June 22, 2005
Plattsburg, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon has asked the Clinton County Circuit Court to order an Independence man to pay for the cost of cleanup for 60,000 waste tires he illegally dumped in a rural area near Plattsburg.
A lawsuit Nixon filed with the court alleges that Mike Libeer dumped multiple loads of tires on property in Clinton County owned by Robert Devling, of Wathena, Kan. Devling entered into a consent judgment with Nixon's office earlier this year, and agreed to pay $11,000 to cover a portion of the cleanup. In addition, Devling paid a $3,000 penalty, with another $3,000 suspended provided he commits no violation of Missouri's Solid Waste Management Law for two years.
"The property owner has agreed to pay his share, now it's time for the individual who actually dumped these tires to pay for the cleanup," Nixon said. "Twice this year, we've seen massive fires at illegal tire dumps that have blackened our skies, polluted our soil, and sullied our groundwater. It's time this site is cleaned up, and the burden should be on the transgressors, not the taxpayers."
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources first became aware of the illegally dumped tires in 1993, when flood waters washed several hundred tires into Smithville Lake. Devling has agreed to give the DNR access to his property to clean up the dump, which is expected to cost up to $135,000. Nixon is asking the court to order Libeer to pay a portion of that cost.
In addition, Nixon is asking the court to order Libeer to pay civil penalties for violating Missouri's Solid Waste Management Law, which can range up to $1,000 a day for each day the tires were illegally stored on the Clinton County site.