For Immediate Release
Environmental Affordability Task Force Tackles $1 Billion Question
Representatives from City Council, Greene County Commission and the City Utilities Board attending the Springfield-Greene County Unfunded Mandate Affordability Task Force meeting today, agreed to endorse a plan to submit a letter and report (pdf) to the Environmental Protection Agency and Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The letter and report provides an estimate of the total potential cost to comply with anticipated unfunded environmental mandates, most of which are driven by federal requirements. Local officials think that sum could be $1 billion by the year 2030.
For citizens with median income of less than $10,000, the projected costs per year would be nearly $2,000, or 18.79% of their income in that same timeframe.
"Our community believes in environmental protection and compliance with environmental mandates," explained Rob Dixon, task force chair. "We just have to figure out a way to pay for them."
Mayor Bob Stephens convened the citizen group late last year to of review and evaluate the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' (MDNR) current community affordability framework. The group said regulations are being formed in silos instead of a holistic manner and that impacts the ability to truly determine affordability.
The letter to EPA and MDNR asks the agencies to partner with Springfield and Greene County to develop guidelines and programs to achieve a mutual goal of clean air and water, but at cost communities can afford. It also requests that Springfield become a pilot program.
Springfield-Greene County Unfunded Environmental Mandates Affordability Task Force Members:
- Roseann Bentley, Greene County Commission
- Bill Bryan, Merrill Lynch
- Tim Davis, Water Quality Field Operations Manager, Greene County
- Rob Dixon, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce (chair)
- Frank Evans, Lathrop & Gage
- Skip Jansen, Board of Public Utilities
- Steve Meyer, Director of Environmental Services
- Jared Rasmussen, Olsson & Associates
- John Rush, Springfield City Council
- Dean Young, CU Citizens Advisory Committee
For more information, contact Task Force Chair Rob Dixon at 417-598-0290 or City Manager Greg Burris at 417-864-1006.
Download today's Powerpoint presentation (pdf).