Missouri Governor Mike Parson has signed an executive order that extends legislation issued in March, which grants the Department of Natural Resources discretionary authority to wave or extend regulations for the purpose of continuing clean up efforts in communities.
Governor Parson on Tuesday signed Executive Order 19-07 to extend Order 19-06 issued March 28, 2019, which authorized the Department of Natural Resources’ authority to ease requirements for flood recovery, following the severe weather that began on March 11, 2019. The weather created a condition of distress and hazards to the safety and welfare of the citizens of Missouri beyond the capabilities of some local jurisdictions and other established agencies.
The State Emergency Management Agency had advised the Governor that the severe weather had caused damages associated with high winds, hail, heavy rains, flooding and flash flooding that impacted communities throughout the state. In order to respond to the emergency and expedite the cleanup and recovery process, it was necessary to adjust certain environmental rules and regulations on a temporary and short-term basis, so Order 19-06 was signed into effect.
The order granted the Director of the Department of Natural Resources, Carol Comer, discretionary authority to temporarily waive or suspend the operation of any statutory or administrative rule or regulation during the period of the flooding emergency, and the subsequent recovery period, to best serve the interests of the public's health and safety. The order expired on April 30, 2019, and Order 19-07 signed into effect by the Governor on Tuesday, April 30 extended the authority through June 30, 2019.
“With weather forecasts indicating more snow melt and rain in our future, it looks like flooding may be a possibility with which we must contend for some time to come,” Governor Parson said on Tuesday. “It's incumbent upon us to make sure individuals on the ground have what they need to effectively respond to and recover from current and future flooding here in Missouri. That includes temporarily removing any regulatory barriers that might inhibit their efforts.”
On March 21, Governor Parson signed Executive Order 19-05 to declare a state of emergency in Missouri in response to worsening conditions along the Missouri river and Mississippi river systems due to the release from upstream reservoirs, snow melt and the flow of the superfluous rainfall.
The Governor also activated the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan, which allows state agencies to coordinate directly with local jurisdictions.