Posted on: April 29, 2016

16th annual Choose Environmental Excellence awards announced

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Twelve organizations presented a total of 21 awards celebrating the efforts, dedication and accomplishments of a wide variety of recipients. Each presenting organization at the Awards Luncheon determines their own award criteria a...Read on...

Visit the Choose Environmental Excellence website.
Posted on: April 26, 2016

16th annual Choose Environmental Excellence awards to be presented Friday, April 29

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The 16th annual Springfield/Greene County Choose Environmental Excellence awards will be presented Friday, April 29 at a noon luncheon at the White River Conference Center, 600 W. Sunshine, Springfield, as a part of Springfield's ...Read on...

Visit the Choose Environmental Excellence website.
Posted on: April 22, 2016

Environmental Services dedicates Clean Water Services Operations Building

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In celebration of Earth Day, the City of Springfield Environmental Services Department dedicated the new Clean Water Services Operations Building with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and facility open house Friday, April 22 at 755 N. Franklin Avenue.

This...Read on...

Read the Fact Sheet.
Posted on: April 20, 2016

MEDIA ALERT: Public invited to Open House for new Clean Water Services Operations Building April 22

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The public is invited to celebrate Earth Day with the dedication of the new City of Springfield Environmental Services Clean Water Services Operations Building 10 a.m. – noon, Friday, April 22 at 755 N. Franklin Avenue. Join us for a ribbon-cutting ceremo...Read on...

Posted on: April 7, 2016

Yardwaste and Lone Pine Recycling Centers open Sundays during spring yard clean-up season

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

In an effort to serve the public during the spring yard clean-up season, the City’s Yardwaste Recycling Center and Lone Pine Recycling Center will be open on Sundays 1-5 p.m. through May 15.

In addition, the City’s three recy...Read on...

Posted on: April 1, 2016

Celebrate Earth Month 2016 with variety of events and activities

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The local observance of the 46th Earth Day is an offering of a variety of activities. This year’s Arbor Day celebration marks the celebration of the city of Springfield’s 31st year as a Tree City, USA.

A complete schedule of ...Read on...

Posted on: February 10, 2016

City employee dies in accident at landfill

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

John Wesley Choate died after an accident at the City’s landfill. Choate worked at the City in various capacities since 2008, most recently as a maintenance worker.

“We are all saddened by the loss of one of our own” said City...Read on...

Posted on: February 10, 2016

City maintenance worker injured in landfill accident

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A 53-year-old male maintenance worker has been transported to Mercy Hospital following an industrial accident at the City’s landfill this morning. Police are onsite performing an industrial accident investigation, per protocol. Th...Read on...

Posted on: February 9, 2016

Sanitary sewer smoke testing this week around East Kearney between Glenstone and Burton

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The City of Springfield’s Clean Water Services division will perform sanitary sewer smoke testing Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week in the PR19 basin (east and west of East Kearney Street between North Glenstone and North Burton avenues).

Smoke testing is conducted to locate leaks in the sanitary sewer system. Harmless, odorless smoke is blown into sewer manholes in the street, goes through the pipes and comes out where there are broken pipes and where roof downspouts, outside area drains, or foundation drains are connected to the sanitary sewers.

The smoke testing program is part of a $200 million Overflow Control Plan to reduce sanitary sewer overflows in Springfield’s aging system over the next 10 years.

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For more information, contact Brian Olle at 417-864-1152Read on...

View smoke testing Q&A.
Posted on: February 2, 2016

City’s newest street sweeper reinforces water quality message

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The City’s newest street sweeper not only cleans streets, but acts as a high-impact mobile billboard to remind citizens of their role in keeping Ozarks waterways clean.

“The ‘Working together to protect our streams one mile at a time,’ message and graphics, were chosen to highlight the relationship between clean streets and water quality in our streams, rivers, and lakes,” says Water Quality Coordinator Carrie Lamb. “Streets and storm drains flow directly into our waterways, unlike indoor sewer drains which carry sewage to the wastewater treatment plant.”

The sweeper, a $290,000 Elgin Whirlwind, is the sixth in the City’s fleet of sweepers. The new model offers an additional safety feature and is environmentally friendly, according to Public Grounds Maintenance Supervisor Bryan Loughrige.

“This is our first sweeper with a back-up camera that has audio, and it is also equipped with a Tier 3 engine,” Loughrige says. “The Tier 3 program is part of a comprehensive approach to reducing the impacts of motor vehicles on air quality and public health. The program considers the vehicle and its fuel as an integrated system, setting new vehicle emissions standards and lowering the sulfur content of gasoline, beginning in 2017.”

In addition to keeping roadways clean and safe, street sweeping removes dirt and debris that would otherwise end up in waterways, impacting water quality.

“Citizens play an important role in keeping waterways clean by keeping pollution out of streets and storm drains, and by reporting pollution,” Lamb said. “A common pollution problem in our area is citizens blowing or sweeping leaves, grass clippings or other yard waste into the street or the storm drains. Yard waste gets washed downstream, degrading the quality of waterways by adding excess nutrients that turn the water green and lead to algae blooms.”

Citizens are encouraged to report pollution by calling the Citizen Resource Center at 864-1010, Lamb said.

Street sweeper side view
Street sweeper back view

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For more information, please contact Carrie Lamb at 864-1996 or Bryan Loughrige at 864-1451Read on...

Posted on: January 5, 2016

UPDATE: Sewer smoke testing on MSU campus postponed due to impending weather

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Due to impending inclement weather, the smoke testing planned for sanitary sewers on the MSU campus this week has been postponed.

