Missouri farmers angered with Army Corps of Engineers
Missouri farmers are not happy with a new U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan to dump phosphorous-rich soil directly into the Missouri River.
Missouri Farmers Care, a coalition of agribusinesses in Missouri, is urging Missourians to oppose the Corps’ plan. The plan is ironic considering that earlier this week farmers that experience flooding along the Missouri River in Nebraska and Iowa have been told they are prohibited from dumping sand from their fields from last year’s flooding back into rivers and waterways.
According to Missouri Farmers Care, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Kansas City District is asking the Missouri Clean Water Commission to overturn the Commission's 2008 decision requiring the Corps to abide by the Clean Water Act. The Act requires excavated soil to be placed outside the Missouri River's erosion zone.
"Private citizens are not allowed to dump soil into the Missouri River because the soil naturally contains nutrients like phosphorous that are considered water pollutants by the Environmental Protection Agency. The Corps of Engineers shouldn't be allowed to do something that is illegal for everyone else," Missouri Farmers Care Treasurer and Missouri Soybean Association CEO Dale Ludwig said.
The Corps is excavating soil to create more shallow water habitats as part of their ongoing conservation efforts. Missouri Farmers Care is asking the Corps to choose an alternative, approved measure and remove the excavated soil away from the river.
"For farmers who continually strive to improve water quality and reduce sediment runoff, these river dumping activities are clear illustrations of a double standard. We are encouraging farmers and all Missourians to contact the Missouri Clean Water Commission and the Corps to halt this senseless practice. The Corps needs to play by the same environmental rules as everyone else when implementing their 'recovery' efforts," said Missouri Farmers Care Secretary and Missouri Corn Growers Association CEO Gary Marshall.
Missouri Farmers Care is urging concerned citizens to attend the June 11 meeting of the Clean Water Commission at 9 a.m. at the Department of Natural Resources Lewis & Clark Building, 1101 Riverside Drive, Jefferson City. Public comments must be submitted before the June 30 deadline to:
Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources
P.O Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers- Kansas City District