News Release 023

Camden County condominium owners association referred to attorney general for Missouri Clean Water Law violations

Volume 39-023 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, FEB. 9, 2011-- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has referred the case against a Camden County condominium owner's association to the Missouri Attorney Generals Office for violations of Missouri's Clean Water Law.

The department referred the case against Cedar Heights Condominium Owner's Association Inc. to the attorney general alleging numerous Missouri Clean Water Law violations that occurred at the wastewater treatment facility serving Cedar Heights Condominiums, located on West Highway 54, Camdenton.

During inspections of the facility, department staff observed several cracks in the basin wall with algal growth around them and a significant amount of sludge in the system. Staff also observed a blanket of sludge at least two inches thick affecting approximately 80 feet of the stream that receives discharges from the facility.

In addition, the department has not received a response from the association regarding upgrades to the facility that are required by its operating permit. The permit required the association to submit a complete construction permit application with applicable fee, engineering report, and plans and specifications by June 21, 2010.

Due to the continuous and serious nature of these violations, the department has referred this matter directly to the Missouri State Attorney General's Office.

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 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 refer the case.