News Release 689

Missouri Air Conservation Commission refers three cases to attorney general for enforcement action

Volume 38-689 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010 

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, DEC. 9, 2010 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri Air Conservation Commission have referred three cases to the Missouri Attorney General's Office to pursue legal action for violations of Missouri's Air Conservation Law.

The commission, at its Dec. 2 meeting in Jefferson City, voted to refer the cases to the attorney general’s office to compel compliance and to seek appropriate civil penalties for the violations.

The following entities refused to take appropriate responsibility for their violations and would not negotiate reasonable settlements with the department. The department had no recourse but to ask the attorney general to take legal action against the violators:

Blue Ribbon Cleaners, O’Fallon - Failed to conduct and document inspections, and maintain reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Dry cleaners that use perchloroethylene have the potential to emit hazardous air pollutants. They are required to conduct periodic inspections to, among other things, see if there are any leaks in the dry cleaning system.

Evans Oil & Gas Inc, Lawson – Failed to perform required pressure tests of their gasoline storage systems. Liquids or vapor may be able to escape from a system which will not hold pressure.

Universal Inspection Service, St. Louis – Richard Volz, of Universal Inspection Service, is not a certified Missouri asbestos building inspector, but in violation of the Missouri Air Conservation Law he conducted an asbestos inspection at a site in Wellston. Because of the microscopic nature of asbestos fibers, they can easily be inhaled into the body where they can accumulate, eventually leading to disease. Certified asbestos inspectors are trained and are able to identify potential asbestos-containing materials that may be disturbed by demolition or renovation activity.

In each of these cases, the department contacted the business owners multiple times, but has not received an adequate response. 

Missouri's Air Conservation Law exists to protect human 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 will refer the case.

Additional information about the commission, including supporting documents related to these compliance cases, is available on the department's Website at dnr.mo.gov/env/apcp/macc.htm. For more information contact the department's Air Pollution Control Program at 573-751-4817 or call toll-free at 800-361-4827.

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