News Release 015

Polk County developer referred to attorney general for Missouri Clean Water Law violations

Volume 39-015 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JAN. 27, 2011-- The Missouri Clean Water Commission has referred the case against a Polk County developer to the Missouri Attorney General's Office for violations of Missouri's Clean Water Law.

Acting at its Jan. 12 meeting, the commission referred the case against Dewey J. Smith from Bolivar, to the attorney general alleging a Missouri Clean Water Law violation for his failure to obtain department approval for the method of sewage disposal proposed for lots in a subdivision he developed near Bolivar.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources submitted the case to the commission. The department determined the subdivision was developed with residential septic systems, despite the fact that the development's lot sizes were too small to use septic systems and still protect local groundwater aquifers.

Missouri's Clean Water 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 public health and the environment by requiring facilities to maintain compliance with the standards set out in the law.

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 it has 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 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 public health and the environment, the department will submit the case to the Clean Water Commission.