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The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is sponsoring public meetings in Poplar Bluff, Springfield and Lee's Summit to discuss drinking-water-source water assessments. Drinking-water-source water assessments are required by the latest amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act, according to a news release from the DNR.

Each state must provide its drinking-water-source water assessment plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by February 1999. The purpose of these meetings is to increase public awareness and solicit public input on Missouri's plan before it is submitted to EPA, the DNR stated.

The public meetings are scheduled at the following DNR regional offices:

?Sept. 24 Southeast Regional Office, 948 Lester Street, Poplar Bluff, 6-8 p.m.

?Oct. 7 Southwest Regional Office, 2040 W. Woodland, Springfield, 6-8 p.m.

?Oct. 14 Kansas City Regional Office, 500 NE Colbern Road, Lee's Summit, 2-4 p.m.

Drinking-water-source water assessments include four major components:

1. Delineating source water areas;

2. Identifying any potential contaminants in source water areas;

3. Assessing the susceptibility of drinking water sources to contamination; and

4. Providing this information to the public.

Source water areas include wellhead protection areas and watersheds upstream of drinking water lakes and river intakes.

These areas will be identified on maps that will be available to the public when the source water assessments are completed in 2003. These maps will also show the potential contaminant sources identified during the assessment.

"Source water assessments will not impose any new regulations on source water areas or potential contaminant sources located in these areas," said Jerry Lane, director of DNR's Public Drinking Water Program, in the release.

"We strongly encourage voluntary source water protection efforts. We hope communities will use the assessment results as a starting point to launch local source water protection efforts," he added.

Future meetings will be held in Macon, St. Louis and Jefferson City. Dates, times and locations will be announced. If you require special services or accommodations to attend a meeting, contact DNR's Public Drinking Water Program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-5331, or write to DNR's Public Drinking Water Program, PO Box 176, Jefferson City, 65102-0176.

A draft of the drinking-water-source water assessment plan can be found at http://www.cares.missouri.edu/swap.

INSET CAPTION:

Each state must provide its drinking-water-source water assessment plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by February 1999.[[In-content Ad]]

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