Hinkson Creek Committee Ready to Take Action
Columbia - Members of a Hinkson Creek citizens' committee said Monday the group is ready to start taking new actions to clean up the creek this week. The committee includes representatives from the city of Columbia, Boone County, the University of Missouri, local residents, environmental groups and a facilitator from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Together, the group will implement the Collaborative Adaptive Management (CAM) program to test different clean-up methods in Hinkson Creek in order to find the most effective one.
Boone County southern district commissioner Karen Miller said, "This joint effort is unprecedented." Before the CAM program, EPA required the city to reduce about 40 percent of the storm water to improve the water quality of Hinkson Creek in its total maximum daily loads document, known as TMDL."
"The EPA thinks the storm water is the main pollution of the creek," Ken Midkiff, member of Sierra Club, said. But the truth is the pollutant of the creek has been unidentified ever since the creek got on the list of impaired water bodies of U.S. Clean Water Act in 1998."
The city sued the EPA for its Hinkson's TMDL, saying that without enough scientific proof to support the charge that storm water is mainly responsible for the pollution of the creek, simply putting money in storm water reduction could be a waste a taxpayer money without any improvement in the Hinkson's water quality.
This March, the EPA and the city reached an agreement to overturn the old Hinkson TMDL. Now, with the CAM in place, a science group and an action group will find out the real problem in Hinkson Creek through the process of trial and error.
"In this way, we can use the money more wisely and bring substantial improvement," Miller said.