now has photographs of two different white deer. Utt is watching them along with other deer in a small herd on private land near Lake of the Ozarks....

MIssouri named "Best Trails State" in America by National trails group. Office of Mo Governor. April 17, 2013. Missouri has been named the "Best Trails State" by American Trails, a national, nonprofit organization working on behalf of the nation's hiking, biking and riding trails. The award was announced today at the International Trails Symposium in Arizona. The national award is presented every two years to the state that has made tremendous contributions to promote and improve their trails system.....

Ameren offers plan for Illinois coal ash ponds. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jeffrey Tomich. April 16, 2013. As the owner of a fleet of aging coal-fired power plants, Ameren Corp. is no stranger to state and federal environmental regulators issuing new rules.....But the company turned the tables last week, proposing its own set of regulations in Illinois — plans that are already generating skepticism......

MSU, CU, City of Springfield to get forestry honors. MIssouri Department of Conservation, Francis Skalicky. April 15, 2013. Missouri State University receives Tree Campus USA honors from the National Arbor Day Foundation, City Utilities of Springfield receives 19th Tree Line USA award from the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters, and The City of Springfield receives a Tree City USA designation for the 28th year.....

Prairie chicken release will give Dunn Ranch flock a boost. Missouri Department of Conservation, Bill Graham. April 15, 2013. Seven prairie chicken hens on Thursday, April 11, cackled at sunrise in southwest Nebraska, and at dusk glided over the Dunn Ranch Prairie in northwest Missouri. Biologists trapped, moved and released the birds to carry tiny radio transmitters for research and new hope for a signature species critically endangered in Missouri.....

Rewards offered for information on bald eagle shootings in Clay and Caldwell counties. Missouri Department of Conservation, Bill Graham. April 12, 2013. Agents for the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are investigating the shooting deaths of two bald eagles. Cash rewards are available for information leading to convictions in the cases.....

Recognition grows for St. Charles Community College's tree advocacy. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Sarah Baraba. April 11, 2013. For the third year in a row, St. Charles Community College has been named a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.....SCC is one of only three colleges in Missouri to be recognized by the program, which honors schools for effective campus forest management and engaging the campus in conservation efforts. Washington University in St. Louis and William Woods University in Fulton also hold the title.....

EPA teams with KC Chiefs for April 20 Recycling Drive. EPA Region 7, Kris Lancaster. April 8, 2013.EPA Region 7 and the Kansas City Chiefs today announced Extra Yard for the Environment, the football club’s sustainability initiative. The program is designed to devise and implement new green policies for the Kansas City Chiefs while raising awareness for green efforts at Arrowhead Stadium, the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex and for fans at home.....

Progress made in SEMO against feral hogs. Missouri Department of Conservation, Candice Davis. April 8, 2013.The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) continues the fight against invasive feral hogs in Missouri. In its Southeast Region, MDC and public- land partners have eradicated 165 hogs from Southeast Missouri (SEMO) public lands in Reynolds, Iron, Wayne, Stoddard and Pemiscot counties. An additional six hogs were reported taken by private landowners.....

Babler Elementary student Julie Thompson wins 2013 Missouri Arbor Day Poster Contest. Missouri Department of Conservation, Dan Zarlenga. April 8, 2013. Julie Thompson, a fifth-grade student at Babler Elementary School, recently won the 2013 Missouri Arbor Day Poster Contest. There were more than 1,200 entries from fifth-grade students all over Missouri..... Julie Thompsons winning Missouri Arbor Day 2013 Poster

State auditor to look at hazardous waste, brownfield programs.St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jeremy Kohler. April 5, 2013. Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich says his office will audit the state agency assigned to protect the environment and public health from hazardous waste, after Post-Dispatch stories that exposed problems with oversight at the cleanup of the former Carondelet Coke site in St. Louis that has cost taxpayers millions of dollars....

Tyson Foods Inc. to pay $3.95M penalty for Clean Air Act violations at facilities in Iowas, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Green Environment News/EPA. April 5, 2013. As part of a consent decree lodged today in U.S. District Court in Saint Louis, Mo., Tyson has agreed to conduct pipe-testing and third-party audits of its ammonia refrigeration systems to enhance compliance with the Clean Air Act's Risk Management Plan requirements at all 23 of the company's facilities in the 4 Midwestern states.....

Kansas City creating hundreds of miles of bike routes. News-Leader/AP. April 4, 2013. Kansas City public works crews have begun installing signs designating 352 lane-miles of bicycle routes throughout the city as part of a plan to create a 600-mile bikeway system.....

Refuge portion of Peck Ranch closed until July 1. Missouri Department of Conservation Candice Davis. April 1, 2013. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will close the refuge portion of Peck Ranch Conservation Area to turkey hunting to permit the third stage of the Department’s elk restoration project. Hunters who normally hunt on the area’s wildlife refuge portion will need to make alternate plans for the 2013 spring turkey season. The refuge will be closed from April 1 until July 1.....

Schools trash litter through No MO Trash Contest. Missouri Department of Conservation, Joe Jerek. April 1, 2013. Southwest Livingston County R-1, Littlejohn Homeschool in West Plains and Cowgill R-VI Elementary were winners in the 2013 “Yes You CAN Make Missouri Litter Free” trashcan-decorating contest. They were among 18 Missouri elementary and middle schools and almost 200 students who helped fight litter by participating in the annual contest sponsored by the Missouri Departments of Conservation (MDC) and Transportation (MoDOT).... Southwest Livingston R1, winner of 2013 NOMO Trash Can Decorating Contest

Christian County commissioner opposes "Right to Farm" proposal. News-Leader, Rance Burger. April 1, 2013. The"Right to Farm" bill proposes an amendment to the Missouri Constitution that, if approved by voters, would bar any state farming regulations from being enacted without approval of the Missouri General Assembly. Ex-State Lawmaker Ray Weter, now the Christian County Eastern District commissioner, sees the language as having potential to hinder county governments from regulating agriculture in their respective counties.....

March 2013

Missouri infrastructure grade card. Association of Civil Engineers. March 29, 2013.This report card is issued every four years. See how MO's infrastructure stacks up and compares with other states and the nation on high hazard dams, drinking water, road quality, bridges, wastewater and other infrastructure.

More than 1,430 students compete in state archery tournament. Missouri Department of Conservation, Joe Jerek. March 27, 2013. The fifth annual Missouri National Archery in the Schools (MoNASP) state tournament, held March 22-23 at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, drew 1,438 student archers in grades 4-12 from 74 schools across the state. Despite a weather forecast predicting snow, the event drew more than 7,500 observers and supporters.

Chronic Wasting Disease confined to LInn-Macon County core area. Missouri Department of Conservation, Joe Jerek. March 26, 2013. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has confirmed four more cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in free-ranging deer. The four deer were among 102 harvested in January and February in the CWD Core Area of Linn and Macon counties. The Core Area is comprised of a 29-square-mile block along the northern part of the Linn- and Macon-county border where CWD was first detected in free-ranging deer in early 2012. The intensive sampling effort was conducted by MDC and participating landowners to monitor infection rates, and limit the spread of the disease by reducing local deer numbers.

