August 5, 2010
Jefferson City, Mo. - Attorney General Chris Koster has filed a lawsuit in Pulaski County against Harris Land Development, LLC (HLD) and owners Gerald Harris and Gerald Harris, Jr. for polluting streams adjacent to two residential housing developments.
Koster said the defendants began developing a 375-acre residential subdivision, Liberty Heights, in 2007 in St. Robert. In 2006, they began developing a 35-acre subdivision, Heritage Estates, also in St. Robert. The lawsuit charges the Harrises and HLD with violations of Missouri's Clean Water Law.
Koster said inspections by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) showed the defendants allowed water contaminants from Liberty Heights to run off into Burchard Hollow and from there into Roubidoux Creek; water contaminants from Heritage Estates were allowed to run off into Sawmill Hollow and from there into the Gasconade River. He said MDNR inspections also showed that the defendants had not put erosion control structures or Best Management Practices in place at the development. The defendants also failed to conduct weekly site inspections at the subdivisions and failed to comply with recordkeeping requirements, in violation of the law.
"Every developer in our state is obligated to ensure the environmental integrity of their development sites," Koster said. "This office will aggressively pursue any developers who show disregard for our environmental laws."
Koster is asking the court to issue preliminary and permanent injunctions 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.