ORIGINAL RELEASE:

The City of Springfield’s Clean Water Services division will perform smoke testing on Missouri State University's campus Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week. Boundaries for the testing are National Avenue (east), Grand Street (south), Cherry Street (north) and Holland Avenue (west).

"We will try to do the entire campus over the three days and we will be running two crews. There will be smoke coming up in many different places within these boundaries as we move across the campus," said Mike DeLong, superintendent of the City's Clean Water Services division.

Smoke testing is conducted to locate leaks in the sanitary sewer system. Harmless, odorless smoke is blown into sewer manholes in the street, goes through the pipes and comes out where there are broken pipes and where roof downspouts, outside area drains, or foundation drains are connected to the sanitary sewers.

The smoke testing program is part of the City's $200 million overflow control plan to reduce sanitary sewer overflows in Springfield’s aging sewer system over the next 10 years.

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For more information, contact Mike DeLong at 417-864-1928Read on...

View smoke testing Q&A.
Posted on: December 15, 2015

Several options available for Christmas tree recycling this season

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Springfield residents are reminded that Christmas trees are not accepted at Missouri landfills, however, several options are available for recycling this year’s Christmas trees.

Bass Pro

Bass Pro will accept trees at the fenced area at the northwest end of the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World parking lot directly behind the store at 1935 S. Campbell Ave.
Dates accepted: Dec. 26-Jan. 1, 2016
Hours: Noon to 6 p.m. daily
Fee: $2 per tree donation; benefitting the Boy Scouts
Uses:Trees are used to provide wildlife habitat for rabbits, quail and song birds.
Special Instructions: Remove all icicles, ornaments, tree stand and no flocked trees accepted.
For more information, contact: Larry Whiteley, 830-9023.

Drury University

Open to the Greater Drury Community, the Midtown Neighborhood, the Rountree area, and the Downtown Springfield area.
Dates accepted: Jan. 4 and Jan. 8, 2016
Hours: 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Location:Trees may be dropped at the Law Enforcement Academy building (on Bob Barker Boulevard, east of Hammons School of Architecture.
Uses:Trees will be chipped by AllAboutTrees and Drury Grounds staff. Mulch generated will be reused in various areas on Drury campus.
Special Instructions: Remove all decorations.

Wickman's

Wickman’s will accept trees at 1345 S. Fort Ave., in Springfield and at 10791 U.S. Hwy. 60 in Monett.
Dates accepted: Dec. 26-Jan. 31, 2016
Hours: (Springfield) Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Saturday; 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.(Monett) Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday noon-5 p.m.
Fee:$5 per tree at both locations; proceeds donated to The Kitchen
Uses:(Springfield) Trees will be ground into wood chip mulch, available for free. Bring your own container. (Monett) Free bag of mulch available equivalent to size of tree brought in.
Special instructions: Remove all icicles, ornaments, tree stand, plastic bags, and no flocked trees accepted.
For more information, contact: (Springfield) 862-3707; or (Monett) 235-1112 or visit: wickmans.com.

City of Springfield Yardwaste Recycling Center

The Yardwaste Recycling Center will accept Christmas trees.
Directions: West on Sunshine (U.S. Hwy. 60); south on Farm Road 115; left on Farm Road 164. Follow signs to the Yardwaste Recycling Center.
Dates accepted: Dec. 26-Jan. 30, 2016. The Center will be closed on Jan. 1.
Hours: 8am-5pm, Tuesday-Saturday; closed Sundays and Mondays.
Fees: Donations are accepted; the brush recycling fee of $4 will be waived for residential Christmas trees through Jan. 30, 2016; otherwise, the $4 gate fee will apply. Existing commercial fees will apply to commercial loads, including Christmas trees.
Special instructions: Remove all icicles, ornaments and tree stand.
For more information, contact: Recycling Hotline, 864-1904; or visit springfieldmo.gov/recycling
NOTE: Trees are not accepted at the Franklin and Lone Pine Avenue recycling centers.

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For more information, please contact Sustainability Officer Barbara Lucks at 864-2005 or blucks@springfieldmo.govRead on...

Download holiday season waste reduction tip sheet.
Posted on: November 12, 2015

Environmental Services sponsors free day at Discovery Center to celebrate America Recycles Day

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


The City of Springfield’s Environmental Services department is partnering with the Discovery Center of Springfield 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14 to celebrate American Recycles Day with free admission and interactive exhibits centered around recycling.

Exhibits include:

From Trash to Treasure activities in the Exploratory Lab: Make a bracelet from a plastic shopping bag, a treasure box from recycled cards, or a Doodle Owl from a cardboard tube.

Build A Car in the Theater: Use recycled materials to build a car, then race it!

Recycling Show in Gallery: Juggling with Garland Owens – learn fun ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle at home AND cool juggling tricks at the same time! Show times are 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

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Media contacts: Laurie Duncan, Education Director, Discovery Center of Springfield: 417-862-9910x701 or Barbara Lucks, Sustainability Officer, City of Springfield, 417-864-2005.

For more information about America Recycles Day, visit americarecyclesday.org.

For information about the Discovery Center of Springfield, visit discoverycenter.orgRead on...

Posted on: November 6, 2015

Don’t waste those leaves – recycle them!

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For many of us, an Ozarks autumn wouldn’t be complete without long drives along country roads to gaze at the beautiful gold, crimson and orange leaves. However, once the leaves fall from the trees, we’re tasked with disposing of them properly.