Ameren Missouri Labadie Energy Center submits application for utility landfill. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. March 25, 2013. The proposed utility waste landfill will be used to dispose of utility wastes from coal-powered energy production. The proposed site is located at 226 Labadie Power Plant Road about 2.5 miles northeast of the town of Labadie and immediately southeast of the Missouri River in northeast Franklin County.

White Nose Syndrome found in Franklin, Washington counties. Missouri Department of Conservation, Joe Jerek. March 22, 2013. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Wildlife Health Center has confirmed that a deadly disease in bats called “White Nose Syndrome” (WNS) has been recently found in a little brown bat and a tri-colored bat from a public cave in Washington County. The USGS has also confirmed that WNS has been recently found in a little brown bat and a northern long-eared bat from two public caves in Franklin County. All three caves are closed to the public, and cave names are not being disclosed to prevent disturbance of remaining bats.

Green America Recycling receives final hazardous waste permit modifications. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. March 22, 2013. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has approved hazardous waste permit modifications that would allow a Marion County recycling company to convert processed solid hazardous waste into a clean synthetic gas to be used as alternative fuel for a cement kiln operated by Continental Cement Company LLC at the same location.

MO DNR awards Linn MO $3.5 million in grants and loans for drinking water system. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. March 22, 2013. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded the city of Linn funding totaling more than $3.5 million for improvements to the city’s drinking water system......The city will use the grant and loan as part of a funding package for the addition of a new well capable of producing 350 gallons of water per minute, the addition of a new 200,000-gallon elevated storage tank, the replacement of old existing water lines with approximately 5,400 feet of six-inch diameter water lines and approximately 4,300 feet of 10-inch water lines.

MO DNR refers Republic Services' Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill to MO Attorney General for enforcement. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. March 21, 2013. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has referred Republic Services Inc. to Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster for violations of Missouri’s environmental laws (Air Quality provisions) at and around the Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill.

DNA shows hunter-shot canine from October to be wandering wolf. Missouri Department of Conservation, Joe Jerek. March 20, 2013. Last fall, a hunter in Howard County shot what has been recently confirmed by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) to be a wolf. According to MDC Resource Scientist and Furbearer Biologist Jeff Beringer, tissue samples from the 81-pound male animal, mistaken as a coyote by the hunter, were sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for genetic testing. Recently received DNA test results confirm that the animal was a gray wolf from the Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin or Michigan.

MDC and federal agents snag major paddlefish poaching operation. Missouri Department of Conservation, Joe Jerek. March 14, 2013. Known as the “Paddlefish Capital of the World,” Warsaw, Missouri, is a favorite area for many of Missouri’s approximately 16,000 sport paddlefish snaggers because of its location along the Osage River. Agents with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) discovered that the Warsaw area is also a favorite location for paddlefish poachers.

Boone County resident fined for littering on a conservation area. Missouri Department of Conservation, Joanie Straub. March 13, 2013. It doesn’t pay to litter. That is the lesson a Boone County resident learned in February after receiving the maximum littering fine of $1,000 plus court costs for dumping trash at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Hartsburg Access Conservation Area (CA).

Missouri State Parks attendance tops more than 18 million in 2012. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. March 8, 2013. Gov. Jay Nixon today announced that attendance at Missouri’s State Parks increased in 2012, another sign of Missouri’s economic recovery. More that 18 million guests visited Missouri’s State Parks in 2012, the fourth consecutive increase in attendance since Gov. Nixon took office, reversing a 10-year decline in parks attendance.....An economic impact study for the Missouri state park system released in 2012 reported that the total annual expenditure of state parks visitors in 2011 was approximately $778 million. The overall economic impact of these expenditures is estimated at $1.02 billion in sales, $307 million in payroll and related income, and $123 million in federal, state, and local taxes. Also, visitors’ expenditures support 14,535 jobs in Missouri.

February 2013

Sequester impacts education and environment in Missouri. St. Louis Business Journal, Greta Weiderman. February 25, 2013. Teachers and schools: $11.9 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 160 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition, about 17,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 60 fewer schools would receive funding. Education for children with disabilities: $10.8 million in funds for about 130 teachers, aides and staff who help children with disabilities. Work-study jobs: Around 1,280 fewer low income students in Missouri would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 750 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college. Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 1,200 children in Missouri. Protections for clean air and clean water: $3.7 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Missouri could lose another $1.2 million in grants for fish and wildlife protection. Military readiness:Approximately 8,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $40.3 million in total.

Wydown Middle School students launch campaign to ban plastic bags in Clayton. Riverfront Times, Aimee Levitt. February 21, 2013. There are approximately 16,000 residents of Clayton. If each of them throws away eighteen plastic bags a year, they would collectively generate enough oil to drive a car around the equator 17.8 times. Why anybody would want to do that is a complete mystery, but this factoid, generated by a group of eighth graders at Wydown Middle School neatly illustrates the sheer wastefulness of one-time-use plastic bags....It's also inspired them to launch a campaign to ban plastic bags from the city of Clayton. Similar programs are already in place in many towns and cities the states that you would mostly like suspect: California, Colorado, Washington State.

MIssouri v. United Nations: Lyle Rowland's Bill against international green plan advances. Riverfront times, Sam Levin. February 21, 2013. Meet House Bill 42, known at the Capitol as the "Agenda 21 bill" -- in reference to a non-binding U.N. agreement signed by 178 nations as a sustainable development pledge. (21 refers to the 21st century).... The agreement was signed in 1992 when George H. W. Bush was president.... These kinds of proposals have popped up around the country from conservative lawmakers that say they're worried the U.N agreement -- which, again, is not actually binding -- could somehow be used in the U.S. as a means for government to steal private property.

Lake organization receives grant to study Normac Sewer District. Missouri Department of Natural Resources News Release. February 19, 2013.The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded $41,000 to the Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Governments to study the possibility of extending the Normac Sewer District in Camden County. ...The sewer line extension feasibility study will help the council understand past precedent and establish a future vision for the land to outline the best plan for extension of the existing collection system. Extending the existing system will add more customers, which will lower the monthly rates being paid by current Normac Sewer District customers. Adding more customers to the district will also benefit the environment as it will reduce the number of permitted outflow points and on-site (septic) wastewater systems in the area.

SEC schools dive into academics with renewable energy. Athens Banner-Herald, Lee Shearer. February 11. 2013. About 400 researchers, students and administrators have gathered at Atlanta’s Hyatt Regency to present academic papers and talk about renewable energy at the first “SEC Symposium.”....Hank Seltzer of the University of Missouri talked about that school’s new energy plant that will use waste wood and other so-called “biomass” as fuel instead of traditional coal and gas, for example, while Auburn University sociologist Conner Bailey pointed out that the areas where forests are most abundant in the South also tend to be the areas of highest poverty.

Senators start Mississippi River Caucus. Columbia Daily Tribune. February 8, 2013. Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri and Democrat Tom Harkin of Iowa announced plans for the caucus that also will seek to help communities along the nation's longest waterway.....The caucus will bring together leaders from the 10 Mississippi River states to encourage navigation, promote commerce and prevent destructive floods, Blunt said.

