Streams could be exempted from pollution rules

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Three streams in Barry County are slated for exemption from the federal Clean Water Act, according to a list recently released by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR).

If approved for exemption by the Missouri Clean Water Commission, these three streams would not be subject to state bacteria standards. The streams are: Carney Creek, located about seven miles southwest of Crane; Little Flat Creek, located a few miles northeast of Purdy; and South Fork Capps Creek, located just southwest of Monett.

The Clean Water Commission will be accepting public comments on the proposed stream exemptions until July 21.

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) claims that exempting these streams from Clean Water Act mandates would allow sewer agencies and other facilities to release bacteria-laden water into these waterways without disinfecting the wastewater they discharge.

The Clean Water Act requires MDNR to review the state's water quality standards at least once every three years. This process is an opportunity for the department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the public to review and update Missouri's water quality standards, where applicable.

One part of the triennial review is a determination if new or revised use designations are required for waters of the state. In the case of Little Flat Creek, Carney Creek and South Fork Capps Creek, MDNR is seeking to remove the creeks' use designations as "whole body contact recreation." The reason for this change is that the creeks do not meet depth requirements for this use designation.

Maps of the streams recommended for exemption can be found on MCE's website at Additional information about the streams is available at MDNR's website at

Comments can be mailed to UAA Coordinator, Water Protection Program, P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102 or e-mailed to or faxed to 573-522-9920.

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