Monday, February 1, 2010

Missouri Environment & Infrastructure Roundup

Department of Natural Resources Suffers from Low Revenues

Due to low economic activity in the state, several fee-supported funds at the Department of Natural Resources are projected to run out of money in the near future. These funds, mostly raised through permit fees, support activities related to water pollution, air pollution, solid waste and hazardous waste.

In addition, the water pollution fees will sunset if they are not reauthorized by the General Assembly. The department could seek to have the fees increased as part of the reauthorization, but this seems unlikely.

Related articles:
DNR short of funds; fees set to expire

State Gets Stimulus Funds for Railroad Improvements
Missouri was awarded $31 million for high-speed rail projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The recovery act funding will be used for three projects:-a second rail bridge over the Osage River that will eliminate delays caused by a bottleneck, plus additional crossovers that will reduce maintenance flexibility;

-a universal crossover near the Kirkwood Amtrak station that will ease the flow of passenger trains into and out of the St. Louis area; and

-safety improvements at several rail crossings, primarily west of Sedalia.

It will also fund preliminary engineering on six future improvement projects. Some of these projects are double tracks between Lee's Summit and Pleasant Hill, a passing siding at Kingsville, a grade separation at Strasburg, a passing siding extension at Knob Noster and universal crossovers - a device that allows trains to crossover to another track in either direction - at Bonnots Mill and Hermann.

Missouri won funding as part of a consortium of states that were awarded $2.6 billion of the $8 billion in ARRA funds available for high-speed rail corridor improvements. The consortium, known as the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, includes Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

You can read the original Missouri Department of Transportation news release here.

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