June 8, 2010
Jefferson City, Mo. - Attorney General Chris Koster has filed a lawsuit in St. Francois County against a Farmington restaurant and bar owner for violating Missouri's Clean Water Law. The business owner regularly dumped untreated wastewater onto the ground where it was reasonably certain to reach the St. Francis River.
Koster said Matt Grisham owns and operates Rum Runners, a restaurant and bar in Farmington. When his original building was destroyed by fire, Grisham requested and was given permission from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in January to operate out of another building on his property. DNR also issued Grisham a permit authorizing the use of four sewage holding tanks for one year, during which time he was to construct a wastewater treatment facility. The temporary holding tank is a "no-discharge" system, and DNR requires that it be pumped by a licensed septic tank hauler and discharged at a permitted facility.
Koster said inspections by DNR in March showed that Grisham was pumping raw sewage out of the holding tanks onto the ground about 40 yards from the St. Francis River.
"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."
Koster is asking the court to issue a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunctions requiring Grisham to comply with the Missouri Clean Water Law; to assess a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 per day for each day the Clean Water Law was violated; and to require the defendant to pay all costs associated with the case.