Northern Missouri is a fertile agricultural region dotted with crop and livestock farms. Surface waters provide drinking water for many of the region’s citizens. In the mid-1990s, several drinking water operators received a Notice of Violation under the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act because levels of atrazine, a weed killer, exceeded acceptable levels. The waters were also placed on the Section 303d list of impaired water under the Federal Clean Water Act. Nutrients and
sediment runoff were causing additional problems.
The MCGA approached the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a bold concept: farmers would do the right thing voluntarily—if they knew how. Soon, federal and state agencies, corn growers, product manufacturers, and others had joined the effort, forming the WRASP in 1999. Senator Kit Bond secured more than $1 million in federal funds.