April 16, 2018. On behalf of the Missouri State Conference of the NAACP and two North St. Louis City residents, Great Rivers filed Comments urging the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to require the St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District (“MSD”) to use better public participation practices and to dispose of sewage using anaerobic digestion, methane capture technology, and landfill disposal rather than incineration, because the former leads to better health outcomes, is more economical and is more environmentally friendly.
Residents in North St. Louis City can see a constant trickle of green and yellow haze coming from the stack at Bissell Point after incineration. This may have been an acceptable practice in 1967 when the SSIs were constructed, but is no longer acceptable as a means to address disposal of wastewater sludge. Notably, MSD shut down Incinerator #6, constructed in 1991, which would have been subject to stricter New Source Performance Standards and which would have required reductions in the amounts of pollutants being emitted into the air of St. Louis City residents. Instead, MSD has opted to use four incinerators from 1967 that are exempt from stricter regulation, that continue to leak toxic pollutants into the St. Louis City’s ambient air, and that disproportionately affect low income and minority populations in North St. Louis City, including the Hyde Park, College Hill, and Old North neighborhoods.
Great Rivers urges the DNR to make the permit more protective of human health.