Ken Midkiff, of the Sierra Club, has an article at columbiatribune.com titled “DNR proving itself to be worst ever.” The Department of Natural Resources is in the pocket of big business and polluters. It’s a monkey dancing to whatever tune the governor and his campaign contributors call.
Here are four of the eight examples Midkiff cited:
- Construction and/or operating permits were granted to concentrated animal feeding operations adjacent to or near to state parks and historic sites – Roaring River, Arrow Rock and the Battle of Athens – in spite of the many concerns expressed by those who fear that the spring at Roaring River might be subjected to pollution and the very real fear that stink will make Arrow Rock and the Battle of Athens site undesirable places to visit. DNR now finds itself threatening the existence of state parks instead of obeying its mandate to protect them. …
- The Doe Run Resource Co., with lead mining and smelting operations in southeast Missouri, is infamous for being Missouri’s largest polluter and poisoning children in the town of Herculaneum. Last year, the company failed to file required reports. DNR proposes to forgive the entire matter if $5,000 is “donated” to a school district. … Ira Rennert – Doe Run’s multibillionaire owner – probably has $5,000 in pocket change.
- After being ordered by a court to comply with the 1972 Federal Clean Water Act, DNR recommended that all waters of the state be capable of supporting “whole-body contact” or, as the act phrases it, “recreation in and on the water.” After complying with the court order, DNR then immediately proceeded to get as many streams as possible removed from that designation. Fortunately, cooler heads at the Environmental Protection Agency ruled that more than 100 of the streams proposed to be removed should remain there. Undeterred, DNR is now engaged in funding what is called “use-attainability analysis” to remove even more streams from the designation of whole-body contact so that sewage treatment plants may continue discharging without doing anything differently. If DNR prevails, folks will be splashing around in bacteria-laden waters.
- After a working group appointed by DNR voted that DNR should comply with federal law and designate all waters of the state – not just classified ones – as supportive of aquatic life and recreation in and on the water, that working group has never met again.
Every one of Midkiff’s examples illustrates how the DNR bows and scrapes to big business. He concludes by showing the agency’s contempt for ordinary citizens:
From a woman in West Plains whose well was contaminated by a large dairy across the road as reported in the West Plains Daily Quill: “I tried for nearly a month to get the DNR to come to my house, with no response,” she said. She made many phone calls and at one time spoke to DNR Director Doyle Childers personally but felt she was ignored until she got Attorney General Jay Nixon on the line and explained her situation, she said. “Within an hour, DNR called,” and an investigator came the next day, she said.
If Nixon wins next November, Doyle Childers is so out of there. Good riddance to bad rubbish.