MDC confirms mountain lion at Peck Ranch. Missouri Department of Conservation, Joe Jerek. February 6, 2013. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has confirmed the presence of a mountain lion on the Department’s Peck Ranch Conservation Area in northwest Carter and eastern Shannon counties. The confirmation is based on trail camera photos taken Feb. 2, and the carcass of an elk calf found on the conservation area that showed feeding consistent with that of a mountain lion. Elk are among natural prey for mountain lions.

Department of Natural Resources issues an order to take control of collecting air quality data at Bridgeton Landfill. Missouri Department of Natural Resources News Release. February 1, 2013. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources today issued an Order to Republic Service Inc., which owns Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill, stating that the department will begin collecting air quality data at the landfill. The Order also instructs the company to pay for costs associated with this data collection, and to not interfere with the department’s data collection operations.

January 2013

Bald Eagle shot near Williamsville. KFVS, Christy Hendricks. January 31, 2013. The Missouri Department of Conservation is searching for whoever may have shot a bald eagle in Wayne County....A landowner with property on County Road 417 about 1/4 mile south of Hwy. 49 near Williamsville reported an injured immature bald eagle on his property on Jan. 30....The eagle was taken to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for treatment, but it died that night.... The bird had been shot.

Ameren asks regulator for permission to build landfill in Franklin Co. for coal ash. St. Louis Business Journal, staff. January 31, 2013. Ameren wants to expand its Labadie Energy Center by 813 acres to add the coal ash landfill, The Missourian reports. The company wants to add the facility because its two coal ash storage ponds are close to capacity.

Cancer cluster in north St. Louis? KSDK, Leisa Zigman. January 31, 2013. There are radioactive secrets beneath the banks and waters of a north St. Louis County creek that may be linked to a staggering number of cancers, illnesses and birth defects. In four square miles, there are three reported cases of conjoined twins and cancer rates that one data expert says is statistically impossible... The area contains a disposal site for Mallinckrodt Chemial Works' 1940's uranimum purification program. see a map of the clusters here

BMP cost-share funds available for loggers and landowners. MDC, Joe Jerek. January 30, 2013. Loggers and landowners can both benefit from a Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) pilot cost-share incentive program called the Best Management Practices (BMPs) Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG). The grants are focused on encouraging timber harvesters to use good practices that protect soil and water on private land timber sales in 57 counties across the state.

Jefferson County water district #8 receives $520,000 for drinking water improvements. MO DNR. January 28, 2013.The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded Jefferson County Public Water Supply District No. 8 $520,000 in funding for drinking water system improvements that are expected to increase the existing well capacity to meet the maximum demand for the district through 2028. Funding for the grant and loan comes from the Missouri Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

EPA allows more flexibility for MO in CWA compliance. EPA News Release, Kris Lancaster. January 28, 2013. The state's regulations previously allowed no more than three years for a permittee, such as municipal sewage treatment plants and industrial facilities, to come into compliance with its NPDES permit. Due to the limits of current technology for controlling some pollutants, full compliance is not always possible within a three-year period. Missouri's new regulation now allows for a longer compliance period, in accordance with federal regulations.

Veolia Water faces scrutiny (in St. Louis) after award of consulting contract. La Jeune Politique, Olga Symeonglou. January 27, 2013. In early November, the St. Louis Water Division awarded a consulting contract to the French company Veolia Water. The contract was to be voted on December 19 at the Estimate and Apportionment committee meeting, but was put off due to concerns raised by various citizens and organizations. The strong backlash was against what some see as Veolia’s checkered history in both social and environmental issues.

POET to idle Macon, MO ethanol plant due to lack of available local corn. BioFuels Journal. January 25, 2013. The Macon plant will temporarily suspend operations, putting its 44 team members to work assisting with intallation of approximately $14.5 million in plant upgrades.The plant will also continue to purchase corn for future use, although there is currently no timeline for operations to resume. The plant was hit hard by the effects of the area-wide drought on the corn crop within its range of operations.

White Nose Syndrome confirmed in bat at Onandaga Cave. MO DNR. January 25, 2013.Missouri State Parks has received confirmation that a bat found in the entrance of Onondaga Cave at Onondaga Cave State Park in Crawford County has tested positive with white-nose syndrome. WNS spreads mainly through bat-to-bat contact and has not been found to infect people, pets or livestock but is harmful or lethal to hibernating bats. The fungus that causes WNS may be inadvertently carried between caves by humans through clothing and equipment.... The U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov confirmed the bat had the disease described as a white fungus, or Geomyces destructans, which is typically found on the faces and wings of infected bats.

Boonslick Regional Planning Commission receives grant to protect water quality. MO DNR. January 25, 2013. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded $111,804 to the Boonslick Regional Planning Commission to inventory septic systems within Lincoln, Montgomery and Warren counties to identify systems that may be contributing to water pollution.

Latest CWD testing shows one deer positive for disease. MDC, Joe Jerek. January 23, 2013. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports that one deer harvested last fall by a hunter in north-central Missouri has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), which is fatal to deer. The adult buck was harvested in northwest Macon County, where five previous cases of CWD have been found since early 2012.

Seven Arch Coal protesters lock themselves to 500-pound plant pot, face arrest. RiverFront Times,Sam Levin. January 23, 2013. Here's one way to make a scene: Lock yourself to a 500-pound potted plant inside a corporate building as others dance and sing loudly in the lobby. That's exactly what a group of activists did yesterday inside the Arch Coal headquarters in Creve Coeur. And the demonstration -- aimed at drawing attention to the impacts of coal corporations -- was disruptive enough that seven protesters were eventually arrested inside the building.

Draft Climate Assessment Report released. National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee. January 11, 2013.The NCADAC is 13 federal agencies working to empower the nation with global change science. From the executive summary: climate change is already affecting Americans' health, livilihoods and ecosystems. The change are part of the pattern of global climate change which is primarily driven by human activity. Midwest Chapter: 1) initially, longer growing seasons and CO2 fertilization will increase crop yields, but long term yields will drop without significant advances in ag technology; 2) rising temperatures will drive region's forests northward; 3) increased heat wave intensity and frequency, degraded air quality and reduced water quality will increase public health risks; 4) this region has a highly energy-intensive economy with per capita emissions > 20% higher than national averages - but also a greater potential to reduce emissions; 5) extreme rainfall events and flooding have increased and trends are expected to continue; 6) climate change will exacerbate a range of risks to the Great Lakes region.

Department of Natural Resources investigating damage from Liberty sewer release. MO DNR. January 11, 2013. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is investigating the possible environmental damage caused by the release of an undetermined amount of wastewater into a tributary of Little Shoal Creek in Liberty.....The department’s Kansas City Regional Office received a call Thursday afternoon from Liberty city officials reporting that a clay wastewater collection pipe that passes through the creek had ruptured, allowing the wastewater to flow into the creek. The release was located in the 400 block of South Circle Drive near the Westboro-Canterbury Greenway, approximately 2 miles from Little Shoal Creek.

