Photo Credit: Missouri Department of Conservation
Welcome to OzarksEnvironmentNews.com! This is your virtual bulletin board – a place to share information and celebrate your events, your accomplishments, your projects as well as a place to find info about organizations of like-minded folks, cool places to go to experience the outdoors at its best, and resources offering data, information, expertise. You are invited to share your news and enjoy the news of others! Got news? Report it to email@example.com Please note: we make every effort to ensure accuracy in our website; however, we cannot be responsible for info garnered from sites other than ours.
The mission of OzarksEnvironmentNews.com is to facilitate communication and to celebrate efforts and accomplishments among the environmental community of the Southwest Missouri Ozarks and to provide useful information to those who live in or visit the Region. Learn more...
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Air Pollution Control Program is now accepting applications from local governments for Climate Pollution Reduction Subgrants. Municipalities are encouraged to apply for subgrant funding to hold informational meetings in their communities to inform the public about the department’s Climate Pollution Reduction Planning efforts.
Through these outreach meetings, municipalities will gather ideas for projects to include in the department’s Priority Climate Action Plan, which will reduce greenhouse gas pollution in communities. Only projects included in this non-binding climate action plan will be eligible for the $4.6 billion in EPA funds that will be available in early 2024. The department encourages all municipal governments to participate in the subgrant program and gather ideas in their communities for climate pollution reduction projects.
The department will reimburse eligible expenses directly related to outreach meetings, including staffing and contractual costs necessary to conduct the outreach activities. In the 30 days following notification of their award, the department expects subgrant recipients to hold three public meetings and collect community feedback using provided information. The deadline to apply is October 20, 2023, but the department plans to award subgrants prior to this deadline as applications are received. The program requirements and application form are available on the department’s website: https://dnr.mo.gov/air/what-were-doing/financial-assistance-opportunities/climate-pollution-reduction-grants.
The department will hold a webinar during the last week of September. This webinar will include the expectations of the subgrant recipients. The department will send out a meeting announcement and post the meeting details on the department’s website when the meeting date is finalized: https://dnr.mo.gov/about-us/forums-stakeholder-groups/climate-pollution-reduction-grants.
EPA Issues Final Rule to Strengthen Water Protections, Support Clear and Timely Reviews of Infrastructure and Development Projects
WASHINGTON (September 14, 2023) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a final rule to restore the fundamental authority granted by Congress to states, territories, and Tribes to protect water resources that are essential to healthy people and thriving communities. The agency’s final Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification Improvement Rule will support clear, efficient, and focused water quality reviews of infrastructure and development projects that are key to economic growth.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to supporting economically secure, healthy, and sustainable communities” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “To achieve this goal, we must protect our water resources while also making investments that move our nation forward. With EPA’s final Clean Water Act Section 401 rule, we are affirming the authority of states, territories, and Tribes to protect precious water resources while advancing federally permitted projects in a transparent, timely, and predictable way.”
“Clean water is critical to the health and success of our communities,” said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. “This rule will help provide North Carolina with the ability to protect our water quality and strengthen our infrastructure.”
“Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act gives states and Tribes an important role regarding federally licensed or permitted projects. As Attorney General, I stood up to efforts to undermine this and now, as Governor, I'm grateful to see it restored," said Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey. “Massachusetts thanks the U.S. EPA for strengthening the partnership envisioned by the Clean Water Act with today’s rule, helping us fulfill our commitment to protecting waterways across Massachusetts.”
“Connecticut is very happy to see EPA release this final rule,” Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said. “We thank EPA for partnering with states to protect our vital water resources while enabling us to move forward quickly on our critical infrastructure projects.”
“EPA’s action will better protect New Mexico’s water quality at a time when federal and state protections are needed most,” said New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. “New Mexico must do all it can to protect our most precious resource - our water.”
“In my state, clean water is the keystone of our economy - from tourism to seafood to small business growth," said Maryland Governor Wes Moore. "I applaud the Biden Administration's commitment to working in partnership with state leaders to protect our waters from harmful pollution. By collaborating across all levels of government, we will build cleaner and more economically vibrant communities that benefit everyone for decades to come."
“DEC applauds the Biden-Harris Administration and EPA Administrator Regan for continuing to prioritize the protection of water quality and giving states a critical role in protecting our natural resources,” said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos. “New York State will fully review the final requirements announced today and continue working with EPA to further implement this and other proven Clean Water Act initiatives.”
"This new rule will allow states to fulfill the role Congress established for them in the Clean Water Act to protect water quality within their borders," said Laura Watson, director of the Washington Department of Ecology. "I applaud EPA's willingness to work with states and restore the partnership that Congress designed."
