State withheld report on E. coli in Lake of Ozarks

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. (AP) - A state agency acknowledges that it withheld a report for four weeks that showed the Lake of the Ozarks had E. coli above safe levels.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources said it withheld the report around Memorial Day because of concern that releasing it would hurt tourism and business around the lake.

Heavy rains in May washed the bacteria into the lake, which has since returned to safe levels. But for a month, the DNR refused to show the report to residents who were demanding to see it, The Kansas City Star reported Thursday.

DNR spokeswoman Susanne Medley said the agency wanted to make sure it didn't panic the public.

But some critics say the decision not to release the report immediately was a cover-up that put the economy above public health.

Information from: The Kansas City Star,

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