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Ozone season starts April 1

No fooling! The start of ozone season is just around the corner. The reason for the season is ozone is good up high and bad nearby

Summer heat can bring some lovely days for a dip in the swimming pool but the heat and sunlight can also produce ground-level ozone – commonly known as smog. Smog is a gas created when the pollution from business, power plants and vehicles mix in the presence of sunlight. Higher temps and sunlight speed up the formation of this ground-level ozone.

Exposure to ground-level ozone contributes to health and environmental problems. Adults and children can experience problems breathing, especially those who exercise or work outdoors. Ground-level ozone may also damage trees and agricultural crops.

Simple everyday steps can help reduce the emission of harmful ozone-causing pollutants:

  • Keep vehicle tires properly inflated. (Under-inflated tires also increase gasoline consumption.)
  • Use public transportation, carpool, bike or walk.
  • Stop at the first click when filling up gas tanks. Do not top off the tank. Resist the urge to squeeze that nozzle!
  • Don’t 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.
  • Set a goal to reduce your utility bill by two percent. You will save money and protect air quality.

Ozone monitoring data for ozone season, which begins April 1 and runs through Oct. 31, is available from monitors placed around the state. For more information on ozone, visit the department’s Ozone webpage. You may also want to read the article The Darker Side of Ozone in the summer 2011 edition of Missouri Resources’ magazine. 

Land Reclamation Commission Meeting Cancelled

Due to the light agenda, the Land Reclamation Commission meeting scheduled for Jan. 24 is cancelled.  The commission will meet next at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 28 in the Nightingale Conference Room inside the Lewis and Clark State Office Building in Jefferson City.  For more information about the Land Reclamation Commission, including future meeting dates, times and locations, visit the commission webpage at http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/lrp/commission/lrc.htm.

Department releases environmental compliance calendars for 2013

Happy New Year! The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has released two environmental compliance calendars aimed at helping regulated industries with the most common reporting requirements.

The calendars, which are available free of charge for download from the department’s website, include the 2013 General Industry Compliance Calendar and the 2013 Dry Cleaning Compliance Calendar.  These fact sheets, designed to look like wall calendars, are intended to be a guide to the most common reporting requirements faced by companies in Missouri.

The General Industry Compliance Calendar, PUB1311, provides a quick reference of permits held by a facility.  The calendar can be tailored to a facility’s particular requirements.  Each month of the calendar lists some of the more commonly required reports.  The list does not include internal record keeping requirements that may be included in permit conditions for a specific process or facility.  Each facility is responsible for reviewing and complying with their permit conditions and with all applicable regulations. 

The calendar helps keep track of general facility information when dealing with hazardous waste, water issues, land reclamation, air emissions and more.

The Dry Cleaning Compliance Calendar, PUB1310, may be used to keep records required by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.  The inspection checklist covers the requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Emissions Standards for Air Pollutants, or NESHAP, for dry cleaners.

Both calendars are available on the department’s publications webpage.  The General Industry Compliance Calendar is located at www.dnr.mo.gov/pubs/pub1311.pdf.  The Dry Cleaning Compliance Calendar is located at www.dnr.mo.gov/pubs/pub1310.pdf.

 

 

Keeping 3,200 tons of diesel emissions from Missouri skies

Diesel moves approximately 90 percent of America’s freight. Diesel engines power nearly all delivery trucks, freight trucks, locomotives and commercial marine vessels. The Air Pollution Control Program wants those diesel engines to keep Missouri’s skies cleaner while they are moving our nation’s goods on down the road.

Under the State Allocated Diesel Emission Reduction Act Funding for 2012, the Air Pollution Control Program received a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, to fund a clean diesel program in Missouri. 

The program used the grant to award subgrants to St. Louis Regional Clean Cities and to the Ozark Center for Sustainable Solutions at Drury University.