In 1992, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources banned yardwaste (leaves, grass clippings, brush) from Missouri landfills – for good reason. When placed in landfills, yardwaste takes up valuable space. Besides, it has great value when composted or ground up for landscaping mulch.

In response to the landfill yardwaste ban, the city of Springfield implemented several programs to help Springfield and Greene County residents reuse and recycle yardwaste.

The best recycling process for grass and leaves is to mulch the yardwaste while mowing your yard. When grass and leaves are left on the yard after mowing, important nutrients are put back into the soil. By adding these free nutrients back into the soil, we can improve the appearance of our lawns. This is also more convenient because it eliminates needless bagging of grass and leaves, along with transporting and hauling costs.

A second option is to compost grass and leaves in a small compost bin on your property. This also provides residents with a convenient and economical option for reusing grass and leaves without having to haul these materials to an approved processing facility. The composted materials can then be used to enhance the soil in flower and vegetable gardens.

As a third option, the city offers the Yardwaste Recycling Center, located near the Southwest Treatment Plant. This recycling center accepts materials from residents of Springfield and Greene County and processes the grass clippings and leaves into compost for reuse as a soil amendment and grinds woody materials for landscaping mulch. These products are available for sale at the center.

As a last option, the City accepts small quantities of yardwaste at the Franklin Recycling Center, 731 N. Franklin, and at the Lone Pine Recycling Center, 3020 S. Lone Pine. Loads above the limits will be referred to the Yardwaste Recycling Center.

As a reminder, city ordinance prohibits placing yardwaste in streets, storm drains, ditches, waterways or other drainage areas. Placing yardwaste in streets or drainage areas can cause flooding and water pollution. When storm drains and ditches are clogged with yardwaste, there is the potential for flooding, which can result in unsafe driving conditions and property damage.

Placing yardwaste in the street can also cause a hazard to motorists by reducing traction between vehicles and the roadway. Storm drains and ditches flow directly into streams, rivers and lakes, which provide drinking water and recreation. The nutrients in yardwaste promote undesirable algae growth in our streams and lakes, affecting the quality of our water resources.

Visit springfieldmo.gov/recycling for information regarding hours of operation, locations and materials accepted or call the Recycling Hotline at 864-1904.

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For more information, please contact Sustainability Officer Barbara Lucks at 864-2005 or blucks@springfieldmo.gov.

Download fall recyclingRead on...

View video about how to maintain property
Posted on: October 1, 2015

EPA announces revised Ground-Level Ozone Standard; SGF currently in attainment

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the revised Ground-Level Ozone standard today. The Springfield region is officially 68 ppb, though the values are expected to be 61 ppb once the 2013-2015 readings are certified. This information is intended to assist media with localized information.

Background
The Ground-Level Ozone standard is a standard established by EPA under the Clean Air Act of the early 1970’s. Under that law, EPA is required to periodically review the existing standards in light of new research information gained in the years between reviews regarding the effects of ground-level ozone on human health and the environment. Download graphic.

History
The Ozone standard was last revised in 2008 to a level of 75 parts per billion. EPA has proposed a new standard of 70 parts per billion. This is calculated on a three-year rolling average and, while our 2013-2015 readings are still preliminary, as of Sept. 30, they appear to be at 61 parts per billion.

Local Implications
Springfield/Greene County is currently “in attainment,” or is meeting that standard. A designation of “non-attainment” would mean the region is out of compliance. Usually there are levels of severity determined with a non-attainment designation. This determines the level of impact non-attainment can have on a region. Being in non-attainment places new requirements on a region and can require additional study before expanding or adding certain types of new businesses and roadway capacity. Once an area is non-attainment, even achieving the standards brings a 20-year maintenance plan before a region can exit the non-attainment program.

Health concerns
Though not all pollution can be seen, it can create harmful effects on the human body. The elderly, children, and other vulnerable populations feel the effects of air pollution much greater than the general population. There is a fact sheet from the EPA in your handouts that further details impacts on hospital visits due to changes in pollution levels. Download graphic.

Local sources of ozone
Ozone is a bit complex. Ozone high in the atmosphere is beneficial. It shields the earth from harmful rays from the sun. Download graphic.

However, at ground level, ozone can have a negative impact on both human and plant health. Ground-level ozone is not emitted from a single source, rather, it is the formed by the interaction of several pollutants reacting with heat, especially over the course of the day. Download graphic.

This is why levels are higher during the summer months. Contributors, nitrous oxide (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), accumulate during the day, and as things get warmer throughout the day, these elements combine to form ozone. This is why many ozone-related prevention strategies may mention changing evening activities.

There are also some natural and seemingly innocuous sources that can contribute to the formation of ground level ozone. When coupled with well-known pollutants, these can add difficulty to the task of preserving good air quality. For example, in our region, mobile sources (automobiles, buses, trucks, inboard/outboard motors and other gasoline-powered engines account for nearly half of all contributing emissions and are considered our “primary sources.” Download graphic.

Proactive steps under way
Springfield, Greene County and City Utilities of Springfield have been taking steps proactively for a number of years to protect our air quality and avoid nonattainment status for ground-level ozone, including being founding members of the Ozarks Clean Air Alliance (OCAA).

Formed in 2007, OCAA currently serves an 11-county region. OCAA started in 2007 as a subcommittee of the Environmental Collaborative at the Community Partnership of the Ozarks and has grown into an active coalition of various stakeholders, including City, County, and State government officials, local businesses and non-profits, area utility companies, and interested citizens.