December 2012

Seven Missouri Organizations Awarded EPA Environmental Education Grants. MEEA News. December 31, 2012. The Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education, together with MEEA and the EE organizations of Iowa and Nebraska awarded $90,000 in small grants to 25 groups in EPA Region 7 for environmental education. Missouri organizations awarded grants were U.S. Green Building Council - MIssouri Gateway Chapter, Missour S&T Solar House Team, Earthways Center of Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri River Bird Observatory, Community Partnership of the Ozarks, University of Missouri - Show-Me Nature and University of Missouri St. Louis.

Waterways group says Mississippi River days from closing. Missouri News Horizon, Dick Aldrich. December 27, 2012. The Corps (CORE) of Engineers says the Mississippi River level is fine for now. A barge industry group begs to differ. The U.S. Waterways Council says without significant rain, snow fall or water release, barge traffic on the river at Thebes (THEEBS) Illinois will have to stop by the end of next week. The corps says the river channel should remain navigable through mid-January without any more significant water flow. The Waterways Council is calling on President Obama to step in and declare an emergency under which the Corps of Engineers could release more water from upstream dams on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.

2012 Conservation Recap. MDC Online, Jim Low. December 21, 2012. Mountain lions, Pheasant and Quail Classic, non-porous soled waders, CWD in deer, Archery in the Schools State Tournament, falcon-cam, "Wires Over Wildlife", zebra mussels in Smithville Lake, new bowfin record, state champion black oak in Morely, Master Conservaitonist Award for" Oz" Hawksley,tree planting in Joplin, Missouri Conservation Hall of Fame inductees, white-nose in Lincoln Co. caves, transplaning prairie chickens, new goldeye and largemouth bass records, Trap Shooters Association Youth Tournament, Turkey Hunt records, 2 new carpsucker records, Hunter Education Association Conference, Table Rock and Taneycomo are "Waters to Watch", more on mountain lions and elk, peregrins in KC, American Burying Beetle reintroduced at Wah'kon-tah Prairie, MDC recognizes Neosho for conservation efforts, more on CWD, drought-related fish kills, ban on open fires, Conservaiton Commission 75th anniversary, emerald ash borer in Reynolds Co., duck survey shows numbers up, new Conservation office and research center in Columbia named for Sydney Stephens, 45 black bears being tracked, heat and drought continue, 180 fire departments get grants from MDC for gear and equipment, humminbirds flew south earlier in search of food, low water levels allowed maintenance of water structures, weather a good break for bobwhites, meetings and workshops on deer, blue catfish, turkey, Heaing Impaired Outdoor Skills Camp at H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation, Find MO Fish mobile ap, feral hog management, albino humming bird, brown leaves don't necessarily mean death, deer carcasses at ponds, Ducks Unlimited 75th Anniversary celebrations,Jennifer Battson takes over wildlife division, growing elk herd at Peck Ranch CA, paddlefish management hearings, Apple Creek CA shooting range reopens, Burr Oak Woods Center celebrates 30 years, strong turkey nest success, urban deer harvest up, additional deer permits for landowners in CWD areas, MO Stream Team continues to grow, 8 Ozark hellbenders lay 2,809 fertile eggs, herpetologist Jeff Briggler honored for work, youth hunt checks19,277 deer, Discover Nature Schools expanded, hunters take 204,668 deer, Missouri Monarch (bronze deer) on sale to benefit CFM programs, 15,136 deer in antlerless season, incentives for enrolling in CRP, land donations accepted, St. Louis picked for World National Archer in the Schools Program Tournament.

While-tail deer population surveys begin in Cape Girardeau. MDC Online, Candice Davis. December 20, 2012. Last week the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) completed the first of a series of white-tail deer population surveys. This project will be ongoing over the next few months in partnership with the Cape Girardeau Police Department and the Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) Biology Department. The population survey of white-tailed deer within the city limits of Cape Girardeau is being done at the request of the Cape Girardeau city council, which began discussions of urban deer management for the city earlier this year.

EBV Explosives Environmental Company to pay $580,135 Penaly for air hazardous waste violations at Carthabe MO. EPA. December 19, 2012. Alleged violations at the facility include operation of a thermal treatment unit without obtaining a valid permit, in violation of the Missouri State Implementation Plan and the Clean Air Act; operating in noncompliance with its Hazardous Waste Management Facility permit from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources on several occasions by exceeding its permitted emission limits for dioxins and furans, hydrogen chloride and chlorine gas, and particulate matter and its permitted operating parameters for stack flow rate; and failure to operate monitors that record the operating parameters and conditions used to verify compliance with the permit.

Glassberf Family Conservation Areas opens in Jeffercon County. MDC Online, Dan Zarlenga. December 17, 2012. Acquiring the 429-acre Glassberg CA was made possible through a donation from the Myron and Sonya Glassberg Family and the USDA Forest Service Forest Legacy Program. ...It is located within the watersheds of the Meramec River and LaBarque Creek. LaBarque Creek is one of the highest-quality stream systems in the St. Louis area. At least 42 species of fish live in the creek. This diversity is almost three times greater than that of any other Meramec River tributary below LaBarque. The new conservation area will be managed to help maintain the quality of the stream.

Forbes names St. Louis 20# dirtiest city. RiverFront Times, Leah Greenbaum. December 11, 2012. The confluence of the Mississippi and the Missouri is the third-largest inland port and home to more than 150 industrial sites. In 2010 more than 20 million lbs of toxic materials were disposed of on land, with 5 million lbs emitted into the air. In the 1970s millions of cubic yards of uranium-contaminated soil was deposited at the West Lake landfill -- which remains polluted with radiation. Sperling Air Quality Index: 24 Sperling Water Quality Index: 44

Proyecto Re-medioambiente (Environmental Change Project) in KC awarded Environmental Justice Grant. EPA. December 6, 2012. The project will improve the solid waste disposal practices of the loal migrant and seasonal farmworker community in Lafayette County, Missouri and expand an exisitng aluminum recycling project. Through a series of classes, presentations and experiential learning, the community will learn about the effects of solid waste pollution and the action strategies, including recycling, to mitigate it. Problems associated with solid waste are poorly understood by residents and there is not currently a viable, adequate system for recycling.

November 2012

DNR awards $10,000 for well decommissioning education in Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District. DNR Press Release, November 1, 2012. "The Schuyler County well decommissioning project will take place in the North and Middle Fabius River Watershed and aims to educate citizens about groundwater contamination that may occur from pollutants entering abandoned water wells that have not been properly closed. Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District will produce educational materials and implement a best management practice demonstration, illustrating the proper procedure used to decommission old wells."

Missouri earns B+ on Green Urbanism Program report card. Global Green USA, Stef McDonald. November 7, 2012. Using an A to F grading structure,Qualitfied Application Plans in all 50 states were analyzed and ranked on a 50-point scale comprised of 32 subtopics distributed across the categories of Smart Growth, Energy Efficiency, Resource Conservation, and Health Protection. This year’s best in class: Connecticut and Maryland. Both states are the first to achieve perfect scores since we began our reporting and established a national performance ranking in 2006. Performing less favorably were states given D’s, including Tennessee, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Utah. Most improved goes to Ohio, which went from a D to an A-. Missouri earned a B+ .

