Cole County does have authority to enforce laws that could help it get in compliance with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Ruth Wallace of DNR's stormwater division told the County Commission on Thursday that a state statute enacted in 2004 allows counties, even those like Cole County, which is not a charter county and doesn't have county zoning, to enforce regulations, unless it has anything to do with agriculture.
Presiding Commissioner Marc Ellinger said as they prepare the plan, they would like to have examples from other counties who have met what DNR wants.
Last month, DNR said the county must develop a way to have the public have a say in the development and oversight of a stormwater management plan.
They also said the county needs to adopt an illicit discharge ordinance, create an ordinance to address post construction runoff from new and redevelopment projects and create a stream buffer ordinance. This affects unincorporated urbanized areas of the county such as Westview Heights and Apache Flats, as well some areas along U.S. 54 south of Jefferson City.
Wallace said there should be plenty of information already available for the commissioners to look at, but they would give them plans that have worked in places such as Boone and Jefferson counties.
She also suggested the commission look at teaming with area communities to help, and they also work at training developers on what needs to be done to comply with the law.
Ellinger said that while they may have ordinances in place, what he has seen so far has no teeth to allow counties to enforce them.