Missouri will soon adopt new regulations to clean up the state’s 150 large lakes and reservoirs.
But environmentalists contend the state’s plan won’t be strong enough to address pollution caused by harmful nutrients.
Missouri currently does not set limits on nitrogen and phosphorus. A combination of agricultural runoff, stormwater runoff, sewage treatment plant discharges and other sources can cause an excessive amount of the nutrients to enter lakes, rivers and streams. Nutrient pollution can render bodies of water unsuitable for drinking and recreation, cause fish kills, and drag down oxygen levels to create “dead zones,” similar to the one that exists in the Gulf of Mexico.