Environmental bill approved by Missouri Senate
April 8, 2021 - Associated Industries of Missouri and companies subject to Missouri environmental laws scored a great victory today with the Missouri Senate's passage of Senate Bill 40, sponsored by Sen. Eric Burlison. The bill will now move to the House for further action.
The bill had been tied up in a Senate committee for a couple of weeks after several amendments were added on the floor of the Senate, including amendments eliminating emissions control inspections in some counties surrounding the St. Louis area. Sen. Burlison promised to further investigate the cost of those amendments as the bill moves through the House and those provisions will be removed if the price tag proves too expensive.
The bill contains several important provisions advocated for by Associated Industries of Missouri:
1. Returning the decision-making process for setting fees to the General Assembly a few years earlier than would occur under current law. We moved the expiration date up from 2024 to 2021. FEES SET BY THE CURRENT PROCESS WILL CONTINUE until 2024 under current law and those fees are NOT affected by SB 40;
2. Requiring the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to show how fines and penalties are calculated; and,
3. Implementing "no stricter than" federal provisions in the hazardous waste law.
This was a great team effort. Discussions will continue as to whether the fee setting provisions will need to be included in the final bill. Our hope is the MDNR will stop pursuing action based solely on guidance documents from the EPA and not based on federal or state statute or properly promulgated regulations. The agency has shown no sign of relenting on that point
We have asked the MDNR to discuss revised limits they are considering for chemicals of concern and identify those chemicals in a stakeholder meeting planned for Friday. We think there are likely many other companies and entities affected by the list that we believe involves around 700 chemicals.
Stay tuned. Much more to come on this issue.