Thursday, January 26, 2012

Restoring southwest Missouri’s natural resources focus of meetings, restoration plan

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., JAN.24, 2012 – The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service have developed a regional restoration plan to restore southwest Missouri’s natural resources injured by hazardous substances. The agencies will hold a series of upcoming public meetings and are seeking comments on the restoration plan.
Representatives from the department and Fish & Wildlife Service will explain the Draft Springfield Plateau Regional Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment at public meetings in Springfield, Joplin and Neosho. During the meetings, the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and formally comment on the restoration plan, available online
The Springfield Plateau ecoregion includes major portions of Cedar, Dade, Jasper, Newton, Lawrence and Greene counties; portions of Polk, Webster, Christian and Barry counties; and minor portions of St. Clair, Hickory, Barton, McDonald, Stone and Douglas counties.
The public meetings will be held:
·                     Jan. 25 in Joplin at MSU’s Billingsley Student Center, 3950 E. Newman Rd.
·                     Jan. 26 in Neosho at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery, 520 Park Street.
·                     Jan. 30 in Springfield at the Library Center, 4653 S. Campbell Ave.
            The meetings will start at 6 and end at 8:30 p.m.
Written comments on the restoration plan must be postmarked no later than Feb. 24. Comments and questions or requests for copies of the plan can be directed to:
Frances Klahr                                                                  John Weber,
Natural Resources Damages Coordinator                       Restoration Coordinator

Missouri Department of Natural Resources                    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 176                                                                   101 Park DeVille Dr., Suite A
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176                                                 Columbia, MO 65203
573-522-1347                                                                  573-234-2132 (x177)                                         

Copies of the restoration plan are be available for on-site review at the Joplin Public Library, 300 S. Main Street, Joplin; Neosho Public Library, 201 W. Spring Street, Neosho; Springfield Public Library, 4653 S. Campbell Ave, Springfield; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 101 Park DeVille Dr. Suite A, Columbia; and Missouri Department of Natural Resources, 1730 E. Elm St., Jefferson City. 
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are charged, primarily through federal Superfund law, with assessing injuries to and restoring natural resources that have been injured by environmental hazards such as oil discharges and hazardous substances releases. This process is referred to as Natural Resources Damage Assessment and Restoration. Citizens have the right to use and enjoy natural resources and states have the duty and responsibility to protect these resources.