Being astonished and troubled, I must take issue with Missouri DNR Director Doyle Childer’s claim of factual inaccuracies as he wrote in “Guest column: Nixon off base on variety of issues” (Joplin Globe, June 25, 2006).
Mr. Childers, in trying to indite Attorney General Jay Nixon and save face for his own agency, indicated his department referred the odor issues associated with Renewable Environmental System, Carthage, to the Missouri Attorney General's office on December 30, 2005 and indicated that the AG did not act on them at that time.
Speaking as a private citizen and resident of SW Missouri, I have firsthand knowledge of the RES odor referral issue. I have been attending the Missouri Air Conservation Commission (MACC) meetings recently held in Jeff City. This commission is charged with referring odor violations from the MDNR to the AG’s office. At the MACC meeting on April 27, 2006 the commission decided to not refer the RES odor violations to the AG. Prior to this meeting the RES odor violations had not been referred to the AG’s office as well. Instead the commission members voted that they would review the multiple odor violation negotiations between the MDNR and RES at their May Commission meeting. I attended the May 25, 2006 MACC meeting and there was no quorum of commissioners so the ongoing RES odor violations were slated to be reviewed at the upcoming June meeting. Anyone can call the MACC office or go here to get the same information I have related. They do keep minutes on their decisions.
Mr. Childers mentions helping the state’s economy several times before he denies his DNR is an “economic development agency”. With ongoing surface water contamination, ground water depletion and significant odor issues in Carthage, Neosho and the region, tourism and concerns of the average citizen about the legacy we are leaving our children does not seem to be on the “economic development” radar screen of Mr. Childers.
I am stunned that the MDNR director has no more of a grasp of his organization's operation or that he is just planning on the apathy and ignorance of the citizens in order to just blow major factual inaccuracies past them. My family has taken our personal time to learn the facts. Those facts are at significant odds with those alleged “facts” of Mr. Childers.
I think it would be time well spent for more citizens of SW MO to learn what is really happening at their MDNR. It’s apparent to me citizens always can not take the director’s word for it.
[Editor's note: Gov. Matt Blunt has sent Childers to act as his own ombudsman (rather than the political flunkies who previously had been appointed by the governor) around the state ostensibly to monitor a question and answer session about his department. Instead, it appears that Childers is using any excuse to slam the attorney general who has declared himself a gubernatorial candidate.]