June 22, 2005
Bolivar, Mo. — A Bolivar construction company that poured 60 dump-truck loads of gravel into the Pomme de Terre River to illegally build a rudimentary bridge has begun cleanup and remediation of the site, under a settlement agreement announced today by Attorney General Jay Nixon.
The settlement resolves Nixon's concerns that Holt Construction and Rock caused extensive pollution when employees submerged three culverts and covered them with gravel to create a roadway across the river. The company has a permit to mine gravel on three sandbars adjacent to the river; the site is near Highway KK about five miles from Pleasant Hope.
Nixon obtained an order requiring the cleanup in a consent judgment signed by Circuit Judge John W. Sims on June 17. Fisheries biologists from the Missouri Department of Conservation evaluated the impact to the stream and stream bank and also designed the remedial plan included in the court order.
"By working together, my office and the Department of Conservation ensured that the pollution caused by the bridge would be cleaned up quickly and without cost to Missouri taxpayers," Nixon said. "We've made it clear that we expect polluters to take responsibility for the damage they cause."
Mining activities and the building of the 40-foot-long, 15-foot-wide bridge forced water into a new channel, increased the speed of the water as it passed through the culverts and obstructed free movement of fish in the river.
Holt Construction is paying for the removal of the bridge and also will repair the environmental damage it caused to the stream; in addition, the company is paying $802.49 to the Department of Conservation for that agency's response costs. The company also must withdraw an open pit sand and gravel mining permit application requested for the site and promise to comply with state mining regulations in the future. Failure to comply with the terms of the agreement could cost the company $10,000.