News Release 145

Department of Natural Resources issues waiver to aid in cleanup following major flooding in southern Missouri

Volume 39-145 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, MAY 10, 2011 – The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is waiving specific solid waste and air pollution regulations to give residents and communities affected by flooding in 19 southern Missouri counties additional flexibility in cleaning up.

The waiver applies to Barry, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Howell, McDonald, Mississippi, New Madrid, Ozark, Pemiscot, Reynolds, Ripley, St. Francois, Scott, Stoddard, Stone, Taney and Wayne counties.

The waiver will allow vegetative waste, such as brush and yard waste, which normally is excluded from permitted sanitary landfills, to be taken to such landfills if the landfill agrees to accept the waste. The department is encouraging residents to recycle appliances damaged in the storm, but in cases where it is impractical to separate the appliances from other storm debris, the department is also allowing these items to be taken to a landfill. Again, the landfill must be willing to accept the appliances.

The department is encouraging cities and counties to coordinate collection of damaged appliances so refrigerants can be legally recovered from air conditioners, freezers and refrigerators before recycling.

The department continues to strongly encourage, but not require, composting of vegetative waste where practical. The waiver applies only to yard waste and does not allow disposal of other items normally prohibited in sanitary or demolition landfills.

The waiver also allows for the burning of vegetative waste resulting from the storms as long as it is burned on the property where it originated. Community burn sites located within the corporate limits of any municipality must receive a permit from the department.

The burning of vegetative waste from the storms must be done at least 200 yards from the nearest occupied structure and be approved by local fire officials. The department is asking community officials to consider the 200-yard buffer as a minimum and to carefully select burn locations, taking local air quality, public health and safety, and other effects on neighborhoods into consideration.

The waiver shall be in effect until May 23 unless extended and can be found at

Fact sheets on proper disposal of storm debris and other related information are available on the department's website:

Residents or businesses involved in storm debris cleanup should call the Department of Natural Resource's Southeast Regional Office at 573-840-9750 or the Southwest Regional Office at 417-891-4300 for additional information or clarification of the waiver.