January 21, 2005
New London, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Ralls County Circuit Court against a local developer for allegedly allowing untreated sewage to discharge into a tributary that runs into the Salt River.
The lawsuit says Ken Jaeger, of Center, Mo., developer of Lost Valley Subdivision, constructed and has been operating an unpermitted sewage lagoon, which has been discharging untreated sewage into a tributary of the Salt River. Lost Valley Subdivision is located near Mark Twain Lake, about two miles north of Clarence Cannon Dam on the east side of Highway J.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) cited Jaeger in October 2003 for operating a wastewater lagoon without the proper permit and for discharging water contaminants into waters of the state. In December 2003, the department again issued a violation to Jaeger for installing a sewer system without first receiving a construction permit and for conducting land disturbance activities without a proper permit. On Jan. 13, 2005, DNR inspectors observed sewage overflowing the berm of the lagoon and flowing into the Salt River tributary.
"Safeguarding the health and safety of Missouri residents is a high priority for this office, and obviously Mr. Jaeger has had adequate time to comply with Missouri law," Nixon said. "Filing court action is a last resort, but in this instance, we felt it was the proper action to take."
Nixon is asking that the court find that Jeager has violated the Missouri Clean Water Law and that civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation per day be assessed. Jaeger will also be required to obtain a Missouri State Operating Permit to properly operate and maintain the lagoon to prevent further illegal discharges.