News Release 694

Fenton dry cleaner referred to attorney general for violations

Volume 38-694 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010 

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, DEC. 16, 2010 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has referred a Fenton dry cleaner to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office for violations of Missouri’s Hazardous Waste Management Law.

Fenton Cleaners has been cited with not submitting their 2008 or 2009 registration and associated registration surcharge to the department.

Chlorinated solvents used in dry cleaning such as trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene, also known as perc, can cause soil and groundwater contamination if not properly managed. All dry cleaning facilities, including coin-operated dry cleaners, that use these chlorinated solvents are subject to the requirements of the hazardous waste law. Registration with the department helps the department track the use of chlorinated solvents.

The funds received through the dry cleaner’s registration surcharge are placed into the Drycleaning Environmental Trust Fund which is used to help fund the investigation and cleanup of active and abandoned dry cleaners with extensive contamination due to the use of chlorinated solvents.

The Drycleaning Environmental Response Trust Fund is administered by the department’s Hazardous Waste Program. More information on the fund is available online at dnr.mo.gov/env/hwp/dert/hwpvcp-dryclean.htm.

The department referred this matter to the attorney general to seek an appropriate civil penalty for the violations. The Missouri Constitution requires civil penalties to be paid to the school fund of the county in which the violation occurred.

Missouri’s Hazardous Waste Management 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 maintain compliance. The main goal in any enforcement action is to work with a facility to successfully achieve compliance with the 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.

For more information, contact the department’s Hazardous Waste Program at 573-751-3176 or call toll-free at 800-361-4827.

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