St. Louis Regional Clean Cities will receive a subgrant for $108,250. The St. Louis area project will include repowering the 1984 propulsion engines on a 600-horsepower tugboat with new cleaner and more efficient engines that meet more stringent federal emission standards.  In addition, a 2000 model year class 8 long-haul tractor-trailer that is used to fulfill pick-up and delivery contracts in all of Missouri’s major metropolitan areas will be replaced with a new truck with an engine meeting the latest EPA emission standards for heavy-duty diesel vehicles.

The Ozark Center for Sustainable Solutions at Drury University will be receiving a subgrant for $82,000. The southwest Missouri area project will include the early replacement of two 1997-model year school buses owned by Logan-Rogersville and Hollister School District, respectively. The new bus engines will meet the latest EPA emission standards for school buses.  In addition, one 1990 dump truck owned by APAC will be replaced with a new truck that will operate exclusively on compressed natural gas as opposed to conventional diesel fuel.

These projects are expected to keep more than 3,200 tons of diesel emissions from entering Missouri’s air through the life of the vehicles and engines that will be replaced or repowered. This is also expected to conserve thousands of gallons of diesel fuel each year for the combination of fleets included in the project.

The Air Pollution Control Program is committed to reducing diesel emissions in Missouri. Diesel emissions contain oxides of nitrogen as well as volatile organic compounds, which in the presence of sunlight, react to form ground-level ozone, the pollutant of most concern statewide in Missouri.  Ozone is known to cause and aggravate respiratory diseases such as asthma.

Diesel emissions also contain fine particulate matterwhich can penetrate deep into people’s lungs past their natural defenses. This can lead to a variety of different lung and respiratory disease including lung cancer.  Reducing diesel emissions, particularly in areas with disproportionately high concentrations of air pollutants is vital to the Air Pollution Control Program’s mission of protecting public health.

 

 

Does your school have a School Flag Program?

Did you know air pollution is a trigger for asthma? Did you know children are especially sensitive to the harmful effects of air pollution? When the air quality is unhealthy what changes are you going to make in children’s outdoor play?

The School Flag Program is an effort by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help schools improve the health and wellness of students and staff.

Air pollution can affect the health of children, especially those with asthma. The School Flag Program is designed to help the school community stay aware of outdoor air quality conditions so teachers, coaches and students can take protective measures to reduce students’ exposure to air pollution. Modifying outdoor activities is recommended when air quality has reached unhealthy levels.

There are four easy steps to get the School Flag Program started at your school to ensure healthy learning environments.

First, purchase five flags, pennant style, solid colors, Schools participating in the School Flag Program raise a flag each day. The flag colors are based on the colors of the Air Quality IndexEach flag color corresponds to a different level of health concern:

  • Green = good
  • Yellow = moderate
  • Orange = unhealthy for sensitive groups
  • Red = unhealthy
  • Purple = very unhealthy 

Second, educate and inform parents, teachers and students.

Third, check the Air Quality Index each day and fly the corresponding flag. You can sign up for an email check the local news, or go to www.airnow.gov for a free air quality app or free widget.

Fourth, follow the recommendations for schools and others on poor air quality days.

Learn more about the School Flag Program  Resources for teachers are also available. For questions, contact Ellen Wildermann, 919-541-5408 or email at wildermann.ellen@epa.gov.

For more information about air pollutants, ozone and the air quality data system, visit the Air Pollution Control Program 

 

Back to School – Recycling

Is the sight of fellow students throwing away perfectly good recyclables making you cringe?

Cure the cringe by starting a recycling program at school, or if your school already has recycling, encourage and educate classmates about the importance of recycling.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • In the Class Room. 
    • Students should always recycle old worksheets. If you have a recycle receptacle in your class room, it’s easy, just use it.  If not, ask for one to be provided.
    • Notebooks are often thrown away because the first couple of pages are already used for a different project.  Simply tear out and recycle the old pages and reuse the rest of the notebook.
  • Outside of Class.
    • Get a team together to help the school recycle.
    • Post signs in hallways about how and what to recycle.
  • In the Cafeteria.
    • If your school recycles, be sure to look for the recycle symbol on food packaging and put those packages into recycling containers.
    • If your school does not have recycling containers, ask your school staff about getting them.