OCAA has produced Clean Air Action Plan, first adopted in 2009 and originally addressing only ground level ozone pollutant concerns. Over the past few years, the plan and the efforts of the OCAA have grown to include particulate matter (another regulated pollutant). The Clean Air Action Plan now serves as the Path Forward Document for both proactive EPA Ozone Advance and Particulate Matter (PM) Advance Programs.

Role of City Utilities of Springfield
Typically, coal-fired power plants are major contributors to ground level ozone; however, in Springfield, City Utilities has made great strides in reducing their emissions in the region. Download graphic

Mobile and industrial sources, including utility boilers, emit NOx and VOC emissions that are precursors to ozone formation under specific atmospheric conditions. City Utilities and its customers have invested in air quality in the region by significantly reducing its emissions.

CU has helped the Springfield-Greene County region meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) while power generation and customer demand has continued to increase. Since 1988, as federal regulatory pressures move the goalposts, CU has decreased its overall emissions by nearly 82% with power generation requirements increasing over 80%.

Additionally, CU and its customers have invested over $150 million in emission control technology and currently has purchased power agreements in place totaling $10 million that include wind and solar generation.

Other preventative activities performed by OCAA member organizations
• Development and implementation approved formal and non-formal educational materials for air quality education, including teachers’ workshops.
• Website development/management: showmecleanair.com.
• Management of a regional rides-haring program for both employers and the general public or ozarkscommute.com.
• Coordination with Missouri Department of Transportation to utilize electronic road signs
• Support of the local municipally-owned utility air quality protection efforts, including promotion of solar power.
• Support of the region’s continued build-out of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, which boasts over 100 miles of trails, and a goal of 10 miles of new sidewalk each year.
• Inclusion of air quality protection efforts as a component of the Ozarks GreenScore voluntary sustainability program which rates and provides technical assistance to local businesses.
• Local participation in the Missouri PACE (Property Assessed Clean
Energy) program providing funding sources for energy efficiency capital improvements.
• Promotion of a model no-idle policy for local governments and businesses.

• Support of the City of Springfield Air Quality protection program following loss of state funding for local regulatory efforts, including Stage One Vapor Recovery requirements.
• Securing EPA Diesel Emission Reduction Assistance (DERA) grants used to retrofit and or replace school buses, diesel trucks and related vehicles.

Summary
The citizens and visitors who enjoy living and recreating in our region value our clean and healthy environment. As a part of the larger community, we are constantly working to balance the protection of our natural environment with the costs associated with those efforts.

As we have seen in our water quality protection efforts, we tend to be ahead of many areas in the country in that our public infrastructure is in place, leaving additional gains to be made to come from the “smaller” or “nonpoint” sources. In the case of air quality, those sources are our cars, trucks, even lawn mowers. In order for us to continue to meet or exceed standards and to continue to protect the health of our citizens and our environment, the entire community must pitch in.

Awareness of air quality as a potential environmental/health concern tends to be rather low, in part, because we do have good quality air; however, it is not without effort and expense that we are in this preferred position and it will take continued effort and expense to continue to enjoy this most precious of resources.

For more information
• Receive daily air quality level predictions: enviroflash.info.
• Missouri Department of Natural Resources Air Quality Program Web site: dnr.mo.gov.
• U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Ozone Web site: epa.gov/air.
• Ozarks Clean Air Alliance: showmecleanair.com. Contact: Natasha Longpine, 417-865-3042 x103 or Barbara Lucks, 417-864-2005.
• City Utilities of Springfield: cityutilities.net. Contact: Joel Alexander, 417-831-8902.
• Ozarks Transportation Organization: ozarkstransportation.org. Contact: Natasha Longpine, 417-865-3042 x103.
• City of Springfield Dept. of Environmental Services – Air Quality Section: springfieldmo.gov/airquality. Contact: Brian Adams, 417-864-1412.
• Real-time air quality readings: airnow.gov

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Media contact: Barbara Lucks, Sustainability Officer, City of Springfield – 864-2005 blucks@springfieldmo.govRead on...

More about air quality.
Posted on: September 23, 2015

Ozarks Clean Air Alliance to host media workshop on ground-level ozone on Friday

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Ozarks Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) will present an informational workshop for the media on the topic of ground-level ozone 10:30-11:30 a.m., Friday, Sept. 25 in the community room at the City’s Environmental Resource Center, 290 E. Central Street.

The workshop is in anticipation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s expected announcement of revised ground-level ozone standards within the near future. Background and historical information will be presented that is critical to the understanding and accurate communication of this complex issue and its local impact.

Key personnel will be available for interviews following the presentations. In addition, should you have an interest in filming associated with this topic, please let us know and we’ll make those arrangements with you. Please RSVP to 864-2002 if you plan to attend.

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Media contact: Barbara Lucks, Sustainability Officer, City of Springfield – 864-2005 blucks@springfieldmo.govRead on...

More about ozone
Posted on: July 17, 2015

Sanitary sewer smoke testing planned for next week in Ward Branch 05 basin

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The City of Springfield’s Clean Water Services division will begin sanitary sewer smoke testing in the Ward Branch 05 basin (the region near Ozark Highlands Mobile Home Park west of Glenstone Avenue) the week of July 20.

Smoke testing is conducted to locate leaks in the sanitary sewer system. Harmless, odorless smoke is blown into sewer manholes in the street, goes through the pipes and comes out where there are broken pipes and where roof downspouts, outside area drains, or foundation drains are connected to the sanitary sewers.

The smoke testing program is part of a $200 million Overflow Control Plan to reduce sanitary sewer overflows in Springfield’s aging system over the next 10 years.

