Monthly Archives: January 2012
A department Environmental Emergency Responder investigated the discovery of an apparent petroleum sheen on a Mountain Grove creek that drains into Whetstone Creek in Wright County on January 26.
Mountain Grove Fire Department contacted the department late Thursday afternoon regarding the discovery when personnel noticed the sheen combined with a strong petroleum odor.
Upstream of the incident, the responder observed approximately one half inch of free phase red dye diesel in the above ground storage (AST) containment at a local petroleum facility. A storm water culvert runs directly underneath the AST containment and surfaces above ground approximately 300 feet from that location.
The responder requested the potential responsible party pump out the remaining 300-350 gallons of diesel fuel and water from the AST containment. The company is maintaining absorbent pad and booms on the creek.
The department will work closely with the potential responsible party on an excavation strategy to help determine if the petroleum impact to the waterway is a result of a previously opened valve or if the AST containment is compromised providing a direct downward path to the water exists.
The Environmental Emergency Responder will conduct further investigation. The Environmental Emergency Response section is called to the scene of more than 300 emergencies each year, including fires, traffic accidents, leaking storage tanks and other incidents that could have a negative environmental impact. The department’s 24-hour spill line receives more than 1,600 incident reports annually.
To report an environmental emergency, including fuel spills, please contact the spill line at (573) 634-2436. For more information about the program visit Environmental Emergency Response.
Was scanning some news stories from across the state and came across this headline: Firefighters issue plea: get a burn permit.
(The full article is on the Lake News Online Web page.)
Turns out Camden County firefighters have been fighting a lot of brush fires so far this year (32 of ‘em).
In addition to local governments and fire districts having their own restrictions on open burning, there are some state regulations. For example, there are some things that may not be burned: tires, rubber products, plastic foam, demolition waste, treated wood and any asbestos-containing material.
Take a look at our Facts on Open Burning Under Missouri Regulations fact sheet for a good summary of what is and isn’t allowable from the state’s perspective. Remember to contact your local government or fire district for any additional requirements before putting lighting up.
There are also options besides burning. Yard waste, such as grass clippings, leaves and smaller twigs, can be composted. Check out our Homeowners’ Composing Guide Web page for more info.
And as the fire chief in the article said, be careful if you do burn. Things can get mighty dry in winter, so if it’s a breezy day, hold off for another day with less wind.
Here’s a wonderful thought: you have the right to use and enjoy Missouri’s natural resources and we have the duty and responsibility to protect those natural resources.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are charged, primarily through federal Superfund law, with assessing injuries to and restoring natural resources (think of rivers, forests and wildlife) that have been injured by environmental hazards such as oil discharges and hazardous substances releases. The process is known as Natural Resources Damage Assessment and Restoration.
As part of our duty to protect these natural resources, we – along with our friends at U.S. Fish & Wildlife – have developed a regional restoration plan for southwest Missouri’s natural resources that have been injured by hazardous substances releases.
Representatives from the department and Fish & Wildlife Service will explain the restoration plan at public meetings in Springfield, Joplin and Neosho later this month. The public will have the opportunity to ask questions and formally comment on the restoration plan during the meetings.
The public meetings will be held:
- Jan. 25 in Joplin at MSU’s Billingsley Student Center, 3950 E. Newman Rd.
- Jan. 26 in Neosho at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery, 520 Park Street.
- Jan. 30 in Springfield at the Library Center, 4653 S. Campbell Ave.
The meetings will start at 6 p.m. and end at 8:30.
Written comments on the restoration plan are also being accepted and must be postmarked no later than Feb. 24. Comments and questions can be directed to:
Frances Klahr, Natural Resource Damages Coordinator
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 176 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176
John Weber, Restoration Coordinator
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
101 Park DeVille Dr. Suite A
Columbia, MO 65203
A typical five day conference with 2,500 attendees uses 62,500 plates, 87,500 napkins, 75,000 cups/glasses and 90,000 cans and bottles. Green meetings are a good way to save money. What makes a meeting Green?
- Incorporating environmental considerations throughout the planning and implementation process to minimize the negative impact on the environment.
Creating a green meeting:
- Provide recycling bins in public areas and private rooms.
- Use cloth napkins and tablecloths.
- Use glass or ceramic coffee mugs instead of Styrofoam or paper.
