News Release 412

Department refers Taney County construction company to attorney general for Missouri Clean Water Law violations

Volume 38-412 (For immediate release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JULY 22, 2010-- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has referred the case against a Taney County construction company to the Missouri Attorney General's Office alleging violations of Missouri’s Clean Water Law.

The department referred the case against Burton Construction, d.b.a. BCX, to the attorney general alleging that the company pumped untreated wastewater into a storm sewer while repairing a leak in a sewer collection line in a Taney County subdivision.

“Enforcing Missouri's Clean Water Law directly relates to protecting public health and the environment," said Department Director Mark N. Templeton. "We try to work with businesses first to address the problem, but if that fails, we must pursue legal action."

On Nov. 30, the department conducted an investigation of a bypass in the wastewater collection system serving the Meadow Ridge/Horizon Hills Subdivision.  During the investigation, department staff observed a hole that was dug to repair a leak in the collection system, exposing the main sewer line and connections to four homes.

Nathan Burton of BCX told investigators that a gasket fell off as a pipe was being fitted to the main sewer line, causing the hole to fill with sewage.  He said that in order to find the gasket he pumped the sewage from the hole into a nearby storm drain. The sewage flowed from the drain into a concrete drainage ditch that ran between two homes and then into a wooded area, which is in violation of the Missouri Clean Water Law. 

“Businesses need to comply with Missouri’s environmental laws in order to protect human health and our state’s natural resources,” said Mark N. Templeton, director of the Department of Natural Resources.”

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 companies to comply with the law.

The department’s main goal in any enforcement action is to work with a company to 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 to ensure future compliance by removing the economic benefit of continued noncompliance.

 The department strives to work with owners and operators to address issues that lead to violations of the clean water law. In situations where the responsible party fails to cooperate, the department will refer 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.