News Release 139

Department of Natural Resources refers case against Camden County apartment owner to attorney general for clean water law violations

Volume 38-139 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, MARCH 22, 2010-- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has referred the case against a Camden County apartment owner to the Missouri Attorney General's Office to pursue legal action for violations of Missouri’s Clean Water Law.

The department referred the case against Bob Bowman, owner of Oak View Apartments, Camdenton, to the attorney general on March 17 alleging numerous clean water law violations at the apartments’ wastewater treatment facility.

The department has requested the Attorney General’s Office take appropriate legal action to prohibit further clean water law violations.  In addition, the department is requesting the attorney general take necessary action to ensure that Oak View Apartments evaluates the wastewater collection and treatment system and makes necessary improvements to ensure that the effluent complies with the permitted limitations.

The wastewater treatment facility which serves the Oak View Apartments consists of an extended aeration facility with chlorination.  Effluent from the wastewater treatment facility discharges to an unnamed tributary to Racetrack Hollow to Lake of the Ozarks.

In October the department conducted an inspection of the wastewater treatment facility and observed that Oak View Apartments had constructed dechlorination improvements without submitting the required statement of work completed to the department.  Staff also conducted a review of files and documented that effluent had failed to comply with the limitations contained in the facility’s operating permit.

Due to the serious and continuous nature of these violations, the department referred the matter directly to the attorney general.

Missouri's 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 achieve and maintain compliance. The main goal in any enforcement action is to work with a facility to successfully achieve compliance with regulatory standards and then ensure it has 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 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 refers the case to the attorney general.

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