November 10, 2017

2017 ends with no ozone level exceedances

PERRYVILLE – As expected the final-for-2017 Ozone monitor reports show no exceedances for the Missouri side of the River Region.

David Grimes, the deputy director of the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission and member of the Environmental Quality Committee passed along the final report for the year yesterday.

"The ozone season is now complete and both of our monitors ended the year well under the standards," he stated in an email. "The design value for the Bonne Terre monitor is 65, down one part per billion from last year's 66, and for the Farrar monitor this value held steady at 67 ppb. The design value is the rolling average of the fourth highest readings for the three year period. These values make the "Critical Value," that value that cannot be exceeded or the monitor will be out of compliance, for the fourth highest reading in 2018 to be 83 for the Bonne Terre monitor and 77 for the Farrar monitor."

However, Grimes noted these readings are preliminary.

"I would remind you that these are still preliminary readings and have not been through all of the relevant quality assurance protocols," he stated.

Grimes also reported on the recent meeting of the Environmental Quality Committee.

"The Environmental Quality Committee meeting included a presentation from Missouri Department of Natural Resources staff that included information on the Volkswagen Settlement fund," he stated. "This fund represents some $41 million that will be available to Missouri to help clean up the air, primarily from mobile sources."

The attached Meeting Summary provides links to the relevant web site.

MEMO TO: Environmental Quality Committee and Interested Persons

FROM: Dave Grimes

SUBJECT: Meeting Summary of the October 27, 2017 Meeting

DATE: November 8, 2017

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Bauman at 11:00 a.m.

Following the Pledge of Allegiance and introductions around the table, David Grimes gave a brief update on monitor readings. He indicated the monitor readings were under standards for the Bonne Terre and Farrar monitors. He said that with only a few days remaining in the season it was extremely likely that these monitors would remain in compliance through the end of the season.

Chairman Bauman introduced Mark Leath, Environmental Engineer. Leath gave brief reports on the status of nonattainment areas for Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) and ozone. He agreed that it was unlikely that there would be any further exceedance noted during the ozone season. Leath briefly discussed the Clean Power Plan rescission by EPA. He explained that there were currently vacancies on the Missouri Air Conservation Commission making it difficult to achieve a quorum. (Dave Grimes note: to nominate someone to this important Commission submit a letter of recommendation to the Office of Boards and Commissions, P.O. Box 720, Jefferson City, MO 65101 or via email at boards@governor.mo.gov. For details call 573-522-2645 or visit https://boards.mo.gov/UserPages/Home.aspx.) With regards the Volkswagen Settlement Fund, he said that the decision had been made and the Department of Natural Resources would be the lead agency. With $41 million available this is a significant fund. He explained that the settlement had identified 10 areas of projects that would be eligible, including projects that would be eligible under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act. This latter is significant because it will allow more flexibility. For full details on the VW Settlement fund process go to https://dnr.mo.gov.env/apcp/vw/index.html. This web site also has links to allow for suggestions for projects, programs or policies. He mentioned that an organizational meeting for the Advisory Committee to deal with this fund would be held on Monday, October 30, 2017 at the DNR office in Jefferson City.

Working from a "talking points memo" (copy attached), Kimberly Bauman and David Grimes provided brief updates on a variety of EPA related topics. This included an update on the Clean Power Plan, the Waters of the U.S. regulations, the Ozone NAAQS status, the reduction in EPA staffing levels under President Trump and Administrator Pruitt, and Administrator Pruitt’s announcement that EPA was ending the "sue and settle" policy.

David Grimes gave a brief update on the Solid Waste Management District. He mentioned that a grant call had been completed and new Financial Assistance Agreements had been let. There followed discussion of the problem of accumulated scrap tires beginning to be seen in roadside ditches. The Missouri DNR "tire roundup" program has been terminated, taking away a tool for disposal of tires that had been widely used within the region. Grimes said that such a project would be eligible for funding under the Solid Waste Management District and that he would check into the possibility of providing such a service directly.

Leslie Seabaugh said that there would be a meeting regarding the ASARCO Settlement funds at the Desloge City Hall on November 14, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.

Mike Alesandrini said that the new EPA Region 7 director had been appointed and it was Jim Guilford. Alesandrini said that he had worked with Guilford in the past and thought that this was a good appointment.

David Grimes said that the Regional Planning Commission had applied for funding to undertake an inventory of brownfield sites in the region. During a follow up to that application he had found out that EPA offered such service and it could be done on a county-wide basis. EPA would prefer to use the RPC as the point of contact. Grimes said anyone interested in such a project should contact him and he would get the process moving. The application for the program is simple and the only other requirement is that permission to enter sites must be obtained. He noted that he had seen a sample of the work and thought it was excellent.

The next meeting was set for January 26, 2018.

With no further business the meeting adjourned at 12:10 p.m.