“The Clean Water Act has been a valuable tool for states to protect their waters,” said Environmental Council of States Executive Director Ben Grumbles. “We appreciate EPA’s renewed engagement under section 401 and will continue to strive for regulatory partnerships that safeguard states’ rights and clean water.”
For 50 years, the Clean Water Act has protected water resources that are essential to thriving communities, vibrant ecosystems, and sustainable growth. This final rule strengthens that foundation while recognizing the essential partnership among the federal government, states, territories, and Tribes in protecting our waters.
Clean Water Act Section 401 enables states, territories, and authorized Tribes to protect their water quality from adverse impacts of construction or operation of federally permitted projects. Under Section 401 of the Act, a federal agency may not issue a license or permit to conduct any activity that may result in any discharge into a water of the United States, unless the appropriate state, territory, or authorized Tribe issues a CWA Section 401 water quality certification or waives certification. EPA’s 2023 rule realigns the scope of Section 401 certification with decades of established practice and restores and strengthens the role of states, territories, and authorized Tribes.
The rule enhances certification review and provides regulatory certainty to advance federally permitted projects. For example, the rule establishes a 6-month default timeframe (when the federal agency and certifying authority fail to reach an agreement) and a 1-year maximum timeframe for certification review (the statutory maximum). The rule emphasizes that states, territories, and Tribes may only consider the adverse water quality-impacts from the activity. To limit delays, the rule also provides a clear approach to defining the required contents in a request for certification.
For more information, including a pre-publication version of the Federal Register notice, fact sheets, and information on upcoming trainings on the final rule, visit EPA’s CWA section 401 website.
Executive Order 13990 on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis directed EPA to review and, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, take action to revise or replace the 2020 CWA Section 401 Certification Rule. On June 2, 2022, EPA announced the signing of a proposed rule to update the regulatory requirements for water quality certification under Clean Water Act Section 401. EPA conducted pre-proposal engagement and provided a 60-day public comment period on the proposed rule to help inform the content of the final rule.
For further information: EPA Press Office (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Issued: Sep 14, 2023 (3:11pm EDT)
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EPA Seeks Applicants for 2023 Environmental Education Grants
EPA Seeks Applicants for 2023 Environmental Education Grants
WASHINGTON (Sept. 14, 2023) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that up to $3.6 million in funding for locally-focused environmental education grants is now available under the 2023 Environmental Education (EE) Local Grant Program. EPA will award grants in each of EPA’s 10 Regions, between $50,000-$100,000 each, for a total of 30-40 grants nationwide. The program includes support for projects that reflect the intersection of environmental issues with climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, preventing future water quality and human health issues, in addition to other environmental topics.
“It is more important now than ever that we understand the environmental changes happening around us,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Investing in environmental education is investing in America’s future, and these grants will ensure that communities have access to quality tools to get involved – and stay involved – at a local level.”
Funded projects will increase public awareness of those topics and help participants to develop the skills needed to make informed decisions. Each of the 10 EPA Regions published a solicitation notice with their respective regional details. Applicants must apply to the Regional NOFO that corresponds with the location of their proposed project. Through this grant program, EPA intends to provide financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques, that will serve to increase environmental literacy and encourage behavior that will benefit the environment in local communities, especially underserved communities. This grant program recognizes underserved communities as high-poverty areas, persistent poverty counties, communities the Council on Environmental Quality’s Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool identifies as disadvantaged communities, and Title I schools.
Since 1992, EPA has distributed between $2 and $3.5 million in grant funding per year under this program, supporting more than 3,920 grants and making the grant program one of the most utilized in the agency.
Visit the new EPA Grants Community Library of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and the EE grant FAQ webpages to learn more about the current competition and the federal grant process. Find out background information on the EE Grants Program and resources for applicants on EPA’s EE Grant Homepage.
Applications are due on November 8, 2023, and the Notice of Funding Opportunities are now posted on www.grants.gov and the EE Grant Solicitation Notice webpage.
The Office of Environmental Education will also host at least one webinar during the open solicitation period on how to write a competitive application and to address commonly asked questions. Once confirmed, webinar registration details will be available on https://www.epa.gov/education/grants#webinar. Stay up to date on all EE grant information, including announcements related to upcoming webinar registration, by subscribing to the EE Grants Listserv.