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For more information, contact Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement Cora Scott at 417-864-1009 or 417-380-3352Read on...

View smoke testing Q&A.
Posted on: July 7, 2015

Unhealthy level air quality alert today and tonight

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The City of Springfield is monitoring a wildfire smoke plume from the Canadian Yukon that is anticipated to enter the Springfield airshed this afternoon. This is an alert for high levels of fine particulates in this smoke plume for the rest of this afternoon and evening in the Springfield area and surrounding communities.

Unhealthy levels of air quality may affect a larger population who may encounter breathing difficulties while outdoors for extended periods of time. Persons with respiratory health conditions may wish to stay indoors to avoid the poor air quality outside.

Rain showers have the effect of cleaning the air of the smoke particles and improving air quality during the rain event. Should the forecasted rain showers begin later tonight, air quality conditions should improve by Wednesday morning.

For more information:
• showmecleanair.com
airnow.gov See “Ozone Facts” and current air quality readings.
springfieldmo.gov/airquality, Springfield’s local air quality Web site.
rideshare.org for carpooling information.

To sign up to receive air quality advisories, please visit: airnow.gov and click on EnviroFlash e-Mails.

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For more information, please contact Barbara J. Lucks, City of Springfield Sustainability Officer, at 417-864-2005 or blucks@springfieldmo.govRead on...

Posted on: July 2, 2015

Sanitary sewer smoke testing to begin next week

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The City of Springfield’s Clean Water Services division will begin smoke testing in the Jordan Creek 11 sewer basin the week of July 6. The Jordan Creek 11 basin is located north of East Blaine Street between North Link Avenue and North Old Orchard Avenue. Testing will last one to two weeks.

Smoke testing is conducted to locate leaks in the sanitary sewer system. Harmless, odorless smoke is blown into sewer manholes in the street, goes through the pipes and comes out where there are broken pipes and where roof downspouts, outside area drains, or foundation drains are connected to the sanitary sewers.

The City will continue smoke testing in other basins throughout the summer. Testing in the Ward Branch 05 basin, the region near Ozark Highlands Mobile Home Park west of Glenstone Avenue, will begin the week of July 20.

The smoke testing program is part of a $200 million Overflow Control Plan to reduce sanitary sewer overflows in Springfield’s aging system over the next 10 years.

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For more information, contact Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement Cora Scott at 417-864-1009 or 417-380-3352Read on...

View smoke testing Q&A.
Posted on: July 1, 2015

Planned sewer rate increase takes effect July 1

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Residents on City wastewater service will see a planned rate increase July 1. The City of Springfield contracts with City Utilities for wastewater services billing, so customers will notice this change on their August CU bills.

Sewer rates are based on water consumption. This is because the majority of water residents use goes down drains and toilets and ends up in the wastewater system. Springfield Cleanwater Services charges a minimum sewer bill and a specific rate for each additional ccf. One ccf equals 748 gallons.

An average residential user with a use of 6 ccf receives a bill for $27.29 per month. Following the July 1, 2015 effective date, a residential user with a 6 ccf use will go to $28.11, or a 3% increase.

Rate increases were approved by Springfield City Council in spring 2011, following the recommendations of a community stakeholder group appointed to consider change to Springfield’s wastewater system, including rates.

The Wastewater Improvements Task Force sought advice from a consultant, who proposed raising the average residential customer bill from $25.27 a month to $26.27 in July 2013. A second rate increase to $27.29 a month went into effect last year. Additional planned increases will raise the rate to $29 per 6 ccf in 2017.

A task force report also included specific suggestions – doubling the system's reserve fund to between $15 million and $20 million, for example – as well as "guiding principles," such as linking ratepayer fees directly to the cost of providing service.

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For more information, contact Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement Cora Scott at 417-864-1009 or 417-380-3352Read on...

Posted on: June 16, 2015

Galloway property owners invited to Private Sewer Repair Program open house tomorrow

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Property owners and residents of the Galloway 01 sewer basin are invited to an open house 5:30-7 p.m., Wednesday, June 17 at Holy Trinity Church, 2818 E. Bennett St., to learn about the City of Springfield’s Private Sewer Repair Program. The Galloway 01 basin is located between Sunshine Street and Seminole Street, east of Glenstone to Lone Pine.

The Private Sewer Repair Program is a voluntary program that helps prevent rainwater from entering the sanitary sewer system, causing backups into homes and untreated water to overflow into streams and lakes. The program offers property owners the opportunity to have improper connections to the sanitary sewer repaired at no charge.

Property owners within a targeted basin will be contacted to schedule a plumbing evaluation to identify improper connections to the sewer system. Repairs will then be made where improper connections are found. Property owners will be asked to allow qualified local plumbers, paid by the City, to correct them.

In the last two years, the Private Sewer Repair Program has evaluated and made repairs in 10 basins. This represents an investment of $2 million per year and will affect approximately 1,750 properties.

“We have found that for every $2 million we invest into this program, we will avoid spending $22 million on capacity improvements,” said Environmental Services Director Steve Meyer. “Much of that investment goes back into our local economy through our contracts with local plumbing companies.”

Galloway 01 is the first of three basins scheduled to take part in the program this year. Ward Branch 05, the region near Ozark Highlands Mobile Home Park west of Glenstone, will begin evaluations in August. Jordan Creek 11, located off Division Street north of Killian Softball Complex, will begin in October. To learn if your property is part of the targeted basins, visit http://www.kcmapping.com/PrivateSewerRepairProgramPhase3/.

