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Attorney General's News Release

May 3, 2010

Attorney General Koster sues California couple for clean water violations in Audrain County

--Lawsuit charges 6 counts of environmental violations--

Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster has filed a lawsuit in Audrain County against a Malibu, California, couple for violations of Missouri’s Clean Water Law.

Koster said David and Sondra Ott, owners of Westgate Mobile Home Park in Mexico, Missouri, own a three-cell wastewater treatment lagoon serving the mobile home park.

Koster said inspections by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) showed the defendants allowed water contaminants to run off into an unclassified tributary of Brushy Creek, which runs near the Westgate Mobile Home Park. He said MDNR inspections also showed the Otts had failed to safely maintain the lagoon and to protect visitors from unnecessary hazards. They also failed to pay permit fees, failed to renew their permit, failed to submit quarterly discharge monitoring reports, and failed to get certification to operate a wastewater treatment facility or to hire someone certified to operate the facility for them.

Koster said his office contacted David Ott with a proposed settlement that included a schedule of compliance requiring him to obtain an engineer’s evaluation with suggestions for upgrading the deteriorating wastewater treatment facility. Ott refused to settle.

“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 preliminary and permanent injunctions requiring David and Sondra Ott 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; to require payment of delinquent permit fees, plus interest; and to require the defendants to pay all costs associated with the case.

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