The Department of Natural Resources hopes to make a case for more powers to keep Missouri lakes clean when its director goes before a Senate committee at midday. But the committee chairman wants to hear something else.
Senator Brad Lager’s committee has been trying since August to assess blame for DNR’s withholding information for a month about contamination of the Lake of the Ozarks He says today’s hearing will be a turning point in the process.
DNR, under orders of Governor Nixon, has spent more than two months assessing water quality at the Lake and wants to talk about what’s needed to keep pollution from flowing into that lake,and other bodies of water. But Lager wants DNR to explain why the agency needs new powers. “We are not going to increase the power of a bureaucracy that’s gone bad,” he says.
DNR has been saying it has corrected the problem. A couple of people have been fired. Lager is not sure the right heads have rolled. He questions firing mid-level employees while others he thinks should be held accountable got off with slaps on the wrist or less. He’s referring in the last instance to DNR director Mark Templeton, who served a two-week suspension. Templeton is to testify at the hearing.
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