News Release 138

Oak Mill referred to attorney general for enforcement action for Missouri Clean Water Law violations

Volume 38-138 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, MARCH 22, 2010-- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources today referred the case against Oak Mill Inc., St. Joseph, to the Missouri Attorney General's Office alleging violations of the Missouri Clean Water Law.

Oak Mill owns and operates a vegetable oil reclamation facility located in St. Joseph.  During inspections of Oak Mill’s operation, department staff observed basins containing Stormwater contaminated with process wastes and discharge of Stormwater from Oak Mill’s facility to Whitehead Creek.

The violations alleged by the department against the facility include discharging to waters of the state without an operating permit; placing, causing or permitting water contaminants to be placed in a location where they are reasonably certain to cause water pollution; and discharging water contaminants that reduced the water quality below state standards.

The Missouri Clean Water Law exists to protect public health and the environment, 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 assessed to ensure future compliance by removing the economic benefit of continued noncompliance.

The department strives to work with owners and operators to fix problems before referring the issue to the attorney general. In situations where the responsible party fails to cooperate in bringing the facility into compliance, the department will refer the case.

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