St. Louis Public Radio News
6:07 pm
Thu July 30, 2009

Mo. Senate committee holds E. coli conference call

Jefferson City, MO – Members of a Missouri Senate Committee met by conference call this afternoon to discuss the delayed release of an E. coli report on the Lake of the Ozarks.

The Department of Natural Resources has come under fire for delaying for one month the release of the report on E. coli levels at the Lake.

State Senator Brad Lager (R, Savannah) chairs the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment.

"We're going to...do a thorough review of what has happened, which means we're going to have to...accumulate some facts, and (we've got to) get some information rounded up, build some timelines," Lager said.

Once that's done, the Senate committee is expected to schedule a hearing.

State Senator John Griesheimer (R, Washington) also sits on the committee.

"We're going to look at whether we need some additional rules or a law that would clarify what notification and steps need to be taken in a situation like this," Griesheimer said.

Lager added that if any rule violations took place, they would pass that information on to the State Attorney General's office, which is conducting a separate ethics investigation.

E. coli levels taken at the Lake of the Ozarks on May 26th were shown to be high enough to warrant telling swimmers to stay out of the water.

Department of Natural Resources officials now say the report should have been released sooner.

DNR Director Mark Templeton has pledged full cooperation into the inquiries.