News Release 485

Tim Vogel, Coconuts Caribbean Bar and Grill referred to Attorney General for enforcement action for Missouri Clean Water Law violations

Volume 37-485 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Renee Bungart

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, DEC. 11, 2009-- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources today referred Tim Vogel, owner of the Coconuts Caribbean Bar and Grill located in Morgan County, to the Missouri Attorney General's Office to pursue legal action for wastewater violations. Since June 2009, the wastewater treatment facility serving the Coconuts Caribbean has violated permit effluent limitations and Vogel has failed to properly operate and maintain the facility, which violates the Missouri Clean Water Law and its implementing regulations.

On Oct. 19, the department conducted an inspection of the facility serving the Coconuts Caribbean as part of a sweep ordered by Governor Jay Nixon. During this inspection, staff observed sludge throughout the facility. Staff noted the facility was not discharging at the time of the inspection but observed a pool of water below the outfall pipe with a significant amount of sludge where it is likely to discharge to the Lake of the Ozarks.

The Missouri 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 a deterrent to future violations 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.