September 2, 2005
Camdenton, Mo. — A construction company that diverted the flow of Mack's Creek and built an illegal bridge across the creek in order to mine gravel has been ordered to repair damage to the creek under a court order obtained by Attorney General Jay Nixon.
Lynn Hunt, owner of Hunt Excavating and Septic, constructed an elevated bridge across the creek that consisted of a metal culvert, sand and gravel. Hunt Excavating also used heavy machinery to create a new stream channel, then closed the original stream channel by blocking it with sand and gravel.
Nixon said that in addition to being detrimental to aquatic life in the stream, the bridge and the new stream channel were improperly designed and inadequate to withstand erosion and high stream flow. If the situation is not remedied quickly, he said, there is a high potential for long-lasting degradation of the creek.
"The streams of our state are a cherished resource, and abuse of that resource by a single individual is detrimental to all of us," Nixon said. "Fortunately we caught this situation early, and I believe we have an opportunity here to correct any significant damage that may have been done to Mack's Creek."
Under the agreement, Hunt will repair any damage to the creek, including removal of the bridge and repair of the original channel. Hunt has also agreed to suspend gravel mining operations until proper permits are secured. If Hunt successfully meets the terms of agreement, a $10,000 penalty will be suspended. Nixon took the legal action under Missouri's nuisance statutes.