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Pollutant Reduction Plans Announced for Hinkson, Jordan, Pearson and Wilson Creeks in Missouri

Release Date: 01/31/2011
Contact Information: Kris Lancaster, (913) 551-7557 or (816) 719-6375 (cell for Jan. 31 only) lancaster.kris@epa.gov


Environmental News


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., Jan. 31, 2011) - EPA is establishing Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) or pollutant reduction plans for Hinkson Creek in Boone County and Jordan, Pearson and Wilson creeks in Christian and Greene County, Mo. The TMDLs call for significant pollutant reductions to improve the streams’ water quality.

“The plans were shaped by extensive public involvement and local and state official input, which resulted in numerous changes to the TMDLs,” EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said. “A variety of pollutants are contributing to the biological impairment of these streams, and these pollutant reduction plans chart the path toward restoring healthy streams in the Missouri counties of Boone, Christian and Greene. We all pay for polluted water through degraded water resources including drinking water and loss of fish and wildlife habitat.”

The TMDLs are calculations of the maximum allowable load of pollutants that a water body can receive daily and still meet water quality standards. The TMDLs are established to identify the pollutant reductions necessary to meet water quality standards and restore the water bodies. For each of the four streams, the current biological impairments cannot be attributed to a single pollutant. The impairments are attributed to multiple pollutants.

Polluted stormwater runoff is a leading cause of impairment to the nearly 40 percent of surveyed U.S. water bodies that do not meet water quality standards. In these instances, the TMDLs’ sources of impairments include urban stormwater runoff, which carries high levels of pollutants such as oil and grease, suspended solids, nutrients, and heavy metals.

Construction activity generally increases erosion and runoff, which can choke streams and lakes with sediment. Sediment-laden runoff destroys spawning beds, suffocates fish eggs, decreases oxygen levels in streams, and blocks sunlight that is essential for the growth of beneficial water grasses.

“Today’s plans are a key part of an intensive effort to restore four Missouri streams,” Brooks said. “We believe an iterative process will help us accomplish this goal. Now the Missouri Department of Natural Resources can implement the TMDL pollutant reduction measures to restore drainage areas, protect land from erosion and reduce stormwater runoff. The TMDL documents provide detailed plans and suggested uses of technologies for meeting water quality goals.”

There are a number of technologies available to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff, such as green infrastructure practices. Solutions may include permeable pavement, which allows precipitation to soak through the surface and ground; rain gardens; green roofs; and landscape features designed to remove pollutants from runoff.

The TMDLs are being established to address requirements of the 2001 Consent Decree, American Canoe Association, et.al. v. EPA, that TMDLs for these streams be established by December 31, 2010. The deadline was extended until January 31, 2011. These streams were first listed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) on its 1998 Impaired Waters, or 303(d), list. EPA has worked closely with MDNR using the best available data to analyze, develop and establish these TMDLs.

EPA will work with MDNR to ensure the impairments are addressed as required by the Clean Water Act. The Agency is working with the public, community leaders, local and state agencies to meet the growing needs and demands of our water resources.

EPA’s TMDL documents provide a more detailed description of EPA’s review and the basis for this action. The TMDLs are available at www.epa.gov/region07/water/apprtmdl.htm#Missouri.

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