In 1998, Scott Dye and I acted as local plaintiffs for a national Sierra Club lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failure to conduct a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study on Hinkson Creek.
The federal judge in the case ruled that the EPA was indeed required to do so, but gave them 10 years to issue the study.
The Total Maximum Daily Load study was issued in January 2011, called for a 36% reduction in stormwater runoff and the city of Columbia, Boone County and the University of Missouri immediately came up with a proposal for a Collaborative Adaptive Management (CAM) study to recommend what should be done.
Eleven years after the CAM study was formed, the “problem” is still being studied, with no end in sight.
It appears that the members are hoping that the recommendations of the EPA’s study would be forgotten or the plaintiffs would be dead.
Well, I have not forgotten and I am not dead yet.
On Jan. 7, I filed a Complaint for Agency Action with EPA.
To: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Place: Hinkson Creek, from Interstate 70 to confluence with Perche Creek
Observation: Construction downstream from Old Highway 63. Machines in stream. Numerous photos (available upon request).
Background: Hinkson Creek is on the Impaired Water List (Section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act) as it does not meet federally established water quality standards, does not support the expected level of aquatic life, and it is further impaired by high levels of Escheria Coli.
In 1998, I was one of two plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit filed against the U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) for failure to conduct a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study as required by the federal Clean Water Act.
The federal judge ruled against the EPA and ordered that a TMDL be issued in December 2010.
The EPA, Region 7, requested additional time, and that was granted. In January 2011, the TMDL was issued. The City of Columbia, the University of Missouri, and the County of Boone established, with EPA approval, a Collaborative Adaptive Management task force, which was supposed to find ways for Hinkson Creek to meet water quality standards.
In January 2022, 11 years after the TMDL was issued, and 24 years after the lawsuit was filed, the water quality in some segments has become worse and no place has improved.
Violation(s): Potential violation of Section 303(d), Section 404(a) of the federal Clean Water Act and recommendations of the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) issued by the EPA in January, 2011.
1. Determine if the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) has any authority under the federal Clean Water Act to issue a construction permit for activities in a water body that does not meet federal water quality standards. If so, please cite that authority.
2. Determine if the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USCOE) issued…