March 15, 2007
Neosho, Mo.— A Joplin man who used his property as a waste dump in defiance of a court order and has been cited on three occasions for open burning violations is facing a lawsuit from Attorney General Jay Nixon. Nixon's lawsuit against Mark Russell of Joplin, filed today in Newton County Circuit Court, is seeking an injunction and civil penalties.
According to the lawsuit, the defendant was prohibited from keeping inoperable vehicles and other trash on his property under a November 2004 ruling by the Newton County Circuit Court. Since then, Russell has been cited for violations of the Missouri Air Conservation Law on three occasions by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources due to the open burning of trash on his property.
In addition, the defendant has continued to stockpile a wide variety of refuse materials at the site since the 2004 judgment. As recently as Feb. 21, 2007, DNR representatives observed old, rusted vehicles and mobile homes, demolition waste, discarded appliances and other unidentifiable trash in an inspection of the property. The property is located at 3700 West 32nd Street in Joplin.
“The defendant has regularly disregarded an order of this court and continued to accumulate volumes of trash,” Nixon said. “These piles of debris and rubbish constitute a potential threat to the public health, safety and welfare of the community and environment and must be stopped.”
Nixon is asking the court to issue a permanent injunction against the defendant requiring him to comply with all provisions of the Missouri Air Conservation Law and with the November 2004 court order to remove all debris from his property immediately. The lawsuit also asks that the court require the defendant to pay appropriate civil penalties and the costs of bringing the lawsuit.