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Attorney General's News Release

June 4, 2010

Attorney General Koster moves to protect Hayti Heights residents from water, sewage contamination

Pemiscot County, Mo. - Attorney General Chris Koster said today New Madrid County Circuit Court Judge Fred Copeland appointed a receiver May 28 for Hayti Heights' water and sewage systems. Jim Macy will act as receiver and will work with the city to provide updates on the receivership, as well as provide training on good governing practices.

According to Koster, the city's water and sewage collection systems are not functioning properly. Both systems are at risk of falling into disrepair, and in January 2010 three of the four lift stations in the water system were inoperable, preventing the sewage from being treated and allowing sewage to back up into homes.

Since that time,the Missouri Rural Water Association, the City of Caruthersville, and staff with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources have worked in a volunteer capacity to maintain minimal function of the systems.

Koster asked the court to appoint a temporary, limited receivership to preserve and protect the water and sewer utilities and make sure they are operating as intended. As receiver, Macy will oversee the managerial, financial, and operational duties of the city's municipal sewer and water treatment systems. The Attorney General also asked the court to issue a preliminary and permanent injunction prohibiting the city from any further violations of the Missouri Drinking Water Law and the Missouri Clean Water Law.

"The citizens of Hayti Heights must be assured safe drinking water and protection from the threat of raw sewage," Koster said. "It is in the best interest of the community to have a receiver oversee their water and sewage systems."

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