News Release 029

Department of Natural Resources issues waiver to aid cleanup following severe weather and tornadoes

Volume 39-029 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has waived specific solid waste and air pollution regulations following the recent severe weather. The waiver will give residents and communities in affected counties throughout the state additional flexibility in cleaning up damages associated with severe weather, high winds, hail and tornadoes that started on Feb. 28.

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 waiver applies only to vegetative waste caused or damaged by the recent storms. The department continues to strongly encourage, but not require, composting of vegetative waste where practical.

The waiver also allows for the burning of vegetative waste resulting from the severe weather that started on Feb. 28 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, which also requires approval by local fire officials.

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

The waiver shall be in effect until March 15, 2012 unless extended. Further information, including the full text of the waiver, is available on Mo.Gov.

Local officials should call their nearest Department of Natural Resources’ regional office for additional information or clarification of the waiver including: Kansas City Regional Office at 816-622-7000; Northeast Regional Office at 660-385-8000; St. Louis Regional Office at 314-416-2960; Southeast Regional Office at 573-840-9750 or Southwest Regional Office at 417-891-4300.