The Missouri House has given initial approval to a proposal that would exempt small farms from parts of the state's clean water law.

The proposal, approved Wednesday, says farms would not need a permit to allow water from their property to run into the state's waterways, whether from irrigation or precipitation. The exemption would not apply to larger farms. The Department of Natural Resources would still be allowed to intervene to stop pollution.

Proponents say this will relieve farmers of unneeded regulation.

Opponents say this could make it harder to catch pollutants.

The bill needs to be voted on again before it heads to the Senate, where a similar proposal was given initial approval Monday.