Gov. Blunt Signs Legislation for Safer and Cleaner Missouri Water


BRANSON – Gov. Matt Blunt today signed legislation to modify requirements relating to the issuance of grants and loans by the Department of Natural Resources for storm water control.  

“I believe that we have an obligation to protect our environment and leave it better than how we found it. To reach this goal we need to help our communities meet required environmental standards,” Gov. Blunt said. “These grants and loans will help counties make required improvements to their storm water plans helping ensure a safer and cleaner water supply for Missourians.”

Current law requires the Department of Natural Resources to provide both grants and loans using the funds resulting from the issuance of storm water control bonds. Senate Bill 1040, sponsored by Sen. Dan Clemens, modifies this requirement so that both are no longer simultaneously required. The act removes the requirement that 50 percent of the proceeds from the bonds be allocated to grants and 50 percent to loans. The legislation becomes effective only with voter approval of SJR 45.  The initiative will go to the voters in November.

“This is a great way for our first class cities and counties to improve their infrastructure at no increased cost for our citizens,” Sen. Clemens said. 

Once the initial offer of grants or loans has been made to all eligible recipients, the act allows any remaining funds to be proportionally distributed to grant or loan recipients who are eligible for, and need, additional funding. The act requires repayments of storm water loans and applicable interest to be deposited in the Storm Water Loan Revolving Fund, which is created by the act, and authorizes the monies in the fund to be used to finance and construct storm water control plans, studies, and projects.  

Since taking office Gov. Blunt has been a leader in improving Missouri’s water infrastructure.  He created the Clean Water Initiative administered by the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Water Protection Program. The department has already distributed $8 million to cities and water districts to help provide safe and clean water for communities across Missouri allocating the $50 million in funds as follows:

$18 million for 40 percent State Construction grants for wastewater related projects,

$13.2 million for rural sewer grants targeted for rural and special needs communities,

$14.8 million for rural drinking water projects,

$4 million in direct loans for water or wastewater projects, including planning loans for wastewater facilities

The governor’s Clean Water Initiative is funded through $50 million in bonds to assist Missouri communities facing problems related to drinking water and wastewater treatment. 

Gov. Blunt has also been a leader in protecting Missouri’s environment and conserving our energy resources.  In addition to his Clean Water Initiative, Gov. Blunt signed legislation in 2006 to set a 10 percent ethanol content standard for gasoline.  Ethanol is a cleaner burning alternative to petroleum based gasoline and contains more oxygen, which results in better combustion and fewer carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and carcinogenic emissions.

Gov. Blunt also issued an executive order requiring that at least 70 percent of new vehicles purchased by the Office of Administration be flex fuel vehicles.

This year, the General Assembly approved Gov. Blunt’s plan to create a Show-Me Green tax holiday.  This ends the sales tax on Energy-Star certified appliances for one week every year.  Missouri is only the fourth state in the country to enact this kind of environmentally-friendly tax holiday joining Connecticut, Florida and Virginia.


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