SB 423 Modifies various provisions pertaining to the regulation and protection of natural resources
Sponsor: Lager
LR Number: 1748S.02I Fiscal Note: 1748-02N.ORG
Committee: Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment
Last Action: 3/29/2011 - Hearing Conducted S Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Committee Journal Page:
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2011

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Current Bill Summary


SB 423 - This act modifies provisions pertaining to natural resources.

SECTION 37.970 - TRANSPARENCY POLICY

Each state department must carry out its duties with full transparency to the public and the public must be able to access any of the department's data or information in a timely fashion. Each department must take a broad interpretation of the Missouri Sunshine Law and must respond accordingly to any request for information, regardless of the format in which the request is made.

SECTION 192.1250 - REAL-TIME WATER QUALITY TESTING

The Department of Health and Senior Services must examine the feasibility of implementing a real-time water quality testing system and report to the General Assembly by December 31, 2011.

SECTION 621.250 - ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING COMMISSION

If anyone other than the permit applicant files an appeal of a permit decision made by an environmental commission under the Department of Natural Resources, that entity must submit a surety bond payable to the permit applicant at the time of appeal.

SECTION 640.013 - SURETY BOND RULES

Each environmental commission for which the Administrative Hearing Commission has authority to hear appeals must promulgate rules to establish the surety bond requirements for filing appeals. The rules must be consistent with Missouri Supreme Court rules regarding bond amounts set by circuit courts in appeals.

SECTION 640.018 - ADDITIONAL PERMIT REQUIREMENTS

A permit application submitted to the Department of Natural Resources shall be considered automatically approved if the department has not rendered a permit decision by the expiration of its statutorily-required timeframe and the department has been in possession of all necessary application information throughout that time.

In any permit application to the Department of Natural Resources, if any of the associated plans have been approved by a licensed professional engineer, the department must consider the plans approved.

SECTION 640.085 - DIVISION OF ENERGY

The act transfers the Department of Natural Resources' Division of Energy to the Department of Economic Development. The transfer must be completed by June 30, 2012.

SECTION 640.100 - PUBLIC DRINKING WATER LABORATORY TESTS

Under current law, public water suppliers may request the Department of Natural Resources or the Department of Health and Senior Services to run lab tests of their water samples. The act removes the Department of Natural Resources from this provision. Additionally, current law requires analysis of drinking water samples to be conducted by the Department of Health and Senior Services laboratories, the Department of Natural Resources' laboratories, or other labs certified by the Department of Natural Resources. The act removes the Department of Natural Resources' laboratories from the provision and transfers the authority to certify other labs to the Department of Health and Senior Services, but allows the Department of Health to certify laboratories operated by the Department of Natural Resources.

SECTION 640.116 - EXEMPTION FOR WELL CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS

Water systems that serve charitable or benevolent organizations that do not regularly serve an average of 100 persons or more for at least 60 days of the year and that are not used for a school or day-care are exempt from well construction rules unless the system is a threat to groundwater or public health. Such wells are not exempt from certain rules applicable to multi-family wells. The act lists certain actions that a well owner must take in the event of certain coliform contamination violations.

SECTION 640.128 - NOTIFICATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH RISK

The Department of Natural Resources must immediately notify the local public health authority and the Department of Health and Senior Services if it receives water quality test results voluntarily submitted by a permitted entity that indicate a risk to public health.

SECTION 640.850 - CONSOLIDATION OF SERVICES

The Governor must convene a committee made up of representatives from the departments of Agriculture, Conservation, Economic Development, Health & Senior Services, and Natural Resources to evaluate ways to consolidate services. The committee must provide recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 31, 2011.

SECTION 644.051 - CLEAN WATER COMMISSION PERMITS & APPEALS

The act allows potential permit applicants to appeal the terms and conditions of a water pollution control general permit template to the Clean Water Commission within 30 days of issuance of the template, or issuance of a general permit under the new template, by the Department of Natural Resources.

Under current law, the burden of proof in any appeal hearing regarding the issuance of a water pollution control permit is on the permit applicant. The act modifies the requirement such that the permit applicant has the burden of proof only for appeals relating to the denial of a permit, license, or registration, but for all other appeals, the Clean Water Commission shall have the burden of proof.

The act allows the Department of Natural Resources to modify, reissue, or terminate a water pollution control permit at the request of the permit holder. Any such request must be made in writing and must contain facts or reasons in support of the request.

Compliance with a water pollution control permit will be considered compliance with the state and federal requirements under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, except for certain federal toxic pollutant limitations and disposal of sewage sludge requirements.

SECTION 644.054 - WATER POLLUTION CONTROL FEES

Under current law, the authority expires on December 31, 2010, for the Clean Water Commission to charge fees for construction permits, operating permits, and operator's certifications related to water pollution control. This act extends the expiration date to December 31, 2012.

The act requires the Department of Natural Resources to study the fees and present a plan for the fees to the General Assembly by December 31, 2011. The department must conduct stakeholder meetings and the plan must include timelines for permit issuance, expedited permits, and recommendations for improved services.

SECTION 644.200 - WATER QUALITY LABORATORY TESTING

The act requires that any water quality testing done for the purposes of administering the Missouri Clean Water Law or the federal Safe Drinking Water Act must be performed by a laboratory either operated or certified by the Department of Health and Senior Services, which may include labs operated by the Department of Natural Resources. The Department of Health and Senior Services must make the results of any water quality test available to the public within 48 hours of getting the results, regardless of the circumstances. If the water samples were collected by any entity other than the Department of Health and Senior Services, the Department must also transmit the test results to the collecting entity within 48 hours of its receipt of the results. If any test results indicate a potential risk to public health or the environment, the Department may work with the Department of Natural Resources to assess the risk and develop a strategy to address the water issue. The Department of Natural Resources must follow these same procedures for data results for any water quality testing conducted in its labs.

SECTION 701.033 - PRIVATE SEPTIC SYSTEMS

The act allows the Department of Health and Senior Services to provide technical assistance, guidance, and oversight to local authorities that administer and enforce individual on-site sewage disposal system standards. The Department may provide such assistance at the request of the local government or in any case where the Department determines that its intervention is necessary to prevent a violation of state law.

Various provisions of the act are similar to provisions in TAT/SS/SCS/HCS/HB 89 (2011) and SS/SCS/HB 2109 (2010).

ERIKA JAQUES