JEFFERSON CITY, MO/January 8, 2018 (STL.News) Today, Governor Eric Greitens submitted a comment to the Environmental Protection Agency on its proposed federal rule, “Water Quality Standards for the State of Missouri’s Lakes and Reservoirs.” The comment is below.
“Dear Administrator Pruitt,
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed federal rule to establish nutrient criteria for Missouri’s lakes and reservoirs.
The people of Missouri appreciate that you have been listening to the states on these issues. It is certainly a change from the last administration. Missourians are used to bureaucrats dictating these rules with little regard for the impact on families. The fact that you are interested in our input is refreshing.
Right now, the EPA is considering a proposed federal rule that would severely hurt Missouri’s families, farmers, cities, and businesses. You have been tasked with slowing the growth of algae. The proposed rule might do that. It would also hurt Missouri families and raise their sewer bills. There’s a better way.
The EPA’s proposed rule will cost Missourians an estimated $1.7 billion as a result of initial lake impairments. $1.7 billion. That’s not a typo: $1.7 billion. That cost gets passed on to families on their sewer bills. It’s been estimated that this would affect about 500,000 Missouri families. It would cost them each almost $3,500.
The Obama EPA put you in a tough spot. Because of a December 2016 settlement agreement between the Obama EPA and an environmental group, your EPA was forced to issue a proposed rule last month. And because of rules and requirements designed by the Obama EPA, your EPA was forced to issue an expensive, expansive proposed rule.
We worked up a better option. Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources gathered 20 years of Missouri-specific lake data and worked with farmers, cities, university scientists, and others to design a rule that ensures clean water and protects the environment—without costing Missouri families hundreds of dollars. Our rule would cost 95% less than the EPA’s rule, and allow the state of Missouri to watch over our lakes—not the federal government.
It is my understanding that the EPA is considering and taking comments on Missouri’s proposed rule. I urge the EPA to approve Missouri’s rule. Missouri’s rule protects our water and the environment. It also protects Missouri’s families, farmers, and businesses from a $1.7 billion bill they do not need or want.
Let Missouri control Missouri lakes.
The move drew praise from leaders across Missouri.
“Governor Greitens is absolutely correct in seeking a Missouri solution on this issue. This is simply a request for commonsense and science to prevail over environmental extremism,” said Blake Hurst, Missouri Farm Bureau President
“This is an example of Missourians coming together to find a solution that works for our state. Governor Greitens and his team, including the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and Director Comer, have rolled up their sleeves and gotten to work with us on addressing these overburdensome Obama-era regulations and proposals. We anticipate this being the first of many steps rolling back burdensome regulations affecting not only Missouri farmers, but all Missourians. We appreciate this sign of partnership, and look forward to continuing to work together to ensure the EPA approves this Missouri plan – saving Missourians millions of dollars,” said Gary Wheeler, Executive Director of the Missouri Soybean Association.
“The Missouri Corn Growers Association applauds the hard work of Gov. Greitens and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for crafting a rule that fits our state,” says Kyle Kirby, Missouri Corn Growers Association president and corn farmer from Barton County. “Missouri has developed a plan using state-specific data. EPA needs to recognize this Missouri rule is the best option for our state, our citizens and our farmers.”
“The Missouri Association of Municipal Utilities applauds Governor Eric Greitens’ call today for the U.S. EPA to stand down on its one-size-fits-all regulations that establish nutrient criteria for Missouri’s lakes and reservoirs. Instead, the Governor is recommending an approach that achieves the goal without overburdensome costs to utility ratepayers – an approach supported by more than 20 years of Missouri-specific data. Missouri’s municipal utilities join Governor Greitens in urging the EPA to adopt Missouri’s rule to protect our state’s waters,” said Ewell Lawson, spokesman for the Missouri Association of Municipal Utilities.
“Missourians can protect our own resources. Not only is the science that underpins the more costly rule wrong, it would hurt hundreds of thousands of Missouri families,” –Don Nikodim, Missouri Pork Association Executive Director
Missourians can join the Governor in submitting comments to the EPA. The EPA must receive comments by February 26, 2018. Comments may be submitted online at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0010-0001. The EPA is holding online public hearings on February 7 and February 8, 2018. Details and registration information for the public hearings may be obtained at https://www.epa.gov/wqs-tech/proposed-nutrient-criteria-missouri-lakes-and-reservoirs.