Hinkson Creek pollution plan focus of meeting with EPA

Thursday, March 22, 2012 | 5:50 p.m. CDT; updated 7:14 p.m. CDT, Thursday, March 22, 2012

COLUMBIA — The EPA has scheduled a public meeting Wednesday to announce a "pollutant reduction plan" for Hinkson Creek.

Pollution from urban runoff has left Hinkson Creek, which was declared an impaired stream in 1998, unable to meet water quality standards under the federal Clean Water Act. Pollution from runoff can lead to decreased aquatic life.

A public informational meeting set for 4 p.m. Wednesday in Room A of the city Activity and Recreation Center will announce an "innovative partnership to carry out a pollutant reduction plan," according to a news release from Kris Lancaster of the EPA in Kansas City.

The meeting will outline the "goals and objectives" of the plan to clean up the creek, and "the agreement aims to use each entity's specific authority to produce a healthy stream," according to the news release. Lancaster said he would not provide details of the plan before the public meeting.

The partnership includes the EPA, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the city of Columbia, MU and the Boone County Commission.

Speakers include EPA regional administrator Karl Brooks; Missouri Department of Natural Resources Director Sarah Parker Pauley; Boone County Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill; Boone County Southern District Commissioner Karen Miller and Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid.

Ken Midkiff, chair of the Sierra Club's Clean Water Campaign, expressed doubt Wednesday that the meeting would do anything more than announce the intentions of the various parties to work together.

"I'd be real surprised if they have a plan," Midkiff said. "To my mind it's been over a year since the TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) came out, and we've only seen stalling and delay."

The TMDL refers to the maximum amount of pollutants the creek can handle without impairing water quality.

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