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Environmental Enforcement: Wastewater Firm KMS and Owner Sued

Missouri’s attorney general has filed a lawsuit against a Camden County, Mo., man and his company for alleged violations of the state’s Clean Water Law.

Chris Koster alleges three violations of the Clean Water Law by Camdenton, Mo., company KMS Developments and its owner Dennis Karl.

The company owns and operates a wastewater treatment facility that serves Village at Summers Point, a residential subdivision in Camden County. Effluent from the facility is capable of flowing into local reservoir Lake of the Ozarks (pictured). The company’s alleged violations took place at the treatment facility.

Inspections by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources showed specific violations including:

  • failure to install an ultraviolet disinfection system;
  • operating without a permit;
  • failure to install a fence to prevent unauthorized entry into the wastewater treatment facility.

The Department referred the case to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office in late 2010.

“Missourians have a right to expect that waste systems are installed in compliance with the law so they won’t pollute our water,” Koster said. “Our office will not look the other way when businesses fail to comply with the law.”

Koster is asking the court to issue a permanent injunction requiring the defendants to comply with the Clean Water Law; to assess a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 per day for each violation of that law; and to require payment of all costs associated with the case.

The state’s Clean Water Law was violated last year, along with a number of other environmental state and federal laws, by North America’s largest lead producer.

Doe Run Resources Corp. of St. Louis agreed to pay $65 million to correct violations of the laws at ten of its lead mining and smelting facilities in southeast Missouri in December 2010.

Along with Missouri’s Clean Water Act, the lead producer violated the federal Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Emergency Planning and Right-to-Know Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (known as Superfund), and the Missouri Air Conservation Law and Hazardous Waste Management Law.

Doe Run agreed to pay $3.5 million to the United States, and $1.5 million to the State of Missouri, with an additional $1 million plus interest to be paid to the state each year for the next two years from 2010.

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