Missouri changed its state water quality standards rules, which were recently approved by EPA Region 7, and will give the state’s National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program a bit more freedom.
According to a release from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources recently proposed to change its water standard rules in a letter to the agency on December 11. Following what was established in the EPA’s Clean Water Act, the agency thoroughly reviewed the rule to determine if the change would be in conflict with federal law.
Prior to the change, Missouri’s standards did not allow any entity given a permit, such as city sewage treatment facilities and other industrial plants, to have more than three years to comply with the rules outlined in the NPDES. The rules did note that because the technology is not currently available, it may not be possible to comply in full in the allotted time frame.
“EPA appreciates Missouri’s continuing efforts to protect and restore water quality,” said Karl Brooks, EPA regional administrator. “Missouri facilities are developing new approaches and technologies that require some flexibility in the permit program, so this new rule will encourage both innovation and compliance.”
Missouri’s new law, which has been officially authorized under the Clean Water Act, will control water pollution by keeping better tabs on common sources of water contaminants that enter U.S. waters, such as pipes and man-made ditches. The law does stipulate, however, that any individual home that uses municipal services, has a septic system, or does not have a surface discharge does not need to obtain the NPDES permit.
Industrial, municipal and other facilities that discharge waste that goes directly to a water source, on the other hand, must apply for the permit.
The EPA’s Clean Water Act was developed to regulate pollutant discharges into public water sources, as well as maintain quality standards for all surface waters.
“Under the CWA, EPA has implemented pollution control programs such as setting wastewater standards for industry,” the agency said in a release. “We have also set water quality standards for all contaminants in surface waters.”
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