The Private Sewer Repair Program is part of a $200 million Overflow Control Plan to reduce sanitary sewer overflows in Springfield’s aging system over the next 10 years. The City’s plan was recently approved by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
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For more information, contact Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement Cora Scott at 417-864-1009 or 417-380-3352Read on...

Posted on: June 9, 2015

City's sewer overflow control plan approved by Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The City of Springfield has received approval for its Sanitary Sewer Overflow Control Plan (OCP) by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Approved by City Council last December, the OCP is the City’s response to a 2012 Amended Consent Judgment with the State of Missouri and Missouri Department of Natural Resources to reduce sanitary sewer overflows caused by excessive infiltration of rain water into the sewer system.

As enforcement of the federal Clean Water Act of 1972 continues to escalate, most large and medium-sized communities across the United States are under similar legal orders to reduce sewer overflows.

Springfield’s plan is unique, however, in that it uses an integrated planning approach to ensure that investments made in the sewer system represent the “biggest bang for the buck” for the community.

The Springfield plan relies on a phased approach which will invest $200 million into the aging sewer system over the next 10 years, during which time City staff will work to optimize the capacity of the existing system and submit a new plan in 2025.

“Using key concepts from the Springfield-Greene County Integrated Plan, our OCP takes a unique approach to reducing sanitary sewer overflows and represents a significant savings to our ratepayers over more traditional plans,” says Steve Meyer, director of the City's Environmental Services department.

“We believe that if it weren’t for our integrated planning approach, our plan would be considerably higher than Springfield’s $200 million,” said City Manager Greg Burris.

Springfield is not alone in spending large sums of money on reducing overflows. Cities across the nation are facing similar state or federal consent judgments to address sewer overflows during wet weather.

"Though work remains to be done, we are proud of our progress,” Burris said.

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For more information, contact Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement Cora Scott at 417-864-1009 or 417-380-3352Read on...

Posted on: June 8, 2015

Construction begins June 15 to restore South Creek along Sunset Street

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The City’s Public Works and Environmental Services departments will begin construction June 15 on the South Creek Restoration Project, which will remove the concrete channel and restore the creek to a more natural condition in the one-mile section along Sunset Street between Campbell Avenue and Kansas Expressway.

“The purpose of the project is to improve water quality and habitat for aquatic life,” says Water Quality Coordinator Carrie Lamb. “The project aligns with two major goals in the City’s Field Guide 2030 Strategic Plan to utilize native plants in publicly funded projects and to restore streams and riparian corridors.”

Construction will be complete by winter. No closures of the South Creek greenway trail adjacent to the project are anticipated during construction.

The project is funded in part by a $765,000 water quality grant awarded to the City by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). The grant is federal funding provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 7, through MDNR, under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.

The required 40% match will be provided from the ¼ cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax and the 2006 Springfield-Greene County Parks/Waterways Sales Tax, along with contributions of time from City staff and grant partner Ozark Greenways.

The total project cost is approximately $1.1 million for construction and $140,000 for design. The design consultant is Olsson Associates and the construction contractor is Towe Construction. James River Basin Partnership and the Ozarks Environmental and Water Resources Institute are providing technical assistance and water quality monitoring for the project.

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For more information, contact: Chris Dunnaway, Public Works Professional Engineer, 417- 864-1876; or Carrie Lamb, Environmental Services Water Quality Coordinator, 417-864-1996Read on...

Posted on: May 20, 2015

Ribbon cutting for City Government Plaza parking lots project Friday at 10:30 a.m.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Please join the City of Springfield at 10:30 a.m., Friday, May 22 to cut the ribbon for the reconstructed parking lots at City Government Plaza. In case of rain, the event will be moved indoors to the Busch Municipal Building Lobby.

The reconstruction of the lots was a grant-funded project to demonstrate ways of managing stormwater that reduce the amount of runoff and pollution that reaches our streams. The lots now include pervious pavement, rain gardens and a bioswale that allow rainwater to soak into the ground.

Construction began in September 2014 and occurred in two phases.

The project was a partnership of Watershed Committee of the Ozarks and the City of Springfield as part of the Springfield-Greene County Urban Watershed Stewardship Project Grant (nicknamed Big Urbie).

The parking lots project was one of many projects funded by the Big Urbie grant, a $1.1 million federal grant awarded to Watershed Committee of the Ozarks in 2011 by U.S. EPA Region 7 through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources under section 319 of the Clean Water Act.

The required 40% match was provided through in-kind staff time from the City and grant partners, and City matching funds from the 2006 Parks/Waterways Sales Tax dedicated for lake, waterway and stream improvements.

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For more information, contact: Carrie Lamb, City of Springfield Environmental Services Water Quality Coordinator, 417-864-1996; or Stacey Armstrong, Watershed Committee of the Ozarks Projects Manager, 417-866-1127Read on...

Visit Big Urbie's Web site.
Posted on: May 4, 2015

City to issue $41 million of bonds for sewer system improvements May 11

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The City of Springfield plans to issue approximately $41 million of bonds for sewer system improvements, which have been rated Aa2 by Moody’s Investor’s Service. Moody’s also affirmed the Aa1rating on the City’s outstanding general obligation debt. The rating reflects the solid financial position of the City.

“We anticipate the city’s financial operations and reserve position will remain stable in the near-term given continued improvement in financial metrics including liquidity and General Fund balance,” Moody’s said in a news release issued about the bonds.

The bond proceeds will be used to complete sewer improvement projects outlined in both the Early Action Plan and the Overflow Control Plan, the latest of which was approved by City Council in December 2014.

