December 9, 2005
Moberly, Mo. — A Moberly man who has repeatedly been cited for illegal open burning was sued this week by Attorney General Jay Nixon.
Nixon filed his lawsuit in Randolph County Circuit Court against Dean Sumpter, owner of Sumpter and Son Pallet of 1810 County Road in Moberly. The lawsuit alleges that on March 8, 2005, an employee of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources responded to a complaint of open burning on Sumpter's property, where employees of the business were engaged in the burning of wooden pallet scraps. Such burning is a violation of Missouri's Air Conservation Law.
The lawsuit also alleges that Sumpter's open burning creates a public nuisance for nearby private and public property, while threatening the health, safety, peace and welfare of persons on that property.
"Mr. Sumpter has been warned on previous occasions that his open burning activities constituted a very real public health risk, and were a violation of the state Air Conservation Law," Nixon said. "In February 2003, he was cited in a DNR complaint about open burning on his property but continued to engage in this activity. We cannot afford to look the other way when public health is at issue."
Nixon has asked the court to order Sumpter to comply with Missouri's Air Conservation Law, clean up and properly dispose of any remaining burned materials and verify to the state that he has done so. Nixon is also asking that the court order Sumpter to pay appropriate penalties to the state.