May 24, 2010
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources have reached a settlement with the city of Kansas City for violating the state’s Clean Water Law.
Koster said the city owns and operates a system of seven wastewater treatment facilities and 2,600 miles of sewer lines. Since 2009, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has sent the city Notices of Violation for numerous releases of sewage into area rivers and streams. Koster said that in one instance, a three-foot section of clay pipe washed away, allowing all the sewage in the pipe to flow into a creek. The City failed to control the release for at least four days. DNR estimated that three million gallons of sewage from the Kansas City sewer system discharged into the creek, leaving the creek full of sewage for a least a quarter of a mile.
Under the settlement agreement, the city committed to reducing the risk from future spills by developing and implementing an overflow response plan to improve the city’s response to releases of sewage. The city will also pay penalties of approximately $255,000, $135,000 of which will be put toward a Supplemental Environmental Project Plan. Under the SEP plan, Kansas City will extend sewers to homes on septic systems in order to reduce the risk of releases from old or poorly maintained septic tanks. In addition, the city will pay the state $15,000 toward DNR’s investigation costs and damages.
“We all must serve as stewards of our state’s environmental integrity,” Koster said. “Missouri understands this obligation and has passed laws to ensure that our rivers and streams remain unpolluted. This office will continue to enforce those laws aggressively.”