ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Missouri Coalition for the Environment hopes the legislature will keep a majority of citizens on the Clean Water Commission to protect rivers and streams from factory farm manure.
Coalition spokesman Ed Smith says the Clean Water Commission should not be changed to allow a majority of members who represent factory farm and mining interests.
“Currently, four members of the public serve on the Clean Water Commission out of a total of seven,” he says. “The changes to the Clean Water Commission could result in six of those members being Big-Ag and one being municipal waste water.”
The fear is Big-Ag interests could allow more factory farms in Missouri with manure runoff into creeks and streams.
“If we load up the Clean Water Commission with members representing agricultural interests, there’s going to be no say for the public what clean water means for the state of Missouri, Smith says.
The Coalition also hopes the legislature leaves in place a veto that would keep farmers accountable to disclose how much money they receive through taxpayer-funded programs.
Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the proposed changes to the Clean Water Commission, but enough Republicans and Democrats voted for it to possibly overturn that veto.
“It’s incredible that the agriculture industry in Missouri has such influence over lawmakers, rural and urban,” Smith says.
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