The bond sale will finance an expansion of the anaerobic digester at the Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant to replace aging equipment and accommodate community growth, as well as rehabilitation of approximately 100,000 linear feet of clay pipe to reduce excessive inflow and infiltration within selected sub-basins.

The bonds will be repaid with sewer revenues. The bonds are expected to be offered to the public the week of May 11. The City is offering local individual investors who are interested in purchasing these bonds priority access. An order period will be established on the day of the sale specifically for retail investors. Interested persons may contact their broker or the local office of Oppenheimer at 417-886-8005.

For more information, please contact Cora Scott Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement for the City of Springfield, 417-864-1009 (office) | 417-380-3352 (cell), cscott@springfieldmo.govRead on...

Posted on: April 27, 2015

Dedication for Fassnight Creek Greenway and Stormwater Project Thursday at 11 a.m.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Please join the City of Springfield, Ozark Greenways Inc., the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, and Greene County at 11 a.m., Thursday April 30 for the dedication and ribbon cutting for the Fassnight Creek Greenway and Stormw...Read on...

View invitation.
Posted on: April 7, 2015

Springfield to celebrate 30 years as a Tree City USA with 30 tree plantings April 10

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The City of Springfield will mark its 30th year as a Tree City USA with 30 tree plantings throughout the day and an Arbor Day celebration on Park Central Square at 4:30 p.m. April 10, which will feature the 30th and final tree-pla...Read on...

Download "Building with Trees" PowerPoint.
Posted on: April 3, 2015

Earth Month 2015 full of activities and educational opportunities

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

What began as a one-day celebration of the natural environment more than 40 years ago has expanded to include all of April. The first Earth Day, held on April 22, 1970, is widely credited with launching the modern environmental m...Read on...

View Earth Month 2015 activities.
Posted on: April 2, 2015

Arbor Day poster contest winner to be honored with tree-dedication ceremony tomorrow

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MEDIA ALERT

Cowden Elementary fifth-grader Marion Deweerd will be honored with a tree-dedication ceremony for her city-wide and state of Missouri award-winning Arbor Day poster at 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 3 at Cowden Elementary School, 2927 S. Kimbroug...Read on...

Posted on: March 31, 2015

Citizen-led Environmental Priorities Task Force presents recommendations

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dan Hoy and Fred Palmerton, co-chairs of the Springfield-Greene County Citizens Environmental Task Force, walked City and County officials through recommendations today.

The 31-member advisory group met nine times over the past...Read on...

Download presentation.
Posted on: March 30, 2015

Citizen-led Environmental Priorities Task Force to present findings Tuesday

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MEDIA ALERT

Representatives from a 31-member citizen task force will present the group’s findings to City Council and the Greene County Commission at noon, Tuesday, March 31 at the Public Safety Center, 330 W. Scott Street.

The Springfield-Greene Co...Read on...

Posted on: February 3, 2015

City, County leaders update Council and Commission on urgent stormwater issues

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

City Manager Greg Burris and Greene County Administrator Chris Coulter dove right into urgent stormwater management issues at a joint meeting of Springfield City Council and the Greene County Commission. The update follows a sober...Read on...

View the Task Force's report.
Posted on: January 27, 2015

Green Building Task Force recommends program to finance energy conservation improvements

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Springfield-Greene County Green Building Task Force presented its recommendations to City Council and the Greene County Commission Jan. 27.

Included in the recommendations is encouraging and incentivizing voluntary green bu...Read on...

View the report.
Posted on: January 27, 2015

Green Building Task Force to present recommendations to Council and Greene County Commission today

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MEDIA ALERT

WHO: The Springfield-Greene County Green Building Task Force.
WHAT: Presentation of recommendations to City Council and the Greene County Commission.
WHEN: Noon.
WHERE: Greene County Archives & Election Center, 1126 N. Boonville.
WHY: A...


Read on...

Posted on: January 5, 2015

Springfield Fire Stations promote environmental sustainability

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Firefighters are known for saving homes. Now, they’re doing their part to help save the environment by recycling their food scraps. Ten of Springfield’s Fire Stations are now “vermicomposting” sites where food scraps are recycled ...

Read on...

More information on vermicomposting
Posted on: December 16, 2014

Phase I of Government Plaza parking lot reconstruction complete; public lot to reopen Wednesday

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The public parking lot directly in front of the Busch Municipal Building will reopen to the public at 7 a.m., Wednesday. The new parking lot will allow traffic to enter at the new north entrance on Robberson Avenue and circulate to exit at the new south exit on Robberson. Handicap parking has been and will continue to be available at City Government Plaza throughout all phases of construction.

Demolition of the City employee parking lot for Phase 2 of the project also begins Wednesday.

The parking lot reconstruction project is a Big Urbie grant-funded project to demonstrate ways of managing stormwater that reduce the amount of runoff and pollution that reaches streams. Once complete, the project will include pervious pavement, rain gardens and a bioswale that allow rainwater to soak into the ground and be used and naturally filtered by soil, plants and trees.

The pavement work is expected to be complete in mid-January, while the plantings will take place around the first of April, weather permitting.

The project is a partnership of Watershed Committee of the Ozarks and the City of Springfield as part of the Springfield-Greene County Urban Watershed Stewardship Project Grant (nicknamed Big Urbie), a $1.1 million federal grant awarded to Watershed Committee of the Ozarks in 2011 by U.S. EPA Region 7 through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources under section 319 of the Clean Water Act.

The required 40 percent match is being provided through in-kind staff time from the City and grant partners, and City matching funds from the 2006 Parks/Waterways Sales Tax dedicated for lake, waterway and stream improvements.

