Hannibal Board of Public Works blames ammonia removal delay on s - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Hannibal Board of Public Works blames ammonia removal delay on state

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Person fills up a cup with water. Person fills up a cup with water.
Water pours out of a faucet. Water pours out of a faucet.
Residents wait to talk during Hannibal Board of Public Work's meeting. Residents wait to talk during Hannibal Board of Public Work's meeting.
HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) -

Ammonia may remain in Hannibal's water longer than voters wanted according to the Board of Public Works.

At Tuesday's meeting, General Manager Bob Stevenson said they put in a request to the Department of Natural Resources to shut off the ammonia. DNR denied that request. Now they are appealing, but it will take longer than the 90 days set by voters.

Kellie Cookson, founder of one of the groups opposed to ammonia, feels the board should shut off it off and and respect the voter's wishes, but Stevenson says their hands are tied.

"We are forced to choose between which law to obey," Stevenson said. "We have the city ordinance which says remove the ammonia and we have state and EPA regulations that says, essentially, leave the ammonia on."

"I feel like the vote of the people should pretty much withstand a violation from the DNR," Cookson said. "We've been in violation for four or five years over our water. That was never that big of a concern. What's another year in violation as long as the water is safe."

Cookson feels if the 90 days was such a concern, BPW should have worked with the group to come up with a better timeline. Stevenson fears the violation fines could be much more severe since the city would be willingly violating the regulations and could bring down harsh punishments on the city.

Officials say legal is working on options BPW can take to give them time on either law, however that too will take time.

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