Monthly Archives: September 2011
Law enforcement agencies were being inundated with large illegal quantities of hazardous waste, chemicals and debris associated with the production of methamphetamine. In 1997, at the governor’s direction, the Missouri Methamphetamine Enforcement and Environmental Protection Task Force formed to address this issue. Numerous local, state and federal agencies and organizations banded together and, under the direction of the Special Projects Unit, created the Clandestine Drug Lab Collection Station (CDLCS) Program.
Local fire service and law enforcement agencies currently operate 17 authorized collection stations throughout the state with technical and financial assistance provided by the department. The collection stations provide a safe, legal and secure location where meth lab chemicals seized by law enforcement can be managed and temporarily stored pending processing and proper disposal. To date 14,721 meth lab incidents totaling 533,981 lbs. of hazardous waste, solid waste and other debris have been safely processed through the CDLCS Program.
The Special Projects Unit works closely with the Missouri State Highway Patrol to sponsor a variety of specialized methamphetamine laboratory training. Included is a 40-hour Hazardous Waste and Emergency Response for Methamphetamine Laboratories (Clandestine Lab) in which particpants are certified to enter and dismantle clandestine methamphetamine laboratories. As an extension of this training, the 8-hour Hazardous Waste and Emergency Response for Methamphetamine Laboratories (Clandestine Lab) Re-Certification is offered at select Highway Patrol Troop Headquarters; for training information please visit the Highway Patrol training website.
The Special Projects Unit also provides a variety of supplies, personal protective equipment and air monitoring equipment to law enforcement at no cost. Inquiries concerning supplies and equipment procurement may be made by email or by calling 573-526-4794.
For more information visit our Environmental Services Program.
How do you properly – and legally – dispose of unwanted pesticides?
It partly depends on whether you are a household (individual), a farmer or a business.
Regardless of your classification in those three categories, the preferred method is to reuse the pesticides. Check with the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Pesticides at 573-751-5504 to see if the pesticides are banned or if there any restrictions for using the pesticide.
Missouri law requires householders, farmers and exempted persons manage hazardous wastes, which could include pesticides, they generate so as not to harm human health, threaten the environment or create a public nuisance.
If you have pesticides you’ve used at home, you are allowed to dispose of them with your normal trash. Your trash hauler could, however, refuse to pick these up. In this case you may have to seek other methods of disposal.
If you are unable to dispose of pesticides with your trash, the next option would be to take them to a household hazardous waste collection facility if they are willing to accept them.
Contact your Solid Waste Management District to locate the nearest collection facility.
There might also be a hazardous waste collection event in your area that would accept unwanted pesticides. The department maintains a list of these events.
If you are a farmer, a person primarily engaged in the production of crops or livestock for agricultural purposes, or both, many of the exemptions that apply to household hazardous waste also apply to you. Disposal in your trash may be legal, but you must ensure your pesticides don’t create a danger to human health or the environment.
Check the labels to see if there are any directions or recommendations for disposal. Sometimes manufacturers will offer options such as drop-off or take back programs.
Also check with the Bureau of Pesticides to see if there are restrictions on using the pesticide.
If there are no manufacturer options available or if the use of the pesticide is restricted, contact your Solid Waste Management District for additional options. As a final resort you may opt to hire a licensed hazardous waste transporter to take the pesticides to a permitted Treatment, Storage or Disposal facility.
An unused pesticide product becomes a waste when it is permanently removed it from service. If you have determined the pesticide is a waste you must then determine if it is a hazardous waste.
If it is a hazardous waste you are required to dispose of it at a permitted Treatment, Storage or Disposal facility. You are also required to use a licensed hazardous waste transporter to ship them.
If they are not hazardous wastes, they may be disposed of at a solid waste landfill or transfer station. Some special waste requirements may still apply, and would be determined by the solid waste facility receiving the waste.
If you have any questions about properly disposing of pesticides, give us a call at 800-361-4827.
School’s back in session. The little students might have new shoes, backpacks and erasers. What’s an easy way to recoup some of the money spent on back-to-school essentials?
Turn off the key when waiting in line to pick up the little scholars from school.
Think about it.
