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Decision Issued on Missouri's Water Quality Standards

Release Date: 09/27/2013
Contact Information: Kris Lancaster, 913-551-7557,

Environmental News


(Lenexa, Kan., Sept. 27, 2013) - EPA has approved the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ (MDNR) new and revised recreational use designations for 102 water bodies and disapproved MDNR’s designations for 41 water bodies. These designated uses protect Missouri’s waters for purposes of recreational activities.

States must assign fishable and swimmable uses to their waters unless science-based studies show that these uses cannot be attained. The disapprovals occurred when the studies did not show that lowering the use was appropriate.

“Healthy waters provide Missouri communities with safe drinking water, recreational opportunities, environmental benefits and a healthy habitat for fish and wildlife,” said Karl Brooks, regional administrator. “EPA will continue working with the state to protect Missouri’s lakes, rivers and streams."

MDNR submitted these new and revised water quality standards to EPA for review and approval, as required by the Clean Water Act (CWA). The state based its recommendations on site-specific field data gathered from streams and rivers across Missouri.

The CWA assigns EPA the duty to oversee state-agency actions to protect water quality. In partnership with MDNR, EPA works with the public, community leaders, and local and state agencies to meet the growing demands placed on our water resources.

EPA’s Sept. 27, 2013, decision letter provides a more detailed description of EPA’s review and the basis for this action. The decision letter is available at

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