Hellbender makes list of top 10 species threatened by water pollution. Press Release from the Center for Biological Diversity, Collette Adkins Giese. November 14, 2012. The Ozark hellbender has declined by 75 percent since the 1980s, with fewer than 600 remaining in the wild. The primary threat facing Ozark hellbenders is degradation of their aquatic habitats from sources such as mining, fertilizer runoff and animal operations. The eastern hellbender has declined by at least 30 percent. Hellbenders are fully aquatic salamanders, meaning they never leave the water. In highly polluted waters they develop dramatic skin lesions.

Three state parks will close temporarily December 8-9 for deer hunts. DNR Press Release. November 16, 2012. By law, state parks are established as wildlife refuges and hunting is not permitted except under special circumstances. However, these special hunts are being used as a resource management tool because the deer population is too large for the environment of the park and resources in the park are being damaged.Special hunts will be conducted Dec. 8-9 at the following parks:

• Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park in Wildwood.
• Cuivre River State Park near Troy.
• Watkins Woolen Mill State Park near Lawson.

Science fair contestants can compete for extra recognition through MDC's Discover Nature Schools program. MDC Press Release, Jim Low. November 26, 2012. Fifty-one percent of Missouri school districts participate in DNS, which is a science-education program from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). Recognizing that many science-fair projects have natural ties to its science curriculum materials, MDC decided to offer extra recognition for outstanding science-fair projects. The result is the DNS Science Fair.

Conservation officials to monitor impact of blue tongue and epizootic hemorrhagic disease on deer. MDC Press Release, Jim Low. November 26, 2012. Conservation officials say they don’t plan immediate measures to compensate for deer losses to hemorrhagic diseases, but they will look carefully at harvest information, reports of sick deer and hunter surveys when considering future hunting regulations. They note hunters’ key role managing deer numbers and suggest shooting fewer does if hunters notice declining deer numbers.

Discover nature with Eagle Days around the state. MDC Press Release, Joe Jerek. November 28, 2012. Eagle Days events include live captive-eagle programs, exhibits, activities, videos and guides with spotting scopes. Be sure to dress for winter weather and don’t forget cameras and binoculars. Watch for eagles perched in large trees along the water’s edge. View them early in the morning to see eagles flying and fishing. (see complete list at link above).

MDC offers incentive payments for CRP enrollment, enhancements. MDC Press Release, Jim Low. November 28, 2012. Landowners in 54 Missouri counties can receive $300 per acre in incentive bonuses for enrolling new land in the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), and those with existing CRP contracts could receive payments exceeding $200 for management practices that enhance the value of CRP acres for wildlife.

Heartland Utilities announces winners of the KC metro "Secure Energy Future" video contest. Sixth through eighth grade students in the Kansas City metro area were encouraged to create 60-second public service announcements (PSAs) that promote energy efficiency at home or at school. Six area middle schools were selected to receive grant money for their participation......Spring Hill Middle School and Pioneer Ridge Middle School were the first-place winners, each receiving $3,500. Clark Middle School and Kearney Junior High each won second place for $2,000. Third place went to Arrowhead Middle School and Kearney Middle School and they received $1,000.

October 2012

Kansas City streetcar proposal receives funding, FTA environmental approval. Railway Age. October 31, 2012. The Kansas City streetcar proposal has received funds from the Mid-America Regional Council's (MARC) Board of Directors totaling $ 17.7 million....The money comes from a total of $81.7 million in federal funding for 77 projects that will help improve air quality and public transportation; enhance roads and rehabilitate bridges and support focused development in the Kansas City region over the coming years.

Anti Coal activists want city to wake up to Peabody takeover (of St. Louis). Riverfront Times, Leah Greenbaum. October 26, 2012. Arielle Klagsbrun, a community organizer with MORE, says the group is calling on St. Louis to "divest from big coal" and shed light on the company's (Peabody's) "greenwashing"....But Meg Gallagher, a Peabody Energy spokesperson, says the group's accusations are unfair and unfounded.

Missouri Landowners offered "CWD Management Seals" to thin deer numbers. Kansas City Infozine. October 24, 2012. According to the Department of Conservation's CWD management plan, the seals are limited to the 80 landowners with five acres or more in and around a one-mile radius of where CWD has been detected. Each landowner will be offered five seals. Each seal would allow the landowners, or hunters they authorize to hunt their lands, to harvest one deer of either sex. Each seal may only be used on the specific property for which it was issued. Each seal can be used by any properly-licensed hunter who is hunting the specific property. Each seal can be used during any open deer season by any method legal at the time of use. The special seals are in addition to the no-cost resident landowner permits already offered by MDC. All deer harvested using a seal must be checked using the Telecheck system, and a tissue sample must be submitted to MDC for CWD testing. MDC is contacting eligible landowners in Linn and Macon counties and will host an information meeting with them in early November.

Governor recognizes Missouri Department of Conservation 75th Anniversary. Kansas City Infozine. October 21, 2012. The Governor presented a proclamation honoring MDC for its 75th anniversary to Conservation Commissioners Don Bedell of Sikeston, James T. Blair, IV, of St. Louis, Don Johnson of Festus and Becky Plattner of Grand Pass, along with MDC Director Robert Ziehmer, at the Commission’s Oct. 18 meeting in Springfield.

Wash U Student Senate votes to ban plastic bags. Riverfront Times, Chad Garrison. October 11, 2012. Student leaders at Washington University went all San Francisco this month, voting to prohibit retail businesses on campus from handing out plastic bags to customers. ....If adopted by school administrators, the resolution would take effect the fall semester of 2013 and impact just three businesses -- the bookstore, an on-campus market and the most risque-sounding school gift shop ever, Bear Necessities.

Recycling up fivefold in St. Louis -- Though city diverts just 10% of waste. Riverfront Times, Chad Garrison. October 5, 2012. t's been six months since all St. Louis households have had access to curbside recycling via those blue alley dumpsters or roll-out bins. And already city officials say they're seeing a huge uptick in the amount of waste diverted from landfills. ...Todd Waelterman, director of the city's street department (which oversees refuse), says that nearly 10 percent of the solid waste his crews collect today ends up being recycled. That's up from just 2 percent prior to the roll out of curbside recycling that began in 2010 and ended this spring.

Six Missouri communities receive federal grants for recreation needs. MO DNR. October 3, 2012. Gov. Jay Nixon today announced that six Missouri communities have been approved by the National Park Service to receive more than $275,000 in federal grants to assist with park and recreation needs. Recipients: 1) City of Gerald, City Park Improvements. $75,000. 2) City of Hayti, Walking Trail Upgrades. $25,476. 3) City of Houston, Soccer Field Development. $47,250. 4) City of Kirksville, Jaycee Park Improvements. $35,000. 5) City of Memphis, Lake Show Me Trail. $37,000. 5) City of Warsaw, Bledsoe Ferry Complex Improvements. $56,812.

Missouri and Kansas ranked in top 10 states needing energy efficiency improvements. Greenability Magazine, Jared Cole. October 3, 2012. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranking includes all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The top 10 states in most need of energy efficiency efforts are (starting with most in-need): Mississippi, North Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana and Nebraska. The top 10 most energy efficient states are (starting with most efficient): Massachusetts, California, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington, Maryland and Minnesota.