You show up before the final bell rings to pick up your son, daughter, grandchild, etc. You leave the car running for 10, 20 maybe 30 minutes while you wait in a long line of cars. Idling. Wasting gas. Polluting the air.
The solution is pretty easy: turn off the car.
In the summer issue of Missouri Resources we highlighted the Springfield Public School district as they implemented Idle-Free Zones around their buildings.
Since the article ran, we have heard from other schools wanting to do the same and Missouri schools that have also implemented a no-idling policy.
One class – Kathy Nuetzel’s students from the Center for Creative Learning, a gifted program in the Rockwood School District in the St. Louis County area – started their own anti-idling campaign.
This campaign included researching, designing signs, writing proposals so the signs could be permanently placed in the school’s parking lot, creating presentations and making and selling t-shirts promoting their anti-idling message.
As if that’s not enough, they made a documentary video on their project.
Check out their Action4Air anti-idling page. There’s lots of good info there on idling and what this group of students has done to make the air around their school cleaner.
These kids show the future is in good hands.
Reducing idling not only saves money by conserving gas, but it also lowers the amount of harmful pollution, your – or someone else’s – son, daughter, grandchild breath as they leave school.
So, the next time you’re waiting for the wave of students to pour from school doors, consider turning off the car. Your pocketbook and student might just thank you.
The Solid Waste Advisory Board, SWAB, will next meet on October 5, 2011 at the Elm Street Conference Center, 1730 East Elm Street, Jefferson City, Missouri.
The SWAB, primarily advises the department on:
- Development of improved methods of solid waste minimization, recycling and resource recovery;
- Waste management issues pertinent to the districts;
- Effects of proposed rules and regulations upon solid waste management within the districts;
- Problems experienced by solid waste management districts in managing solid waste within their area; and
- Criteria to be used in awarding grants pursuant to section 260.335.
SWAB has 25 members. The 20 chairpersons of the solid waste management districts in Missouri, two representatives of the solid waste industry, two public members with a demonstrated interest in solid waste management issues, and a representative of the recycling or composting industry.
Visit Solid Waste Advisory Board Meeting Minutes and Agendas for more information.
If you would like more information regarding solid waste, please visit the Solid Waste Management Program website or contact the program at 573-751-5401.
On September 6, 2011, Environmental Emergency Responders (EER) contacted Verona High School, in Verona, MO, regarding a small mercury release in the school’s laboratory from a dropped thermometer. The room was immediately isolated. The science teacher undertook cleanup following U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) -recommendedguidelines. The room was ventilated. No other exposures were reported.
Emergency responders conducted air monitoring at the site and discovered several visible mercury beads on the floor in the classroom. EER staff utilized the mercury vacuum to remove any remaining mercury beads. The classroom and hallway were mopped twice with a HgX solution.
On September 13, 2011, EER received a call from Excelsior Springs Hospital about a mercury release from old medical equipment stored in the basement.
Hospital staff performed a cleanup. EER provided local hazardous material contractor contact information for contaminated debris disposal.
EER staff conducted screening of the hospital basement along with an EPA representative. Due to concerns regarding elevated levels, further action was required. However since this is a private business, a contractor was hired by the hospital with no further action by the department.
Mercury is toxic when inhaled. For more information on cleaning up mercury spills, visit mercury cleanup.
To report an environmental emergency, including mercury spills, please the contact the department’s spill line at 573-634-2436.
Examples of environmental emergencies include:
- Oil and chemical spills,
- Radiological and biological discharges,
- Accidents causing releases of pollutants,
- Fish kills
- Hazardous material incidents
- Leaking abandoned containers
To report an environmental concern, visit the online environmental concern form.
For more information visit the department or call 800-361-4827 or 573-751-3443.
The Land Reclamation Commission will meet in open session at 10 a.m. on Sept. 22, 2011 at the Lewis and Clark State Office Building in Jefferson City. At this meeting the commission will be deciding the matter of the issuance of a mining permit applied for by Strack Excavating north of Saxony Lutheran High School near the town of Fruitland, Missouri. More information about the quarry permit application is available at dnr.mo.gov/env./fruitland.htm.
Those unable to travel to Jefferson City can watch the commission meeting on live streaming video on the Web. The meeting will be broadcast live. People interested in watching can see the broadcast at dnr.mo.gov/videos/live.htm.
