Tell the Air Conservation Commission: Don't Remove the Option to Report Concerns Anonymously

The Missouri Air Conservation Commission is considering whether or not people should be allowed to submit air quality concerns anonymously. This is deeply concerning for the following reasons:
  • Removing the option to report concerns anonymously removes a source of information for the Department of Natural Resources and the Air Conservation Commission to better understand what is occurring on the ground at air polluting entities.
  • Taking this option away may be a deterrent to those reporting their concerns. An anonymous reporter may fear repercussions of some type, enough so to make the decision to remain anonymous. 
  • Anonymous reporters make the decision to remain anonymous despite DNR clearly warning them what may happen if they choose anonymity. Currently, in DNR’s concern report form, directly before the person selects if they wish to remain anonymous, DNR informs them of the implications of that decision. These implications include 1) that the anonymous reporters cannot be informed of the outcome and 2) if there is a lack of information, the investigation may not go forward at all.
  • Making an exception for complaints about air quality sets a bad precedent for other parts of DNR work (ex. water quality). Currently, all DNR departments allow for anonymous reporting through a shared concern form.
  • If DNR staff are burdened by the number of anonymous complaints, that is a staffing issue not a policy issue.
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