Springfield opens new Environmental Services Department. City of Springfield Press Release, October 4, 2012. The Environmental Resource Center houses several divisions of the City’s newly-formed Department of Environmental Services, including: Solid Waste Management, Environmental Compliance, Air Quality, Water Quality, Clean Water Services and Sustainability. Ozarks Greenways has also moved in to the facility.The City’s sustainability efforts are also centralized at the center, including environmental/conservation education, outreach services and technical assistance for business and industry. Students and citizens can take advantage of a resource library with print and electronic reference material on most environmental issues. The facility also has several community meeting spaces, with audiovisual capability, including video and audio conferencing and WiFi.

EPA Region 7 Provides $2.4M to Joplin, Mo., to Sample and Remediate Contaminated Soils Disturbed by May 2011 Tornado. EPA. October 4, 2012. The new federal funding, announced today by EPA and city officials, should allow Joplin to replace soils and restore yards at an estimated 240 homes, parks, playgrounds and child-occupied properties over the next three years. The $2.4 million comes from EPA’s Superfund program, through a cooperative agreement that in December 2011 provided an initial $500,000 for the city to hire a remediation coordinator and pay for equipment, testing services, contaminated soil excavation, and clean soil replacement.

September 2012

EPA to remove lead contaminated soil in Missouri. NBC News. September 13, 2012. EUREKA, Mo. — The federal government will spend more than $28 million to remove 428 tons of lead-contaminated soil from yards in Jefferson County, south of St. Louis.The Environmental Protection Agency announced the funding Wednesday, estimating that about 800 residential properties will require remediation.Sampling has found widespread lead contamination in the flood plain of the Big River, which begins at Leadwood and runs to the Meramec River confluence near Eureka. Excavated soil will be taken in covered trucks to a landfill in nearby Washington County.

Conservation act awards $2 million to conserve wetlands in Missouri and Iowa. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service > Outdoor News. September 17, 2012. This week, the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission approved $2 million in federal funding to help protect, restore and enhance wetlands and associated habitats in Iowa and Missouri under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act Standard Grant Program. The federal grants are matched by more than $8.65 million in partner funds.

Conservation in the Confluence III (Missouri): Ducks Unlimited and other project partners will utilize a $1 million NAWCA grant with matching funds in the amount of $5,211,300 to protect, restore, and enhance approximately 2,308 acres of almost entirely wetland habitat. Much of the work will be done on Clarence Cannon National Wildlife Refuge in Annada, Mo. The area is known for its concentrations of migrating and breeding waterfowl, shorebirds, and waterbirds. Infrastructure improvements will facilitate the ability to manage this wetland complex in eastern Missouri for wetland-dependent birds and other wildlife.

MDC Confirms Mountain Lion siting in Shannon County. MDC > Outdoor News. September 18, 2012. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has confirmed photographs of a mountain lion in Shannon County near Eminence taken by a trail camera on public land Sept. 10 and 11.

Deer dying in Missouri due to fly-biting disease. KRCG News. September 19, 2012. The Missouri Conservation Department says it has been getting reports of hundreds of dead deer around the state. ...The agency says the deer appear to have fallen victim to hemorrhagic disease, which is spread by the bites of the small midge fly....As of mid-September, the department had received reports of about 2,800 dead deer, with the disease being the suspected cause.

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., in St. Joseph, Mo., to Pay Penalty and Build New Hazardous Waste Facility for Mercury Violations. U.S. EPA Region 7. September 24, 2012. Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., a veterinary health products company, has agreed to pay a $68,475 civil penalty to the United States to settle a series of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act violations based on its mishandling of mercury waste in St. Joseph, Mo. Inaddition to paying the civil penalty, the company will spend a minimum of $300,000 to build a state-of-the art hazardous waste storage facility at the site as part of a supplemental environmental project.

EPA proposes to add a segment of the River des Peres for the pollutant chloride to the final Missouri list U.S. EPA Region 7. September 24, 2012. EPA is opening an additional 30-day public comment period Sept. 24, 2012, to receive comments concerning the decision to add this one water body/pollutant pair to the state’s list.

Continental Cement Company of Hannibal, Mo., Agrees to Complete Environmental Project Valued at $300,000. U.S. EPA Region 7. September 25, 2012. Continental Cement Company, LLC, has agreed to complete a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) valued at $300,000 at its facility in Hannibal, Mo. The SEP is part of a consent agreement with EPA Region 7 in which Continental Cement has also agreed to pay a $22,025 civil penalty to settle alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act in 2007 and 2008.The SEP will eliminate Continental Cement’s outside clinker storage pile along with the associated material handling system and will replace it with enclosed conveyors and a dust controlled truck load-out. The SEP will reduce the generation of particulate matter emissions at the facility by 15 tons per year.

Missouri program to plant 250,000 trees. KRCG news desk. September 25, 2012. The Missouri Department of Transportation said Monday it will buy 250,000 seedlings from a Conservation Department nursery. Conservation officials will distribute the trees to youth groups and schools for planting....This is the sixth year of Missouri's Trees for Tomorrow program. Officials say more than 2.5 million trees of roughly 60 varieties have been provided since the program started in 2007.

Missouri's senators seek info on chemical spraying in St. Louis. AP > KRCG newsdesk. September 30, 2012. Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt made separate written requests Thursday asking the Army to produce more information about the St. Louis testing in the 1950s and 1960s...The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that their requests stem from the recently publicized research of Lisa Martino-Taylor, a sociology professor at St. Louis Community College. Martino-Taylor's research raises questions about the chemical components in the aerosol spraying that often took place in St. Louis neighborhoods with largely African-American populations in the 1950s and `60s.

 

 

August 2012

MDC removes state-wide ban on burning. MO Department of Conservation. August 31, 2012. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has lifted its statewide fire ban on all conservation areas effective immediately. According to MDC, the remnants of tropical storm Isaac are bringing significant rain to most of the state.

Watkins Mill and Lake of the Ozarks' Grand Glaize state park beaches close. MO Department of Natural Resources. August 29, 2012. Results received today showed continued water quality issues at Watkins Mill State Park beach. Staff at Lake of the Ozarks State Park closed Grand Glaize Beach today when results showed that one of the two water samples taken at the beach failed to meet Missouri State Parks standards. Both beaches are scheduled to close for the recreational season after the Labor Day holiday weekend. Therefore, no additional water samples will be collected from the beaches and they will remain closed for the season. Public Beach #1 at Lake of the Ozarks State Park remains open until Sept. 4.

Conservation Commission suspends issuing permits for new deer breeding and big-game hunting facilities. MO Department of Conservation. August 24, 2012. Permiting is being suspended to help protect free-ranging deer from Chronic Wasting Disease, and to help ensure the health of captive deer and other cervids.

Missouri makes "Toxic 20" list of states most polluted by coal-fired power plants. RiverFront Times, Nicholas Phillips. August 10, 2012. According to a report just released by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Missouri comes in #15 on a list of the 20 states most polluted by coal-fired power plants. ....The NRDC got this ranking by analyzing data that the energy industry self-reported to the federal Environmental Protection Agency back in 2010 (it's the most recent data available)..... There is at least one silver lining to the NRDC's report, though: The data show a 19 percent decrease in air toxics from the previous year. .....The environmental non-profit attributes that to two things: (1) an increased reliance on natural gas plants, and (2) power companies fitting their plants with scrubbing technology to prepare themselves for the onset of the EPA's newest Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.