For further information: EPA Press Office (email@example.com)
Local Native Plant Sales
OCTOBER 7 SPRINGFIELD, MO @ Springfield Botanical Center, 10am - 2pm, On-site shopping, Pre-orders welcome Location Link
Watershed Center of the Ozarks
Oct. 14 Plants and Pints: 4453 S. Timbercreek Ave, Battlefield
Oct. 28 Tree Sale: 3452 S. Hutchinson Rd., Springfield
Nov. 4. Seed Sale: Wire Road Brewing Co., 4453 S. Timbercreek Ave, Battlefield
City of Springfield Environment News Releases
Posted on: September 5, 2023
Residents invited to drop off food scraps through new recycling pilot program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Apple cores, moldy sandwiches, chicken drumsticks, leftover pasta, eggshells and more – beginning this fall, up to 1,000 area residents will have the opportunity to recycle uneaten food through a new pilot program provided by Springfield Environmental Services.
Funded through a $286,000 Composting and Food Waste Reduction grant from the United States Department of Agriculture, the City’s Dish to Dirt Food Scraps Recycling pilot will provide participants the opportunity to drop off food waste items for free at any of the City’s three recycling drop-off facilities during designated hours. From there, food waste will be transported to the City’s Yardwaste Recycling Center and turned into nutrient rich compost.
Food waste represents approximately 14% of the materials sent to Springfield’s Noble Hill Sanitary Landfill, according to a waste study prepared for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in 2016. Approximately 42% of that food waste comes directly from our homes. It’s estimated that food waste generates over 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
“Food waste represents a big problem in the solid waste industry, but I continue to be encouraged by the fact that of all the challenges we face, food waste is one we can all make a significant impact on right in our own kitchens, back yards and at our City facilities,” explains Market Development Coordinator Ashley Krug. “Composting food scraps allows area residents to turn their waste into a valuable resource instead of rotting in the landfill, generating methane and taking up limited space.”
A commercial branch of the program is expected to kick off later this year, providing a number of businesses and restaurants with training and resources to recycle their food waste.
“The City has operated a large-scale composting facility at the Yardwaste Recycling Center since 1991,” says Krug. “Funding from this grant will allow us to scale up our composting operations and provide the Food Scraps Recycling pilot to residents and businesses for eighteen months. We expect to get our hands dirty and learn a lot during that time and will continue working toward overall food waste reduction throughout our community.”
Drop-off locations will accept residential food waste through the program beginning Sept. 29. Residents interested in participating are encouraged to learn more and register at springfieldmo.gov/foodscraps.
To Conform with Recent Supreme Court Decision, EPA and Army Amend “Waters of the United States” Rule
LENEXA, KAN. (AUG. 29, 2023) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Army (the agencies) announced a final rule amending the 2023 definition of “waters of the United States” to conform with the recent Supreme Court decision in Sackett v. EPA. The agencies are committed to following the law and implementing the Clean Water Act to deliver the essential protections that safeguard the nation’s waters from pollution and degradation. This action provides the clarity that is needed to advance these goals, while moving forward with infrastructure projects, economic opportunities, and agricultural activities.
“While I am disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision in the Sackett case, EPA and Army have an obligation to apply this decision alongside our state co-regulators, Tribes, and partners," said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “We’ve moved quickly to finalize amendments to the definition of ‘waters of the United States’ to provide a clear path forward that adheres to the Supreme Court’s ruling. EPA will never waver from our responsibility to ensure clean water for all. Moving forward, we will do everything we can with our existing authorities and resources to help communities, states, and Tribes protect the clean water upon which we all depend.”
“We have worked with EPA to expeditiously develop a rule to incorporate changes required as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision in Sackett,” said Michael L. Connor, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. “With this final rule, the Corps can resume issuing approved jurisdictional determinations that were paused in light of the Sackett decision. Moving forward, the Corps will continue to protect and restore the nation’s waters in support of jobs and healthy communities.
While EPA’s and Army’s 2023 rule defining “waters of the United States” was not directly before the Supreme Court, the decision in Sackett made clear that certain aspects of the 2023 rule are invalid. The amendments issued today are limited and change only parts of the 2023 rule that are invalid under the Sackett v. EPA decision. For example, today’s final rule removes the significant nexus test from consideration when identifying tributaries and other waters as federally protected.
The Supreme Court’s Decision in Sackett v. EPA, issued on May 25, 2023, created uncertainty for Clean Water Act implementation. The agencies are issuing this amendment to the 2023 rule expeditiously—three months after the Supreme Court decision—to provide clarity and a path forward consistent with the ruling. With this action, the Army Corps of Engineers will resume issuing all jurisdictional determinations. Because the sole purpose of this rule is to amend specific provisions of the 2023 Rule that are invalid under Sackett, the rule will take effect immediately.
The agencies will work with state, Tribal and local partners to safeguard waters in need of protection following the Sackett v. EPA decision and will continue to use all available tools to protect public health and provide clarity for stakeholders.
