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.
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.