Representative Ed Lewis's Capitol Report

July 05, 2023

Denali Water Solutions Animal Waste Lagoon

I have been receiving numerous phone calls and emails regarding the animal waste lagoon in northern Randolph County. Being a homeowner in Randolph County, I too share many of the same concerns as you do.

I first became aware of this in February when a constituent called my office. Since then, I have been working with several other State Representatives from Southwest Missouri, as Denali has operations in that part of the state as well. The lagoon has been built, but is not in operation yet. A few months ago, I signed onto a letter to the Missouri Fertilizer Control Board (MFCB) detailing numerous concerns to these types of operations. At issue is the Fertilizer distributor permits issued by the Fertilizer Control Program (FCP). These types of permits allow waste such as sludges, biosolids or other process wastes to be exempted from needing to obtain a no-discharge permit for the land application of these materials from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Having a FCP permit for sludges, biosolids, or other process wastes exempts a FCP permit holder from the need to obtain a no-discharge permit from DNR, meaning that the land application of these materials is not subject to DNR permit conditions. As a result, the only restriction is the Missouri Clean Water Law, which prohibits discharge into waters of the state. There have been multiple significant violations of the Missouri Clean Water Law in recent months due to the over application of sludges, biosolids, or other process wastes which were land applied under a FCP permit.

In response to our letter, the Missouri Fertilizer Control Board has recently reviewed the current fertilizer distributer permits for Denali and has determined their permits will not be renewed forcing Denali to go to the Missouri DNR and the regulations for waste already in statute. This will most likely lead to a lawsuit from Denali and it will work its way through the courts. I am hopeful that the courts will uphold the Missouri Fertilizer Control Board’s decision to not issue a permit. The Missouri Attorney General has stated he will defend the MFCB against Denali.

I have every intention of sponsoring legislation in conjunction with other legislators to tighten the definition of fertilizer to make sure this loophole does not exist and result in further problems of unregulated waste lagoons.

The City of Clark Receives Grant from Missouri Department of Natural Resources

The City of Clark recently received a $50,000 Clean Water Engineering Report Grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Financial Assistance Center.

Through the grant, the city has an opportunity to assess and identify needed wastewater improvements to satisfy public health and water quality regulations. The city will be utilizing this grant to evaluate their wastewater treatment system for any needed upgrades and will use this information to determine protentional improvements and how to fund those improvements in the future. This grant will also help the community prepare for reasonably anticipated future growth and development.