PLEASANT HOPE, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Natural Resources released an intent to deny a local slaughterhouse’s application to dump treated wastewater into the Pomme de Terre River.

Missouri Prime Beef Packers wants to release 350,000 gallons of treated wastewater a day, something over 1,500 people spoke out against.

“We determined that at this time there is not enough information available for us to issue a permit to discharge for this facility,” said Heather Peters with DNR.

The intent to deny does not mean that the application process is fully over. There are still three public meetings to be held allowing concerned citizens to voice their opinion.

“We want to make sure that we have the knowledge and we have the information to confirm that this wastewater, which is a higher strength wastewater at this flow, can be adequately treated to protect all of those designated uses of our waters,” Peters said.

The slaughterhouse would treat the wastewater with a technology called iLeaf.

If Missouri Prime Beef can provide more information on the technology their application could still be accepted.

“I think it’s really worth celebrating a small win for the community because we shouted and they listened,” said John Bledsoe, founder of Co-Angler and a volunteer for the Missouri Stream Team. “But it’s still not over yet.”

Bledsoe started a Facebook group to raise awareness that quickly gained thousands of followers.

“We don’t want Pleasant Hope to be known as an environmentally contaminated community,” Bledsoe said.

“I’m always happy to see people excited and involved in protecting water quality and value in the waters of our state,” Peters said.

Right now the slaughterhouse is dumping on designated fields. If the river application is denied, the land application will no longer be authorized either.

“We still have to make sure that we continue to keep pushing to get our voices heard, because we have a great example of how they were heard this first time around,” Bledsoe said.

Two of those public meetings are virtual. One will be held in person on Jan. 6 at Pleasant Hope Middle School.

For information on how to attend, click here.