November 4, 2011
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster has filed a lawsuit in Macon County against the owner of a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) for polluting Sweezer Creek.
Koster said the CAFO, designed to serve 900 hogs, is owned by Charles Cooper, LLC, of Marshall. He said the lawsuit charges the defendant with violations of Missouri’s Clean Water Law.
Koster said the company discharged contaminants into Sweezer Creek when it over-applied wastewater onto the CAFO’s farm fields. He said Missouri Department of Natural Resources inspections also showed that the defendant failed to submit required monitoring reports and violated its operating permit. Koster said the defendant also has breached an earlier agreement, whereby it agreed to correct prior violations and pay a $13,000 penalty, $9,000 of which was suspended on the condition that it comply with the settlement agreement and the Clean Water Law.
“We all must serve as stewards of our state’s environmental integrity,” 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 the defendant 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 pay the $9,000 agreed to in the prior settlement agreement; to pay the State’s environmental response costs and to require the defendant to pay all court costs associated with the case.