Joplin and Kirksville recognized as Children in Nature Communities. MO Department of Natural Resources. August 2, 2012. Joplin and Kirksville have been recognized as Missouri Children in Nature communities for creating an environment that encourages children to get outdoors and enjoy nature. The cities were recognized in a ceremony July 23 in the Governor’s Office....To successfully complete the challenge, the communities must meet several criteria, including increasing awareness of opportunities to connect to nature; providing outdoor activities and events; enhancing and creating outdoor areas; encouraging the use of nature-based curriculum in schools; and partnering with local organizations and businesses to connect children with nature. Joplin and Kirksville join the cities of Des Peres and Jackson, who completed the challenge this spring, and Springfield, who completed the challenge in 2011. ....For more information about the Children in Nature Challenge, visit http://childreninnature.mo.gov/.

July 2012

Emerald Ash Borer found in Parkville (KC Area). University of Missouri Extension. July 2012.. A single Emerald Ash Borer was identified in the Kansas City area last week by an alert aborist, near Parkville. Staff from the Missouri departments of Agriculture and Conservation and the USDA immediately joined that individual at the site. Emerald Ash Borers were also identified in Reynolds County last week through routine surveillance, adjacent to the known population in Wayne County. The Wayne County population was first identified in 2008.

Mark Twain Forest Fires. Forest Service. June-July 2012. To date, this fire season is almost a thousand acres ahead of a typical fire season, covering 6,000 acres instead of the average of 5,145. It is similar to the fire seasons of the 1980's and 1950's.

MDC and US Forest Service providing grants to rural fire departments. MDC. July 25, 2012. MDC is providing matching funds of up to $3000 for 180 rural fire departments to help with the purchase of personal protective gear and firefighting equipment. During the last 29 years, over $6.5 million has been distributed to rural fire deparemtnet to improve safety and provide better equipment

Grow Native! Program Takes Root with Missouri Prairie Foundation. MPF. July 22, 2012. Ten years ago, purple coneflowers, prairie grasses, and other beautiful and resilient native plants were less common in landscaping than they are today. A decade of work by the Grow Native! program, however, has increased the use of natives in the state dramatically. This summer, the successful native plant awareness program reaches another milestone: beginning July 1, it has a new home with the Missouri Prairie Foundation.

Missouri State Parks offers two new volunteer programs. DNR. July 18, 2012. The Missouri State Parks Adopt-a-Park Program gives families, organizations, youth groups, school groups and businesses the opportunity to support a Missouri state park or historic site. Areas within a park or historic site, such as trails, campgrounds, picnic areas and streams, can be adopted. Groups are asked to contribute 200 hours of service hours a year for two years. After completion of 100 hours, a sign will be put up at the park or historic site recognizing the group’s efforts. A list of adoptable areas at each facility is available online at mostateparks.com/page/59523/adopt-park-program. Check out the adoptable areas, and then contact the individual park or historic site to get started!

MDC and Missouri FFA look to future of conservation. MDC. July 18, 2012. MDC coordinated "Conservation Day" at the Missouri FFA Leadership Camp offered in June and July. Conservation Day introduces students to ongoing conservation concerns through six hands-on learning stations taught yb MDC staff. This yea's topics included ethics and legality of hunting and fishing;, current species of interest in MO, such as mountain lions, black bears, feral hogs and armadillos; tree measurement as part of forest management; chainsaw safety; and fish identification and biology as well as myths associated with Missouri waters.

DNR awards $331,068 to Jasper County to implement a watershed management plan. DNR. July 17, 2012. The Spring River Watershed Management Plan focuses on an area in and around the southwest Missouri city of Carthage. This area of Spring River is approximately 38.73 square miles. The primary objective of the plan is to reduce bacteria levels in the river to below the whole body contact level for recreational waters.

Missouri selected to receiver $715,000 grant from US Department of Energy. DNR. July 17, 2012. Missouri was one of 22 states selected to receive a competitive State Energy Program grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Missouri will use the grant over three years to reinvigorate the state facilities energy conservation program.

DNR receives an application for a solvent waste procesing facility in Jackson County. DNR. July 12, 2012. The proposed facility, in the KC area, is also the site of an existing permitted hazardous waste storage, treatment and recovery facility. A copy of the permit is located in the KC Public Library for public revie.

DNR unveils online permit application. DNR. July 5, 2012. Those seeking one of the most common permits from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources will be able to do so online in a fraction of the traditional permit application time. A land disturbance permit is required for any project that results in the disturbance of one acre of land or more. The purpose of the permit is to make sure steps are taken by the permit holder to prevent erosion from the site from polluting local waterways....The department issued 829 land disturbance permits in 2011. Between 2007 and 2011, the number of such permits issued ranged from 829 to 2,365. To date in 2012, the department has issued nearly 1,400 permits. The department will continue to accept traditional paper applications until Sept. 1, after which the process will go completely online.

New MDC central regional office dedicated in Columbia. MDC. July 2, 2012. The building is being dedicated to E. Sydney Stephens, a conservation pioneer with deep roots in Columbia and Missouri. Stephens drafted the conservation amendment to our state constitution and directed the campaign for its adoption 75 years ago.

June 2012

DNR Awards Loans and Grants for Water Protection. MO DNR. June 2012. . Over the last month, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded funds for these projects: Hartville recieves $100,000 loan from the State Water Pollution Bond for wastewater plant upgrades; Cass County PWSD No. 11 awarded $11 million for drininking water improvements; Lake Area Industries' Gifted Garden awarded $10,000 to reduce stormwater run off;Perry receives $292,000 low interest loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund for wastewater treatmen upgrades; Boone Co Regional Sewer District receives $1.36 million loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund for wastewater treatment upgrades.

St. Louis County to build $650,000 hazardous waste site. St. Louis Business Journal. June 27, 2012. Construction could begin as early as July on St. Louis County’s first permanent collection site for household hazardous waste. The new facility will cost around $650,000 and be financed in part by a $500,000 one-time grant from the St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste District, the St. Louis Beacon reports. The remaining cost will be picked up by state and county tipping fee funds. The facility is expected to be complete in October.

American Burying Beetle Restoration Results in Grubs. MO Department of Conservation. June 27, 2012.On June 15, zoo staff removed sod plugs at some of the 150 sites where beetles were released. "I’m very happy to report that we excavated successful broods,” said Bob Merz, director for the Center For American Burying Beetle Conservation at the Saint Louis Zoo.Merz said 27 of the 39 sites checked had larvae, so the American burying beetles are reproducing as hoped. With that success rate, he hopes more than 1,185 adults could emerge in mid-August.

