By Allison Kite
The Pomme de Terre River’s status as an impaired waterway is poised to set up a fight between environmentalists and a meatpacking plant in Southwest Missouri.
Missouri Prime Beef Packers has requested permission from the state to discharge treated wastewater from its facility near Pleasant Hope directly into the river.
It currently applies the water to surrounding land as fertilizer.
But since then, the Pomme de Terre has been found to have high levels of E. coli bacteria, landing it on a list of impaired waterways.
To restore the water quality, state regulators will have to cap the amount of pollution allowed to enter the waterway.