January 8, 2008
Marceline, Mo. — A salt company that violated Missouri Clean Water laws in the operation of its salt transfer facility in Marceline must upgrade its spill containment system, pay a $18,000 penalty and comply with all state environmental laws under a consent judgment obtained today by Attorney General Jay Nixon. The court order against Hutchinson Salt Company, which operates the salt transfer facility in a rail yard the company leases from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, was filed today in Linn County Circuit Court.
According to Nixon, Hutchinson Salt Company’s operation allowed contaminants to run off into area waterways. Salt is offloaded from rail cars and placed into trucks for distribution, causing storm water discharges from the facility to flow into a tributary of Walt Disney Lake, the lake itself and a tributary to Long Branch River.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources issued a permit for storm water discharges to Hutchinson which includes specific effluent limitations and monitoring requirements on all such discharges from the facility. Nixon alleges the defendant failed to report its discharges as required by the permit for three quarters in 2003, four in 2004 and 1 in 2005.
Additionally, inspections of the facility conducted by DNR in 2005-2007 resulted in the Department issuing violations to the defendant for causing pollution to Walt Disney Lake and other area waters of the state; placing or causing water contaminants in a location where it is reasonably certain to cause pollution; failing to comply with effluent limits contained in its permit; and failure to conduct housekeeping practices as spelled out in the permit.
“Such neglectful acts of the defendant, which have been of a continuous nature and in complete disregard for protection of our state’s clean water law, must be addressed,” Nixon said. “Businesses have an obligation to guarantee that their operations are not harmful to our environment.”
Under today’s consent judgment, Hutchinson must pay a civil penalty of $18,000, comply with all terms of its DNR permit and abide by all state clean water laws. The defendant is also ordered to propose and install a spill containment and material capture system for areas at the facility where the transfer of sodium chloride occurs to contain any spillage of contaminants and prevent runoff into area waterways.