News Release 398
Van's Mill Creek Homeowner's Association and Holding Company referred to Attorney General for wastewater violations at Lake of the Ozarks
Volume 37-398 (For immediate release)
Contact: Renee Bungart
JEFFERSON CITY, MO, OCT. 26, 2009 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources today asked the Missouri Attorney General's Office to pursue legal action against Van's Mill Creek Homeowners' Association and Van's Holding Company for violations of Missouri's Clean Water Law and Regulations occurring at Van's Mill Creek, located off Mill Creek Loop, near Gravois Mills, in Morgan County.
The wastewater treatment facility serving Van's Mill Creek summer vacation homes consists of septic tanks and a recirculating textile filter, with an ultraviolet disinfection unit. Effluent from the wastewater treatment facility discharges to the Lake of the Ozarks. Since March 2009, the department has conducted two inspections of the facility and has also conducted a file review for Van's Mill Creek. As part of the baseline study ordered by Gov. Jay Nixon in September, staff most recently found that Van's Mill Creek has failed to submit Discharge Monitoring Reports as required by the operating permit. In addition, department records indicate the facility's operating permit expired on Nov. 5, 2008 and Van's Mill Creek failed to name a valid continuing authority, which indentifies a permanent organization responsible for operation and maintenance of a facility. Due to the serious and continuous 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 and environmental health 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 department's main goal in any enforcement action is to work with a facility to successfully achieve compliance with the standards and then ensure they have the tools to remain in compliance. As part of that process, penalties may be used as an incentive to ensure future compliance and to remove 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 to the Attorney General's Office for legal action.
For more information contact the department's Water Protection Program at 573-751-1300 or call toll-free at 800-361-4827.