A new strategy aimed at cleaning up Hinkson Creek was unveiled at a public meeting on Wednesday. The event was led by representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Boone County, City of Columbia and MU.
Under the new plan, members of the community will work alongside state and local officials to suggest ways to improve water quality at the creek. This so-called stakeholder committee will be supported by two other groups. An action team will help develop strategies to reduce pollution, and a science team will devise ways to assess the health of the creek, and identify sources of pollution.
Karl Brooks is a Regional Administrator for the EPA. He said the new plan represents a more detailed approach to achieving the goal of clean water.
"What we’re revealing here is a process to get us there that uses science, public participation, and adaptive management. So we do what we need to do, and learn from that, and do better things in the future."
Others at the meeting lauded praise on the community's role in the new strategy. Sarah Parker Pauley is the Director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. She said involving the community in the decision making process is crucial to the long term success of any cleanup project.
"We all have a role in what this watershed becomes, and in its future. And if it’s just a matter of regulatory entities coming in and ensuring one method over the other, you have to wonder how sustainable is that."
The new strategy will be introduced at a city council meeting on April 2. It’s expected to be voted on April 16.