For more information or a complete meeting agenda contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Land Reclamation Program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-4041 or visit dnr.mo.gov/env/lrp/commission/lrc.htm.
Green Tips – Fall Season Composting
Fall is a wonderful time to visit the local farmers’ market for pumpkins, squash, apples and other seasonal favorites. Locally grown produce is usually grown within a 100-mile radius, and purchasing locally saves valuable energy as well as helping the local economy. While some pumpkins can be used for pies, other pumpkins, gourds and melons may be cut up and composted once the season is over. Fall is the perfect time to start your own compost pile at home. Yard trimmings, vegetative food waste including fruit and vegetable peels, egg shells, and coffee grounds and filters can all be placed in a compost bin.
For more information check the program’s information on composting or starting a compost pile.
The fall holiday season is a good time to be green by remembering a few simple steps.
For more information, visit Green Tips.
Locate recycling facilities in your area
or visit the program’s Solid Waste Web site.
Many of Missouri’s 20 Solid Waste Management Districts help fund environmental education projects that bring environmental education to schools that otherwise might not have such opportunity. Frequently, this requires drawing on retired teachers and environmental educators to expand the pool of knowledge available especially in small and rural counties.
Green Tips – Tailgating
Fans are encouraged to think green before the game starts. When shopping for the pre-game, look to the local farmer’s market for fresh made buns and produce for grilling. Shopping locally ensures the items didn’t travel as far, using up valuable energy in transport. Purchase condiments in bulk rather than single serving sizes to reduce waste.
Carpooling to the game is a great way to cut down on gas usage and spend time with friends and family. If fans live close to the stadium, tailgate in the yard and walk to the game. Dress appropriately for the season to avoid using the car to warm up. Look into solar or crank powered radios that do not require electricity.
Propane is the cleanest burning option when grilling in a parking lot. However, if charcoal is preferred, try to use a chimney starter rather than lighter fluid to reduce chemicals released into the air. Solar powered grills are gaining popularity and will amplify the sun’s rays just enough to grill those brats and dogs. They leave almost no environmental impact except the smell of sizzling barbecue.
Be sure to look for reusable plates, cups and silverware. Durable plastic lasts a long time, and dishes from a second hand store are usually inexpensive in case a plate breaks. If reusable dishes aren’t an option, opt for products made of recycled materials or that can be composted post-game.
Look for recycling bins around the stadium to recycle your plastic, bottles and cans. If no bins are provided, call up the stadium and ask they be provided in the future. Provide a bag or box to tailgaters near your vehicle to recycle whatever items are accepted in that community.
For additional environmentally-friendly tips, please visit the department’s Green Tips.
A common misconception is that only large cities have the money and resources to clean up contaminated properties. A recently completed study by the Department of Natural Resources titled Hidden Treasures of Missouri – Rural Roots, shows the success rural areas have achieved by cleaning up and redeveloping land and buildings that may have had some sort of hazardous waste contamination. These types of properties are often referred to as brownfields.
Often abandoned and usually derelict in appearance, contaminated properties are a blight on the spirit and economy of a community and may represent threats to both human and environmental health. When brownfields are cleaned up and reused, many of these blighted sites have proven to be hidden treasures whose worth is significantly increased.
The Hidden Treasures of Missouri – Rural Roots study focuses on 60 sites in rural areas of Missouri whose owners have chosen to assess and, where necessary, clean up their properties through the department’s Brownfields/Voluntary Cleanup Program. All of the sites received a Certificate of Completion from the program by successfully completing the site investigation and cleanup process. The rural communities examined include those with the smallest of populations: the largest community is just over 20,000 people.
Many community leaders indicated the cleanup improved the quality of life in their community. An eyesore in the community was transformed, made ready for reuse. In some instances, the redevelopment on the brownfield property sparked cleanup and redevelopment of surrounding properties.
The Hidden Treasures – Rural Roots study is a follow-up to a 2005 study which examined urban properties that successfully completed cleanup and redevelopment using public financing. The 2005 study, titled Hidden Treasures of Missouri measured the economic and environmental benefit of cleanup. The results of that first study showed the 50 sites profiled generated $2.21 billion in private investments and proposed 11,053 new jobs.