Just remember, we impact our environment by the choices we make every day.
To find more tips on being eco-friendly all year long, visit our Green Tips website.

New Video Highlights Historic Route 66 Revitalization

The department today premiered a new video created to help support the efforts of the Historic Highway Revitalization Project focused on Route 66. This video highlights how the interstate took the place of the original highway and in turn caused many businesses to close and eventually become abandoned. Several of these abandoned businesses were gas stations with underground storage tanks that could be leaking and causing damage to 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 e-mail Ken Koon directly, 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.

Back to School Shopping – Going Green

Back to school shopping is very exciting, but before heading out to the stores there are a few things to consider.

  • Take inventory of all your remaining school supplies from last year and cross what you still have off of your shopping list.
  • Remember to choose environmentally friendly school supplies, such as recycled paper and pencils, soy crayons, BPA free water bottles and reusable lunch packs.
  • Look for natural fibers or recycled material in the clothes you buy. Recycled and environmentally friendly products are at the top of fashion and are easy to find.
  • Choose items with little or no packaging. Items that are overly packaged create unnecessary waste that ends up in landfills.

Just remember, we impact our environment by the choices we make every day.
To find more tips on being eco-friendly all year long, visit our Green Tips website.

Free pesticide collection program for Marshall area residents

If you have gotten rid of pests but are plagued by left-over pesticides, this collection program may help what’s bugging you. The department is providing Missouri residents with a convenient, free opportunity to properly dispose of pesticides. Proof of residence may be requested.

Bring your waste to the City of Marshall - Recycling Drop-off Facility, located at 765 West North Street, Marshall, MO 65340 on Saturday, Sept. 8 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

What will be accepted?

Fungicides.
Herbicides.
Insecticides.
Pesticides.
Rodenticides.
Fertilizers containing herbicides or pesticides.
De-wormers & fly-tags.
Only material that is clearly identifiable as a pesticide or herbicide will be received.

What will not be accepted?
Explosives.
Fire Extinguishers.
Smoke Detectors.
Cylinders.
Asbestos.
Trash.
Yard Waste.
Electronics.
Pesticides from businesses, pesticide production facilities, pesticide distributors or pesticide retailers.

Any other chemicals or waste other than pesticides or herbicides.

Collection services will be processed by the Environmental Quality Company and overseen by the department’s Environmental Services Program  and Hazardous Waste Program staff. For more information on the pesticide collection program, contact Ricardo Jones at 573-526-3214.

 

Department of Natural Resources to host meeting on plans to protect St. Louis waterways

The Department of Natural Resources will hold a public meeting Sept. 12 to discuss draft plans to improve water quality in five metropolitan waterways in St. Louis County. The meeting will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at the St. Louis County Library – Daniel Boone Branch, 300 Clarkson Road in Ellisville

The plans are part of total maximum daily load studies, which describe pollutant reductions needed to improve water quality in the targeted waterways.  The five waterways addressed by the studies include

  • Watkins Creek.
  • Gravois Creek.
  • Creve Coeur Creek.
  • Fishpot Creek.
  • Coldwater Creek.

The federal Clean Water Act requires the department to establish a list of impaired waters and to develop improvement plans for those waterways included on the list. The department determined these five waterways do not meet water quality standards due to bacteria levels and placed them on the 2010 list of impaired waters.

The study process works best when local citizens come together to understand and identify problems in their watershed, and help develop the most effective solution for reducing water pollution and developing a successful watershed management plan.

Links to the studies and supporting documents are available online at www.dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp/tmdl.  The public is encouraged to participate in this process if they have concerns or if they would like to provide support for the process. For more information, call the department’s Water Protection Program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-7428.