The Missouri Department of Natural Resources, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has finalized a guide for the process of restoring natural resources injured by the release of hazardous substances in southwest Missouri and has issued a call for projects that will aid in the restoration of damaged areas.
The guide, known as the Springfield Plateau Regional Restoration Plan, addresses damages to natural resources done by lead and zinc mining within the Tri-State Mining District, an area that includes southwestern Missouri, southeastern Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma.
The department and FWS has issued a request for proposals for restoration projects within the Tri-State Mining District. Funds totaling $235,000 are available for projects related to injuries to migratory birds and endangered species resulting from Eagle Picher mining and smelting activities around Joplin, Mo. Priority will be given to projects that improve or protect riparian migratory bird habitat.
The request for proposals and the plan can be found on the website of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at: the website of the Department of Natural Resources, as well as the FaceBook page “Springfield Plateau Restoration.”
The scoring matrix, maps and additional information can be found on these sites as well.
The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. on Sept. 21.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources now offers land disturbance permits online.
Land disturbance permits are one of the most commonly requested permits from the department and Missourians can now apply online and receive them in minutes instead of weeks.
The new system, called ePermitting, provides builders, contractors and developers with easy and convenient online access to apply for, pay for and print a land disturbance permit 24 hours a day, seven days a week from the convenience of their home, office or jobsite.
A land disturbance permit is required for any project that results in the disturbance of one acre of land or more. The purpose of the permit is to make sure steps are taken by the permit holder to prevent erosion from the site from polluting local waterways.
Once the department has had time to assess online permitting for land disturbance permits, work will begin to add other permits to the online process.
The department has developed a series of orientation videos designed to help permit seekers with the online process. A link on the department home page, www.dnr.mo.gov, will take visitors to the permit page, or they can go directly to the page: www.dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp/epermit/help.htm
Summertime definitely means fun in the sun, however, the heat and sunlight can mix with volatile organic compounds to produce ground-level ozone. Pollution from vehicles, businesses and power plants combines in the presence of sunlight creating ground-level ozone – known commonly as smog. Typically, ozone pollution is a problem in the hot summer months from late May to early September when sunlight and higher temperatures speed up the formation of ground-level ozone. Ozone levels from the combustion of fossil fuels tend to rise mid-morning, several hours after the rush-hour and peak in the late afternoon.
Simple everyday steps can help reduce the emission of harmful pollutants that contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone or smog.
Ozone-reducing activities include:
- Keep tires properly inflated.
- Use mass transit, carpool, bike or walk.
- Do not top off gas tanks. Stop at the first click.
- Do not use gas-powered lawn equipment on hot, sunny days with little or no wind. Consider waiting until early evening to mow your lawn.
- Conserve energy by turning off lights and appliances when leaving a room to reduce emissions from power plants. Purchase Energy Star® appliances.
- Set goals to reduce utility bills by two percent. This can save money and protect air quality.
The department maintains and collects data from air monitors across Missouri to see if Missouri’s air quality meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Visit the Air Pollution Control Program for more information.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Natural Resources are partnering to work with communities along Historic Route 66 to provide assessments of abandoned gasoline stations for petroleum contamination.
Many services, such as gas stations, restaurants, motels and drive-in theaters, were constructed along Route 66. As the interstate took the place of the original highway, many of these businesses closed up and became abandoned. Several of the abandoned underground storage tanks at the gas stations were never properly addressed and may have leaked gasoline into the soil and groundwater. These issues could pose a current or future risk to human health or the environment.
To help remedy this potential issue the department will be using funds made available by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Underground Storage Tanks. It is hoped that these assessments will lead to the clean-up and the eventual safe reuse of these abandoned station properties.
The department is looking for potential sites and is asking for suggestions from residents in communities along the historic roadway. To inform the department of any projects that your community may have, please contact the department at 573-751-6822 or by e-mail to email@example.com prior to Sept. 15.
For more information about underground storage tanks in Missouri and what the department is doing to prevent and clean up leaks from tanks is available on the Tanks Section’s webpage.
See how this program helped create the Webb City Route 66 Information Center.