Missouri Gets Help Complying with Water Quality Standards

EPA Region 7 has approved Missouri's change to state water quality standards rules in order to provide greater flexibility in Missouri's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources submitted rule changes to EPA on Dec. 11, 2012, for review and approval. The Clean Water Act (CWA) requires EPA to review the state's rule changes to determine if they comply with the law. EPA has decided to approve Missouri’s water quality standards as a way to help the state achieve compliance.

“EPA appreciates Missouri's continuing efforts to protect and restore water quality,” said Karl Brooks, EPA regional administrator. “Missouri facilities are developing new approaches and technologies that require some flexibility in the permit program, so this new rule will encourage both innovation and compliance.”

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.

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