Fiscal Year 2000 Integrated Strategic Plan

STRATEGIC ISSUE 1

Protecting Missouri’s Water, Air and Land Resources

The Department of Natural Resources is charged with protecting Missouri’s water, air and land resources.

Protecting these natural resources ensures quality of life for future generations and ourselves. We are all partners in this endeavor, within the agency, with other state, federal and local agencies, and with industry and citizens. Bypassing the protection of our natural resources will impair our ability to meet the needs of our citizens and will ultimately degrade the piece of earth we call home.

We strive to protect the quality and quantity of Missouri’s water resources. To ensure that water is of adequate quality, both the surface water and groundwater need to be free from biological and chemical pollutants. In addition, ecologically healthy water supports a varied and healthy aquatic life. Water quality standards ensure that water is safe for drinking, fishing, swimming and watering livestock. Once water reaches a public drinking water system, additional standards must be met.

A variety of factors influence the capability to supply the quantity of water needed. Changes in weather can bring us both floods and droughts, for which emergency plans must be developed and set in motion when the need arises. Decisions made by states within the watershed of the Mississippi River can drastically influence the quantity and quality of our water resources.

Many Missourians live where the air does not meet national air quality standards. In the St. Louis and Kansas City areas, residents are exposed to levels of ozone that may exceed the federal standards; that is ozone pollution levels can be detrimental to human health. Elevated lead levels are present in the air in various parts of Missouri, which are especially hazardous to the health of children.

Protecting Missouri’s land resources involves many things. Issues related to hazardous and solid waste, underground storage tanks, mining of coal and industrial minerals, conserving Missouri’s soil and water resources, the safety of dams, and the protection of wetlands all impact our daily lives. The results of these activities have, in many instances, polluted our land resources for generations. The environmental clean up of these sites and the prevention of contamination ensures sound land resources for future generations.

Each of our resources, water, air and land, are described by three separate goals in this section. All are intricately linked, and actions taken to protect one resource affects the others.

Goal: Water

Continuously preserve and protect the quality and quantity of the water resources of the state of Missouri.

Outcomes

  1. Improved quality of surface water and groundwater in the state
  2. Sufficient quantity of water resources
  3. Drinking water meets all health-related standards
  4. Protection of the state’s wetland resources

Goal: Air

Preserve and protect the quality of Missouri’s air resources.

Outcome

  1. Missourians living where air meets government air quality standards

Goal: Land

Preserve and protect Missouri’s land resources for ongoing responsible use.

Outcomes

  1. Effective and efficient management of solid waste
  2. Beneficial reuse of sites contaminated with hazardous materials in the past
  3. Proper management of hazardous substances and waste
  4. Proper management of underground and aboveground petroleum storage tanks
  5. Reduction in soil erosion on Missouri’s agricultural land
  6. Successfully reclaimed abandoned and active mined lands that do not pose a threat to the environment, human health or safety
  7. Safe dams
  8. Reduction in property boundary disputes
  9. Appropriate land use decisions by the public, governmental agencies and industry

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