Missouri's Department of Natural Resources issued the press release below this afternoon.
Taney County Utilities Corporation Referred to
Attorney General for Enforcement Action
Contact: Renee Bungart
(For immediate release)
JEFFERSON CITY, MO, SEPT. 21, 2009 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources today asked the Missouri Attorney General's Office to pursue legal action against Taney County Utilities Corporation for violations of Missouri's Clean Water Law and Regulations. The violations occurred at the wastewater treatment facility serving the Village of Lakeway, located off Laughing Lane, near Kissee Mills.
The Department's enforcement actions help protect human health and the environment by requiring facilities to maintain compliance. The Department's main goal in any enforcement action is to work with a facility to successfully achieve compliance with the standards and then ensure they have the tools to remain in compliance. As part of that process, penalties may be used as an incentive to ensure future compliance and to remove the economic benefit of continued noncompliance.
The wastewater treatment facility serving the Village of Lakeway residential subdivision consists of septic tanks, two cell wetlands, and a third filtration cell. Since January 1999, the effluent discharging from the Village of Lakeway's facility has chronically exceeded the permitted effluent limitations for fecal coliform, biochemical oxygen demand and total residual chlorine limits as required by its operating permit.
The Department conducted two inspections of the facility and documented partially treated wastewater leaking from the filter beds. The inspections also revealed the receiving stream had observable impacts as a result of the discharge from the Village of Lakeway's wastewater treatment facility, including cloudy water; sludge and bloodworms in the stream; and gray algae on the rocks. Due to the serious and continuous nature of these violations, the Department has referred this matter directly to the Missouri State Attorney General's Office.
Missouri's Clean Water Law exists to protect public and environmental health and the Department is responsible for enforcing the law and regulations. The Department referred the case to the Attorney General's Office to compel compliance and to seek an appropriate civil penalty for violations at the site.
The Department strives to work with owners and operators to fix problems before an issue is referred. In situations where the responsible party is unwilling to cooperate to bring the facility into compliance and be protective of environmental and human health, the Department will refer the case.
For more information contact the Department's Water Protection Program at 573-751-1300 or call toll-free at 800-361-4827.