November 9, 2009
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster is filing lawsuits in Camden County against two Lake Ozark men for discharging contaminants into the Lake of the Ozarks.
Koster is filing suit against Mark Kelly, who owns two condominium developments in Camden County, Sunset Palms and Royal Palms. He said inspections by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources found deficiencies in the developments’ wastewater treatment facilities that permitted raw or partially treated sewage to run off into the Lake of the Ozarks. The department had issued an abatement order in April 2008 to Kelly to complete construction upgrades to the wastewater treatment facilities, which Kelly has failed to do.
In another suit, Koster is seeking civil penalties against several Lake Ozark companies and their owner for past violations that allowed raw or partially treated sewage to discharge into the lake.
Koster said the lawsuit stems from the operation of a wastewater treatment facility at the restaurant and bar known as Shady Gators, in Lake Ozark. Byou Rental Properties, Inc. owns Shady Gators and Shady, LLC operates the facility; both companies are owned by Gary Dean Prewitt. Koster said in addition to permit violations, Missouri Department of Natural Resources inspections revealed Prewitt had permitted raw or partially treated sewage to bypass the wastewater treatment facility and discharge directly into the Lake of the Ozarks. At least one sample showed fecal coliform present at a level above the daily maximum limit. Prewitt also had failed to submit required monthly Discharge Monitoring Reports.
“Raw sewage in the lake is not acceptable,” Koster said. “DNR inspectors have been placed on notice to find these situations, and our environmental unit will aggressively push to remedy these violations.”
The Department of Natural Resources issued a notice of violation in August 2008 and made several attempts to settle the matter, which Prewitt rejected. In June 2009, Prewitt contacted the department and claimed the violations had been corrected, which the department confirmed. Koster said civil penalties still apply under the law.
In both cases Koster is asking the court to issue preliminary and permanent injunctions requiring the business owners to comply with the Clean Water Law; to assess a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 per day for each violation of the Clean Water Law; and to require Kelly Prewitt each to pay all costs associated with their cases.