SPRINGFIELD, Mo., -- In less than a month, it's going to cost more to process sludge into clean water at the wastewater treatment plant in Springfield.
The cost increase is a result of the Environmental Protection Agency's move to crack down on cities throughout the country to eliminate overflows of untreated raw sewage, which can occur when it storms.
City leaders say this EPA requirement is just the beginning.
"I don't see the regulations loosening any so they are just going to become more and more restrictive," said Steve Meyer, Springfield's Public Works Department.
Meyer says federal and state regulations are only going to tighten when it comes environmental issues such as managing solid waste, waste-water treatment, and recycling-- just to name a few.
The increasing demands has city council members looking at removing environmental issues from the Public Works oversight by creating the Department of Environmental Services.
"It will be more environmentally focused and it will come under one umbrella," said Meyer.
At the same time, the Public Works Department will handle infrastructure needs including streets, sidewalks, and traffic signals.
"The two departments will be leaner in each respect so that one can concentrate on the environment and all those things that go with it, and I can concentrate on the infrastructure of the city," said Phil Broyles, Springfield Public Works.
Council members are expected to vote in two weeks on whether to create this new department.