April 4, 2011
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster has filed a lawsuit in Johnson County against a business that operates a wastewater treatment facility alleging six counts of violations of Missouri’s Clean Water Law.
Koster said G.A.A.R, LLC, in Johnson County, owns and operates a single-cell lagoon wastewater treatment system that served a former restaurant, bar, and gentleman’s club known as the Playhouse Lounge. Effluent from the system is capable of flowing into an unnamed and unclassified tributary to the Devil’s Branch. Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) inspections showed that violations include failure to submit an engineering evaluation report, failure to prevent a bypass of wastewater from the treatment facility, discharging wastewater in a location reasonably certain to cause pollution to Devil’s Branch, and failure to renew the operating permit.
Koster said DNR staff conducted five inspections of the wastewater treatment facility serving the now-closed Playhouse Lounge. During the inspections, staff observed partially treated wastewater overtopping and seeping through the berms of the lagoon and discharging off the property. In addition, staff observed pools of partially treated wastewater surrounding the lagoon, duckweed and beer bottles covering the surface of the lagoon, and extensive damage to the overvegetated lagoon berms.
“Missourians have a right to expect that waste systems are installed in compliance with the law so they won’t pollute our water,” Koster said. “Our office will not look the other way when businesses fail to comply with the law.”
Koster is asking the court to issue a permanent injunction 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; and to require payment of all costs associated with the case.