JOPLIN, Mo. — The City of Joplin is moving forward with updating certain regulations.

Tuesday night City Council approved the Public Works Department to develop new permits. Those permits will follow EPA regulations.

“Tonight’s resolution helps the city staff with putting the new permits out for a public comment period,” said Dan Johnson, Assistant Director of Public Works, over engineering.

The City of Joplin is updating its EPA guidelines for General Pretreatment Regulations and Streamlining Rules.

“For instance, we are looking for things that might adversly impact our wastewater treatment system. It’s a biological process at the wastewater treatment plant so micro-organisms do most of the work of breaking down and treating the wastewater. That being the case, it’s essentially like running a giant farm. So we need to be careful about what gets into it,” continued Johnson.

He says a big aspect of the reporting method will be working with the local industries to improve permits.

“If we do not follow the guidelines, we stand the chance of being fined. We definitely want to do things right and avoid any kind of penalties and it’s the right way to take care of the environment.”

The city has not updated its EPA requirements since it was started in the 1980s.

“That means when we set it up initially, I think we did a great job and the limits that we had set up then took us this far. Even now it’s pretty minor adjustments we have to make.”

Public comment will start after the city files permits, then they will respond to comments.

They anticipate adopting the EPA rules by this summer.