Businesses that dump wastewater or divert storm runoff into Missouri waterways must pay a fee to the state Department of Natural Resources, but those fees are set to expire Sept. 1 unless the state legislature intervenes.
The DNR collects approximately $4 million annually which helps pay regulation costs. Without this fee, the department will have an even harder time dealing with the water program’s projected $3 million annual deficit.
If the issue is not resolved within an adequate timeline, the Environmental Protection Agency could step in to monitor the state’s waterways.
The issue is complicated by the fact that Gov. Jay Nixon is looking to reorganize the state’s environmental commissions, merging several to facilitate the issuance of permits to small businesses.