News Release 460

Big Bear Resort Condominium Owners Association referred to Attorney General for wastewater violations at Lake of the Ozarks

Volume 37-460 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Renee Bungart

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., DEC. 3, 2009 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources today referred Big Bear Resort Condominium Owners Association Inc., located off Duckhead Road near Lake Ozark, to the Missouri Attorney General's Office to pursue legal action for violations of Missouri's Clean Water Law.

The wastewater treatment facility that serves 12 condominiums in Big Bear Resort consists of an extended aeration unit with chlorination. Effluent from the wastewater treatment facility discharges to the Lake of the Ozarks. As part of the sweep ordered by Gov. Jay Nixon in September, the department recently conducted an inspection at the facility and reviewed the files.

During the inspection, the department documented the association has failed to follow its schedule of compliance included in the operating permit for the facility. The association failed to complete necessary improvements to install wastewater treatment dechlorination equipment and failed to complete upgrades that will enable the effluent discharging from the facility to comply with final permitted effluent limitations by May 10, 2009. The department establishes permit effluent limits that will protect water quality and beneficial uses of Missouri's streams, rivers and lakes. An operating permit also requires owners and operators of a permitted wastewater treatment facility to operate and maintain the facility so it complies with permit effluent limits.

The department also found the association has failed to submit Discharge Monitoring Reports as required by the operating permit. Failure to follow the schedule of compliance and submit monitoring reports violates Missouri's Clean Water Law. Due to the serious and continuous nature of these violations, the department has referred this matter directly to the Missouri State Attorney General's Office.

Missouri's Clean Water Law exists to protect public and environmental health, and the department is responsible for enforcing the law and regulations.

The department's enforcement actions help protect human health and the environment by requiring facilities to maintain compliance. The department's main goal in any enforcement action is to work with a facility to successfully achieve compliance with the standards and then ensure they have the tools to remain in compliance. As part of that process, penalties may be used as an incentive to ensure future compliance and to remove the economic benefit of continued noncompliance.

The department strives to work with owners and operators to fix problems before an issue is referred. In situations where the responsible party is unwilling or unable to cooperate to bring the facility into compliance and be protective of human health and the environment, the department will refer the case to the Attorney General's Office for legal action.

For more information, contact the department's Water Protection Program at 573-751-1300 or call toll-free at 800-361-4827.