November 8, 2005
Clinton, Mo. — A motel and restaurant that has been cited for discharging sewage into a tributary of Truman Lake and has failed to update a public drinking water system with contaminant levels many times the maximum allowed by law is the target of a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Jay Nixon.
The lawsuit, filed in Henry County Circuit Court, names Fernando L. Lomeli, owner of Tebo Creek Lodge Bar and Grill, located on Highway PP near Clinton. The first count of the lawsuit alleges that Lomeli's wastewater treatment facility has not functioned properly since 1999, resulting in abnormally high amounts of fecal coliform and chlorine being discharged into a tributary of Truman Lake.
A second count alleges that since July 2004, the public drinking water system maintained by Lomeli has repeatedly tested for unsafe levels of coliform, and he has yet to correct the problem and has failed to regularly test water samples, as required by law.
"This is not a technical violation — this is a very real public health risk," Nixon said. "Numerous times Mr. Lomeli has been given the opportunity to correct problems with his system that have resulted in unsafe drinking water, and the release of contaminated wastewater that has found its way to Truman Lake. We will not and cannot look the other way when public health is at issue."
Nixon is asking the court to order Lomeli to comply with Missouri's Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act, make appropriate upgrades to the wastewater treatment system, and to connect to a public drinking water supply system. Nixon also is asking that Lomeli reimburse the state for the cost of the investigation and court proceedings, and pay monetary penalties.