- Use water coolers instead of bottled water.
- Donate extra food and refreshments to local shelters or food banks.
- Serve locally grown or organic food if possible. (Locally grown is usually within 100 mile radius.)
- Use online invitations or registration.
- Collect and reuse plastic nametag holders.
- Use reusable or recyclable signage.
- Place exhibitor information on CD or online to cut down on handouts.
- Minimize travel requirements. A shorter distance equals less environmental impact.
- Encourage public transportation when possible, and provide incentives to guests in the form of free passes for buses, light rail, etc.
- Schedule activities within walking distance of each other.
For additional environmentally-friendly tips, please visit the department’s Green Tips.
As Missouri communities continue to grow, older buildings are being renovated or demolished. Properly managing the waste during the demolition will prevent threats to human health and the environment.
The department regulates demolition and renovation projects for institutional, commercial, public and industrial structures. The department also regulates residential structure projects such as apartment buildings with more than four units or two or more residential structures within 500 feet of each other. Single residential structures containing four units or less are exempted from the demolition notification and inspection requirements.
All construction and demolition waste must be properly disposed of at a permitted transfer station or landfill regardless of whether it was generated from a regulated project or a non-regulated single residential structure. Before a regulated renovation or demolition project begins, the business or entity requesting the work should make the waste disposal a part of the contract. This will deflect liability if the waste is not properly managed and should be considered by the contractors during the bid process.
Demolition or renovation operations can create several different kinds of waste including clean fill, recovered materials, regulated wastes, hazardous waste and asbestos containing materials. For more information on these wastes and its proper uses or disposal, call the department at 1-800-361-4827 or (573) 751-5401 or visit Construction and Demolition Waste.
We often talk about how the air is cleaner today than it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago. But can we prove it?
We’ve come a long way.
Look at sulfur dioxide emissions: in 1970 more than a million tons of sulfur dioxide was being emitted into the air. That number has dropped 60 percent.
Even with these improvements, we know there’s still work to do.
Improving the air takes a team. Work we’ve done here, and are doing, at the Department of Natural Resources has helped, but so has the work done by Missouri businesses and Missouri citizens.
If you’d like to know some things you can do to help improve air quality, there’s a fact sheet What You Can Do to Improve the Air that has some great tips.
There’s hazardous waste in Missouri? You betcha. More than you may think.
Thankfully, the department has a program, the Hazardous Waste Program, that deals with hazardous waste on a daily basis.
Want to know what the program is doing to protect Missourians and the environment from these hazards? Check out the latest issue of the Hazardous Waste Management Commission Quarterly Report.
It’s actually a lot more interesting than the name might let on – lots of color photos and descriptions of sites from across the state. You never know, there may be a feature on the old gas station or empty lot just down the road from your house.
Topics in the July through September report include:
- How engineering controls work and when they are used.
- A grant to conduct environmental assessments for abandoned gas stations along Route 66.
- The program’s involvement with sites in Rogersville, Trenton, Kansas City and St. Louis.
Missouri has many parks and trails that offer options for taking a jog or ride to burn a few calories and get some fresh air. More than 50 Missouri State Parks offer walking or hiking trails, and 21 offer some type of biking path including the Katy Trail. Check with your community for walking and biking trails that are well lit after dark. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and take all safety precautions.
If it’s just too cold to exercise outside, create your own home gym. Swap workout DVDs with friends, or borrow them from the library to get a workout in your living room. This saves the plastic waste in buying new videos, and can keep your routine from getting boring. If you want to purchase home gym equipment, look for used treadmills and other cardio equipment, or look for energy efficient models, or those that don’t use any electricity.
Try to purchase a reusable water bottle instead of plastic water bottles that end up in landfills. Workout gear can be recycled by some companies and made into new clothing. Try to buy sweats made of natural fibers that are easier to recycle, or find clothing and fleece made from recycled plastic.
You can’t get anywhere without the shoes on your feet, so look for a good quality, well-fitting pair of athletic shoes. When they are worn out, consider recycling your athletic shoes through the Nike Grind project, which accepts athletic shoes from any company, and grinds them into rubber chips. This rubber, much like shredded tires, can then be used in tracks, playgrounds and tennis courts.
For additional environmentally-friendly tips, please visit the department’s Green Tips.