Letter to the Editor

When will DNR get some common sense?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Dear Editor:

It has come to my attention that there is a new application for an operating permit for George's Inc. at the Cassville Processing Plant. I found it on the DNR website on Sunday, June 1, 2008, but the permit was dated June 2, 2008. The deadline to write to DNR for comments was June 1.

The application was to add over 1,100 acres to the processing plant to spray water onto the land. It states that there is a losing stream within two miles.

Barry County already has more than half of the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) in all of Missouri with Lawrence, Newton, McDonald and Jasper counties coming in right after that of Barry County.

According to the DNR most of the waters of southwest Missouri are already polluted. Do we need to add another 1,100 acres to the problem?

On May 16, 2007, Doyle Childers, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, touched on a number of environmental issues during a speech at the first Four-State Regional Environmental Conference held in Joplin.

"But maintaining an adequate supply of drinking water is the main issue," he said. "Southwest Missouri and Northwest Missouri have major water issues.''

Citing historic cultures that have collapsed because of water shortages, Childers said, "You have to look 20 to 30 years into the future. If you don't do that, you will endanger your future.''

He said the increasing presence of antibiotics and mercury in the state's waters pose new challenges. He said mercury, a hazardous chemical, has been detected "in every stream and water body in the state."

Mr. Childers is not practicing what he preaches when he lets more and more pollution sources to enter Barry County. It is not just the water in rivers, lakes, streams and creeks, it's also the groundwater that is being depleted through all the wells being used and the seepage from the Karst topography we have in the Ozarks.

When is DNR going to get some common sense?

Update on the hearing before the Administrative Hearing Commission on the CAFO near Roaring River: It has been postponed again and the new date has not been set.


Beverly Sweeney

Eagle Rock, Missouri