The Environmental Protection Agency and the Missouri DNR disagree on Lake of the Ozarks landing on a list of ‘Impaired Waterways.’
But the EPA is also explaining what that list of 40 impaired water bodies in Missouri means.
“All of the Lakes we’re talking, these 40, are being listed for chlorophyll” says Jeff Robichaud with the Water Division Director for EPA Region 7, “What happens is you get high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous and you get the creation of algae blooms and when that occurs…it can affect aquatic species, mainly fish.”
But Robichaud tells KRMS News the designation does not mean the lake area economy will be affected because people can’t go in the water or because recreational boating isn’t allowed “There’s a bit of a misconception either that a water body is pristine, or often times people think when it gets on a list that it’s heavily polluted….that’s not the case.
He says the concerns about the lake’s water quality are directed at fish and not humans “The Lake had water quality data that exceeded the State’s water quality criteria, or their screening levels, that coupled with some Fish Kills that occurred during that time period…resulted in the Lake exceeding the threshold and needing to be impaired.
He also says solutions will be discussed and implemented locally “For Lake of the Ozarks, it may need additional work to septic systems alongside of the Lake or additional best management practices for those who are located along the watershed. In this the Public is involved, the community is brought in and it really is a local approach to making sure these waters are protected in the future. This is not a case where the EPA comes in and tells the local community what to do.”
Robichaud was interviewed by Christian Blood on the KRMS Morning Magazine.