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For more information, contact: Carrie Lamb, City of Springfield Environmental Services Water Quality Coordinator, 417-864-1996; or Stacey Armstrong, Watershed Committee of the Ozarks Projects Manager, 417-866-1127Read on...

Visit Big Urbie's Web site.
Posted on: December 15, 2014

Options available for recycling Christmas trees

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Springfield residents are reminded that Christmas trees are not accepted at Missouri landfills. Several options are available for recycling this year’s trees, however.

Bass Pro
Bass Pro will accept trees at the fenced area at ...
Read on...

Posted on: November 24, 2014

City’s plan for continued sewer upgrades a sound investment

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A long-term sewer overflow control plan, (a plan required by state and federal environmental regulators to reduce sewer system overflows) will be presented to City Council Monday night. The plan, which has been years in the making...Read on...

Posted on: November 18, 2014

Springfield ‘saves’ Hollywood

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The City of Hollywood, Florida is looking to Springfield to “save the day.”

Hollywood is spending thousands of dollars a day to truck liquid oxygen to its treatment plant to treat its wastewater while officials there have work...Read on...

Posted on: November 3, 2014

Recycling Centers offer Sunday hours to accommodate fall yardwaste season

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Most Springfieldians only have to venture as far as their own backyards to enjoy the fall foliage. But what to do with those beautiful leaves once they’ve fallen? City ordinances prohibit the dumping of leaves and other yardwaste...Read on...

View a video about how to maintain your property.
Posted on: October 14, 2014

City, County and CU to receive $67,000 from EPA in technical assistance for integrated planning

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Springfield is one of five communities that will receive $67,000 each in technical assistance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help develop components of integrated plans for wastewater and stormwater management, a...Read on...

Springfield's Integrated Plan Web site
Posted on: October 7, 2014

City continues review of Southwest Treatment Plant

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The City of Springfield has concluded a personnel investigation within the Department of Environmental Services. All personnel matters are private and confidential. Springfield City Manager Greg Burris has requested a separate inv...Read on...

Posted on: October 9, 2014

City identifies source of milky substance in Jordan Creek

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The City of Springfield’s Department of Environmental Services has identified the source of the substance that recently impacted Jordan Creek.

After receiving word from the public the morning of Sept. 24 about a milky substanc...Read on...

Posted on: September 29, 2014

Help protect waterways with proper disposal of yardwaste and leaves this fall

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

While the City’s Environmental Services and Public Works departments enjoy autumn as much as anyone, they aren’t looking forward to the problems the fallen leaves create when they make their way into the storm drains.

"When dit...Read on...

View a video about how to maintain your property.
Posted on: September 23, 2014

Council learns more about stormwater policies and practice

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

City of Springfield stormwater engineer Todd Wagner addressed City Council Tuesday at the weekly lunch workshop. He presented information at the request of Council members, who had questions about the City’s stormwater management ...Read on...

Posted on: August 26, 2014

City prepares to submit latest sewer overflow control plans to regulators

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Long-Term Overflow Control Plan, (a plan required by state and federal environmental regulators to reduce sewer system overflows) will be submitted in December. It will recommend investments in the local sewer system totaling...Read on...

Posted on: August 25, 2014

High temperatures plus sunshine plus automobiles equals ground-level ozone

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The current stretch of high temperatures brings more than just discomfort from the heat . Combined with the sunny days and emissions produced from automobiles and other gas-powered equipment, it also causes the interaction that p...Read on...

Posted on: August 6, 2014

Work completed on Upper Ward Branch Stormwater and Trail Improvement Project

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Work on the Ward Branch Stormwater and Greenway Trail Improvements Project is complete. This was a multi-purpose project that included stream bank stabilization to protect road embankments and improve water quality as well as a c...Read on...

Posted on: September 24, 2014

Demolition begins Thursday for City Government Plaza parking lots project

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Demolition of the parking lot at the City Government Plaza will begin Thursday, Sept. 25 as part of a grant-funded project to demonstrate ways of managing stormwater that reduce the amount of runoff and pollution that reaches our streams.

The project will include pervious pavement, rain gardens and a bioswale that allow rainwater to soak into the ground and be used and naturally filtered by soil, plants and trees. Construction will occur in two phases.

Phase 1 will include construction of the existing public parking lot and Phase 2 will include construction of the existing employee parking lot. During Phase 1, public parking will be located in the existing employee parking lot, just south of the public lot. Signage will be provided to direct the public to available parking.

Upon completion of Phase 1, public parking will return to the existing public lot and construction of Phase 2 will begin. Handicap parking will be available throughout all phases of construction. Completion of the project is anticipated by the end of the year. The project is a partnership of Watershed Committee of the Ozarks and the City of Springfield as part of the Springfield-Greene County Urban Watershed Stewardship Project Grant (nicknamed Big Urbie).

This is one of many projects funded by the Big Urbie grant, a $1.1 million federal grant awarded to Watershed Committee of the Ozarks in 2011 by U.S. EPA Region 7 through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources under section 319 of the Clean Water Act. The required 40% match is being provided through in-kind staff time from the City and grant partners, and City matching funds from the 2006 Parks/Waterways Sales Tax dedicated for lake, waterway and stream improvements.

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For more information, contact: Carrie Lamb, City of Springfield Environmental Services Water Quality Coordinator, 417-864-1996; or Stacey Armstrong, Watershed Committee of the Ozarks Projects Manager, 417-866-1127Read on...

Visit Big Urbie's Web site.