June 28, 2010
Jefferson City, Mo. - Attorney General Chris Koster has filed a lawsuit in Pulaski County against Four J Land and Cattle Company and Highway H Utilities, Inc. for violations of Missouri's Clean Water Law.
Koster said Four J owns the Northern Heights Subdivision and its wastewater treatment facility in Waynesville. Highway H Utility, Inc., a Public Service Commission-regulated utility, operates the wastewater treatment facility, which is composed of septic tanks with a recirculating sand filter.
Koster said inspections by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) showed the defendants constructed sewer extensions to connect extra homes to the wastewater treatment facility without permission from DNR. This expanded the capacity of the treatment facility beyond what it could handle and caused it to discharge untreated or undertreated sewage to an unnamed tributary to the Gasconade River. He said DNR inspections also showed the defendants failed to conduct minimum monitoring requirements for wastewater treatment facilities. Koster said both companies declined a settlement offer.
"The defendants were given the opportunity to correct violations of Missouri's clean water laws," Koster said "This office will aggressively pursue those who show disregard for our environmental laws."
Koster is asking the court to issue a preliminary and permanent injunction requiring the defendants 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 the defendants to pay all costs associated with the case.