Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Agencies Seek Comments on Draft Plan to Restore Natural Resources in Southwestern Missouri

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources are seeking comments on a draft plan to restore resources injured by the release of hazardous substances in the Springfield Plateau region of southwest Missouri.  The two agencies act as trustees under the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) regulations in seeking settlements from responsible parties and planning and implementing restoration activities  to restore natural resources injured by the release of hazardous substances into the environment.
The Draft Springfield Plateau Regional Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment outlines proposed alternatives for restoring injured natural resources in the Springfield Plateau region.  The Springfield Plateau has been impacted by releases of hazardous substances for which the trustees have achieved settlements with responsible parties for more than $20 million to date.  The funds will be used to implement restoration measures once the plan is finalized.
Comments are sought on the alternatives described in the draft plan, which include directly restoring injured natural resources; replacing or compensating for lost resources; a combination of the two; or taking no action.     
The draft plan can be found at (http://www.fws.gov/midwest/nrda/motristate/orhttp://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/hwp/sfund/nrda.htm).  Comments on the plan may be sent via U.S. mail to: John Weber, Restoration Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 101 Park DeVille Dr., Suite A, Columbia, MO 65203; or Frances Klahr, Natural Resource Damages Coordinator, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176; or by electronic mail (E-mail) to John_S_Weber@fws.gov, or frances.klahr@dnr.mo.gov.
Under the NRDAR program, trustees work to restore natural resources injured by releases of hazardous substances. The goals of NRDAR program are to restore the injured resources to the condition they would have been had the hazardous substances not been released, and to compensate the public for the loss of their use or enjoyment of natural resources.