Members of the Missouri Clean Water Commission are expressing concerns over a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife project involving the dumping of sediment into the Missouri River to provide a habitat for the pallid sturgeon.

A meeting of the Commission saw Commissioner Kristin Perry saying there could be contamination of the river as a result of the dumping, and she would like to see the federal agencies conduct tests to determine whether there is any environmental threat posed by the action.  She also objects to the very concept of dumping nutrient rich soil into the water.

Charles Scott with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service spoke at the hearing. He insists the dumping of soil into the Missouri River does not do any harm to the river.  He says that is a scientific fact that is not in dispute, and he believes opponents of the plan are arguing science when they really should be arguing public policy issues over how the river should be managed. And, he’s willing to talk to the Commission about the science involved in the pallid sturgeon habitat project.

Scott acknowledges some of the doubts raised by farmers might come from the fact they have been told not to allow soil into the river and they now see the federal government putting soil into the river. He says these inconsistencies have to be cleared up.

Download/Listen: Steve Walsh report (:60 MP3)