Bill would help stop environmental overreach

A bill heard in a Missouri House committee would help protect business and individuals from regulatory overreach by environmental agencies.

Among the provisions of House Bill 955 is language often referred to as a “permit shield.” This common sense measure states that if a person or business has the proper environmental permits and is operating within legal guidelines, they cannot be deemed an environmental nuisance and be subject to penalties and other costs.

The proposal, sponsored by Rep. Robert Ross, a Republican from Yukon, would protect Missourians as long as they are abiding by permits or orders issued by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the US Environmental Protection Agency, The US Army Corps of Engineers or the Missouri Attorney General’s office.

The Missouri Chamber testified in support of this measure.

“The logic for this bill is simple—you shouldn’t be penalized or prosecuted for following the rules,” said Jay Atkins, Missouri Chamber general counsel and director of governmental affairs. “Without the protections in House Bill 955, environmentally-compliant businesses are in danger of being held to loose standards that haven’t been legislated, litigated or published. This is an important bill and we thank Rep. Ross for his work.”

The Missouri Chamber’s Missouri 2030 plan calls for our state to do more to ensure regulations are not harming job growth and business expansion. A recent Gallup survey of more than 1,000 Missouri employers that regulations are stifling growth. When asked to cite the biggest obstacle to growing their businesses, Missouri employers answered “government regulations” at twice the rate of any other factor, according to the survey.

House Bill 955 also includes several provisions that clarify issues surrounding waterways and land ownership.

For more information about environmental issues, contact Atkins at jatkins@mochamber.com or by phone at 573-634-3511.

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About mochamber

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry understands that the quality of life in our state depends on quality jobs for Missourians. To that end, we have one simple mission: to protect and advance Missouri business.

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