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EPA Region 7 Issues Decision Letter on the State of Missouri’s Proposed Changes to Water Quality Standards

Release Date: 10/23/2014
Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394,

Environmental News


(Lenexa, Kan., Oct. 23, 2014) - EPA Region 7 has issued its decision letter to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) on the State of Missouri’s proposed new and revised Water Quality Standards, approving most proposed changes, including Missouri’s decision to protect previously unclassified lakes and streams for certain uses listed in the federal Clean Water Act (CWA).

States are required by federal law to review their Water Quality Standards at least every three years and submit any new or revised standards to EPA for review and approval or disapproval. EPA Region 7 received MDNR’s new and revised standards on March 19, 2014, and, after concluding its review and decision process, the Agency issued its official decision letter to MDNR on Oct. 22, 2014.

In the letter, available online at, EPA lists the following decision actions:

  • Approval of new and revised terms and definitions describing the aquatic habitat protection uses applied in Missouri.
  • Approval of new definitions for state and national datasets that are used for documenting the names and locations of the state’s rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs which have been assigned designated uses.
  • Approval of new regulatory language that assigns specific uses and protections to many formerly unclassified waters in Missouri.
  • Approval of new authorization language for the Missouri Use Designation Dataset, which will be maintained and updated by MDNR to reflect any changes to the state’s designated uses.
  • Partial approval and partial disapproval of the uses assigned to newly classified waters in the state’s new dataset.
“EPA greatly appreciates Missouri’s continuing efforts to protect and restore water quality throughout the state,” EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said. “EPA particularly applauds Missouri’s decision to protect previously unclassified lakes and streams for the uses specified in the Clean Water Act. This historic action moves the state closer to meeting the Clean Water Act’s long-standing requirements to assign designated uses and corresponding criteria to all waters of the United States in Missouri.”

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