November 16, 2011
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster said today his office has obtained a temporary restraining order against Didion Land Project Association, LLC, and its owners and operators, Thomas Stewart and Daniel Fetsch, for violations of the Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Law, the Missouri Solid Waste Law, and the Missouri Clean Water Law.
“Taking care of our environment is a responsibility we all share,” Koster said. “This office takes that responsibility seriously and will continue to vigorously enforce the laws governing the use of our natural resources.”
Koster said the defendants operated the Didion and Sons Foundry in St. Peters beginning around April 2009. Since that time, they demolished the structures at the site and are now about to begin construction. Koster said that earlier this year, a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) inspector saw the demolition activity and noticed piles of construction debris and foundry sand on the ground, as well as several 55-gallon drums containing unidentified liquid wastes scattered around the site. The inspector made numerous requests to enter the site in order to conduct a compliance inspection. Stewart refused to allow access to DNR, in violation of Missouri law.
Because the defendants refused DNR access, the St. Charles County Circuit Court on October 4 issued a search warrant to DNR so they could conduct a compliance inspection and take a sampling of the waste materials. Koster said when the warrant was executed, the inspection revealed additional violations, including illegal storage of hazardous waste, illegal dumping of solid waste, and failure to have water pollution permits. Many of the chemicals stored at the site create a potential risk for explosions or toxic releases.
Koster said the court has barred the defendants from any further activity on the site until further orders are entered by the court.