The agencies will host a public webinar on September 12, 2023 to provide updates on the definition of “waters of the United States.” For registration information, please visit EPA’s webpage for the amendments rule. The agencies also plan to host listening sessions this fall with co-regulators and stakeholders, focusing on identifying issues that may arise outside this limited rule to conform the definition of “waters of the United States” with the Sackett v. EPA decision.
Learn more about this action on EPA’s “waters of the United States” website.
On January 18, 2023, the agencies published a final rule revising the definition of “waters of the United States”, which became effective on March 20, 2023. On May 25, 2023, the Supreme Court issued a decision in the case of Sackett v. EPA.
The Clean Water Act prohibits the discharge of pollutants from a point source into “navigable waters” unless otherwise authorized under the Act. “Navigable waters” are defined in the Act as “the waters of the United States, including the territorial seas.” Thus, “waters of the United States” is a threshold term establishing the geographic scope of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The term “waters of the United States” is not defined by the Act but has been defined by the agencies in regulations since the 1970s and jointly implemented in the agencies’ respective programmatic activities.
Dish to Dirt
Register for this workshop by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is limited to the first 20 registrants. An email confirmation will be sent to registrants during normal business hours.
Saturday, October 14, 9-10:30 a.m.
Use the links below to register for the virtual session:
Saturday, October 14, 2023: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUrduurpjsoGdJI2hD7nAT8oEfLLX5gX2nN
Civics Education Coordinator
Region 7 BIL and IRA Grants Information click here
The Ozarks Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) is a voluntary, non-regulatory subcommittee of the Community Partnership of the Ozark's Environmental Collaborative. OCAA guides the region's education and outreach efforts to reduce the negative health and environmental effects of air pollution.
Choose a cleaner commute – car pool, use public transportation, bike or walk when possible.
Combine errands to reduce mileage, “cold starts” of your vehicle and avoid extended idling.
Consider an electric vehicle or hybrid to conserve or avoid fossil fuels.
Keep cars, boats, and other engines properly tuned and avoid engines that smoke.
Follow gasoline refueling instructions for efficient vapor recovery. Don’t “top off” your gas tank. Be careful not to spill fuel and always tighten your gas cap securely.
For the Garden:
Use electric lawn equipment when possible. Consider purchasing electric equipment such as lawn mowers, weed eaters, and leaf blowers.
Use manual tools when possible. Consider purchasing manual equipment such as push reel mowers, rakes and hedge clippers.
If using gas-powered equipment, purchase a four-cycle engine. Four-cycle engines emit less air pollution than two-cycle engines.
Properly maintain your equipment. Follow the manufacturers guidelines; keep the underside of the mower deck clean; maintain sharp mower blades; periodically tune-up your equipment; change the oil and clean or replace filters.
Reduce mowing time. Use low maintenance turf grasses that grow slowly and require less mowing. Decrease your lawn area (mowing area) by planting more trees, shrubs and flowers.
Educational materials, reference data
The bulletin board of the southwest Missouri environmental community
Local air quality conditions in real time. Educational materials, reference data
Trails and Bike Routes
Springfield bus schedules and routes
"Fish Don't Want Your Meds" was created by the Missouri Product Stewardship Council (MOPSC), a coalition of governments, businesses, and other stakeholders, and the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI), a national policy advocate and consulting nonprofit.
“People with unused medications in their medicine cabinets shouldn’t have to wait for a twice-yearly DEA take-back day to safely dispose of them,” said Angie Snyder, Chair of the MOPSC. “This campaign will help protect people and the environment.”
“Missouri’s new take-back campaign is a great way to educate consumers about pharmaceuticals responsibility,” said Scott Cassel, CEO and Founder of PSI. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Missouri Product Stewardship Council to make sure all residents connect with these valuable resources.” https://missouripsc.org/initiatives/pharmaceuticals/
The people of Southwest Missouri are known for their ability to work together to solve problems. Communication is a critical component of those efforts. All advocacy work takes a toll on its warriors – we all need to celebrate our successes.
OzarksEnvironmentNews.com, created by Barbara Lucks, is a vehicle for both of these important components of a successful effort – communication and celebration.
Barbara Lucks grew up on a family owned and operated resort at the Lake of the Ozarks. Her father built the resort in 1932, just as the Lake was filling. She grew up with a love and respect for everything outdoors and of nature. Following graduation from Missouri State University, she stayed in Springfield and returned to a familiar pursuit – a career in corporate-level hotel management. In 1994, she joined the City of Springfield as the Materials Recovery/Education Coordinator and was instrumental in positioning Springfield as a regional recycling hub. She left the City in 2016, as the City’s first Sustainability Officer, to go into private consulting. She has an extensive resume – both professional and as a community volunteer leader.
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Subject Line: Ozarks Environment News