Cast your Vote for MDC Photo Contest Submissions. MO Department of Conservation. June 25. 2012. More than 1,880 people submitted almost 13,000 photos in seven categories during the submission period of Feb. 1 through May 15. A panel of photography and nature experts had the challenging task of narrowing the submissions to a top selection in each of the following categories: mammals, plants, reptiles and amphibians, insects and spiders, birds, outdoor recreation, and habitats and landscapes. MDC now encourages Missourians to cast their votes for their favorite photo from among the seven category winners for a “Best-of-Show” top photo. Voting will run during the month of July (July 1-31). To cast a vote, go to the MDC website at http://mdc.mo.gov/about-us/get-know-us/75th-anniversary/photo-contest

EPA Expands Real-Time Monitoring of Kansas City Area Streams and Launches KCWaterBug Mobile Application. Region 7 EPA. June 25, 2012. EPA and local partners will gather on Wednesday, June 27 in Riverside, Mo., to announce an expansion of water-quality monitoring of Kansas City area streams and introduce a related application for smartphones and mobile devices.The free application is available now for iPhone, iTouch, and iPad through Apple’s iTunes store. A version for Android phones will be available in the future.

Crayfish Regulation Discussions Continue. MO Department of Conservation. June 15. The Department of Conservation continues to gather information to make an informed scientific decision on invasive crayfish. The Department has listened and consulted with bait producers and dealers on invasive crayfish. Education efforts have worked to inform anglers and bait sellers about how to prevent invasive crayfish from damaging the state’s sport-fishing industry.Crayfish sales represent about 1% of industry sales based on surveys from 2010, 2011.

Toyota's Kansas City Regional Technical Training Center receives LEED Gold certification. Mother Nature Network. June 7, 2012. Toyota, home of the best-selling hybrid Toyota Prius, is also the proud home of 29 LEED green building certifications. The Kansas City Regional Technical Training Center in Kansas City, Missouri recently received a LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The automaker leads the industry with 11 LEED certified Toyota/Lexus facilities and 18 Toyota/Lexus dealerships.

WiFi Keeps You Connected in Missouri State Park Camgrounds.MO DNR. June 5, 2012. Eleven state parks campgrounds currently offer free wireless Internet access for guests and visitors and the service will be added to more campgrounds throughout the summer...Campgrounds with wireless access are located in the following state parks: Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon; Montauk State Park near Salem; Roaring River State Park near Cassville; Table Rock State Park near Branson; Meramec State Park near Sullivan; Sam. A. Baker State Park near Patterson; Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park in Wildwood; Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park near Middlebrook; Onondaga Cave State Park near Leasburg; Long Branch State Park near Macon; and Finger Lakes State Park near Columbia.

April 2012

Major (Missouri) Tour Caves Open to Visitors in 2012. MO DNR. For the 2012 season, Onondaga Cave and Cathedral Cave at Onondaga Cave State Park, Fisher Cave at Meramec State Park, and Ozark Caverns at Lake of the Ozarks State Park will be open for public tours.

Midwest Democracy: Bill to ease radioactive rules makes some in Missouri worry. Kansas City Star 2012.04.25. The chair of the MO House Transportation Committee can't recall where it came from, but a rule removing fee and inspection requirements for radioactive cargo that travels through Missouri was added to legislation approved by the committee on April 11 without any apparent debate.

Columbia, EPA, slowly moving forward on Hinkson Creek cleanup. Columbia Missourian 2012.04.23. After 12 years, City, County, MU, EPA agree to plan for monitoring stream health as stormwater abatement projects are implemented.

Missouri Botanical Garden, others, to catalog "World Flora". AP 2012.04.24. Four of world's leading botanical institutions plan to make list of over 400,000 plants availalble free on-line by 2020 as part of effort to ensure survival of world's flora. Plan is to add images of each species and detailed scientific information.

Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo recognized as "Waters to Watch". National Fish Habitat Action Plan 2012.04.20. The 2012 "Waters to Watch" features 10 rivers, streams, estuaries, watershed systems, shores and lakes that will benefit from strategic conservation efforts.

Oz Hawksley named Master Conservationist. MDC news release 2012.04.20. Hawksley was recognized by the Conservation Federation of Missouri for a 6-decade long commitment to conservation, including teaching at the University of Central Missouri and authoring Missouri Ozark Waterways.

Ameren, Westinghouse seeking to build Small Modular Reactors. St. Louis Today. 2012.04.19. Companies teaming to win $450 million in federal money to license and develop small-scale, next generation Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). The SMRs, 1/4 size of typical reactors, would be built in Callaway Co., where Missouri's only existing reactor is already working.

$40.6M to Purchase, Restore Lands in 15 States Including Missouri Mark Twain National Forest 2012.04.06. Funds designated by Congress in the 1964 Land and Water Conservation Fund will be purchased from willing sellers at fair market prices to meet conservation goals. In Missouri $990,000 is designated to purchase prime riparian river frontage on the Current River, to help connect existing national forest lands to the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Consolidating the lands will help protect watershed quality and provide maximum benefit for both resident and migratory wildlife species.

White-nose syndrome confirmed in Missouri bat population. Riverfront Times 2012.04.03. Missouri Department of Conservation confirmed syndrome in bats in Pike, Shannon and Lincoln counties.

March 2012

Chronic wasting disease a concern in Missouri Deer. Missourian 2012.03.30. MDC hoping to avoid different outcome than Wisconsin where infections have increased 10% per year.

4th Annual MO Archery Tournament draws almost 1,200 competitors. MDC News 2012.03. 27. Brandon Whitley of St. Clair Junior High School set a new scoring record for the meet and was top individual male shooter and top shooter for middle school males. Anna Hughes of Logan-Rogersville High School was the top female archer. The highest possible score from shooting 30 arrows at two distances is 300. Whitley set the new meet record for an individual competitor with a 293 score, while Hughes was tops among female archers with 281.

Martinsburg MO (Audrain Co.) receives $100,000 low-interest loan from DNR to update its wastewater system. DNR News 2012.03.23. Funds will go to construct a new lagoon, a land application system and new sewer mains to reduce municipal sewage discharges into local streams. The entire project will cost around $2 milion with additional funding from USDA grants and loans.

Zebra mussels confirmed at Smithville Lake (KC Area). MDC News 2012.03.23. Biologists on Wednesday determined that zebra mussels are present in Smithville Lake, a 7,200-acre impoundment north of Kansas City. Zebra mussels, mollusks which look like small clams, are an invasive species from Eurasia that can cause ecological and property damage.

American Burying Beetle to be reintroduced at Wah' kon-Tah Pairie. Riverfront Times 2012.03.2. The St. Louis Zoo has perfected culture of the carrion-eating beetle and will work with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to reintroduce the beetles into their native prairie habitat.

Late Don Robinson donates 843 acres for new Missouri State Park. St. Louis Business Journal 2012.03.22. The land is located in Cedar Hills, 38 miles southwest of St. Louis in the upper watershed of Le Barque Creek. The sandstone bedrock supports a diverse plant community. The donation includes a trust fund for park maintenance.

MIssouri 8th most miserable state (Kansas 7th happiest). KC Star 2012.03.05. Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index measured state well-being on a 100 point scale. Missouri was 11th in smoking, and in the top 20 in heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

MO river funding priorities anger farmers affected by flooding. Associatied Press 2012.03.03. President's budget allocates $90 million for environmental projects, including shallow water habitat for pallid sturgeon, piping plover and least tern. Growers groups want more funds for flood control.