The volume and variety of actions state and federal agencies take to implement a given regulatory scheme sometimes makes it difficult for courts to determine the difference between informal agency policy statements and formal agency rules. The Missouri Supreme Court dealt with this issue in the context of a challenge to a state agency’s implementation of the federal Clean Water Act. The court held that Missouri’s impaired waters list was an agency policy statement, rather than a rule, and that the challenge to the list was not ripe. This Note will examine the potential impact of the court’s decision on Missouri law, agency behavior, and the public’s role in agency processes. The Note will also explore the extent to which the court’s decision rewrote the formula defining the relationship between Missouri’s agencies and its courts.

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