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EPA Approves Part of Missouri’s Water Quality Standards

Release Date: 05/01/2006
Contact Information: Martin Kessler, (913) 551-7236,

Environmental News


(Kansas City, Kan., May 1, 2006) – EPA has approved several provisions of the new and revised Missouri water quality standards submitted to EPA by the state. The approved provisions are now effective for implementation purposes under the Clean Water Act.

EPA received Missouri’s complete submission of their new and revised water quality standards for review and approval March 28, 2006, pursuant to Section 303(c) of the Clean Water Act. Under Section 303(c), states are required to review their water quality standards no less frequently than every three years and submit new or revised standards to EPA.

The March 28 submittal included revisions to the Missouri water quality standards approved September 7, 2005, by the Missouri Clean Water Commission and published in the Missouri Code of State Regulations November 30, 2005.

EPA would like to commend the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) for the diligent work the agency has done in preparation of the water quality standards revisions.

Missouri designated beneficial uses and updated its water quality criteria to meet the national goal of the Clean Water Act that waters of the U.S. be fishable and swimmable, wherever attainable, ensuring the protection of the public, the environment, and the state’s valuable water resources.

With this action, EPA is approving the following provisions of the new or revised water quality standards:

The addition of Whole Body Contact Recreation use designations for nearly 95 percent of Missouri’s classified water bodies.

Restoring the cold-water fishery designation for several waters.

Correcting designated-use removals that were disapproved during the last review.

Increased protection for Outstanding Natural Resource Waters.

Updates to the criteria for the protection of aquatic life, human health, and drinking water supply.

Adoption of E. coli bacteria criteria for the protection of recreational uses.

Revisions to the metals criteria for drinking water.

Language consistent with the Clean Water Act for developing site-specific criteria.

Revisions to the mixing-zone policy to increase protection of aquatic life in streams with low flow.

This approval action serves to satisfy the terms of a Consent Decree and partially satisfy a Settlement Agreement, both entered into by EPA and the Missouri Coalition for the Environment in December 2004. Additional revisions to the Missouri water quality standards, not acted upon in this April 28 decision, will be addressed in a separate letter to follow.

* Our April 28 decision letter provides a more detailed description of EPA’s review and the basis for this action. To obtain an electronic copy of this decision letter, please contact Martin Kessler by phone or e-mail (see contact information above).
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