DNR director takes exception with Diehl’s remarks on Oakville transfer station

In the July 31 article “DNR OKs Fred Weber’s permit for Oakville trash-transfer station,” Tom Diehl claims the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has “merely become a rubber-stamp agency that tries to curry favors with big businesses.”

This is not true. We follow strict legal guidelines for permitting landfills and transfer stations.

Many of the residents’ concerns were planning and zoning, which are not within our statutory authority to consider.

State law gives us statutory authority to address the permitting of solid-waste facilities. The regulations and laws outline specific items to consider when reviewing permit applications. Most of these rules relate to the technical aspect of operating a facility and are written to protect human health and the environment.

If a transfer-station application meets the requirements of the regulations, we must, by law, issue the permit. We do not have authority to consider need or public acceptance.

We considered all legally relevant issues before issuing this permit. There are currently 55 transfer stations in Missouri, and none has ever had a documented off-site impact. Our responsibility to see facilities designed, constructed and operated in accordance with applicable laws and regulations will continue at this site and all solid-waste facilities across Missouri.

Doyle Childers

director

Missouri Department of Natural Resources