News Release 449

Poco Risco Homeowners Association agrees to pay $1,500 in penalties for violating the Missouri Clean Water Law at Lake of the Ozarks

Volume 37-449 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Renee Bungart

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, NOV. 24, 2009 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has signed an Abatement Order on Consent, or AOC, with the Poco Risco Homeowners' Association located in Roach, Camden County for water quality violations.

The AOC requires the Poco Risco Homeowners' Association to pay a penalty in the amount of $1,500 to the Camden County School Fund immediately upon the effective date of the AOC. The terms and conditions of the AOC require the Poco Risco Homeowners' Association to submit an application for a construction permit, an engineering report, plans and specifications, and complete improvements to the facility. The improvements will enable the facility to comply with all effluent limitations and conditions contained in the operating permit as required by the Missouri Clean Water Law and it implementing regulations.

On October 14, the department conducted an inspection of the wastewater treatment facility serving the Poco Risco Subdivision as part of the sweep ordered by Gov. Nixon. During the inspection, the department observed there were no chlorination tablets in the disinfection unit. As part of the inspection, staff reviewed the terms and conditions of the operating permit and discovered the association failed to submit a construction permit application, an engineering report and plans and specifications to the department by Sept 30, 2008. The construction permit application is required to make improvements to the facility that will enable the effluent to comply with final effluent limitations for Total Residual Chlorine and Ammonia as Nitrogen that become effective April 1, 2011.

The department establishes permit effluent limits that will protect water quality and beneficial uses of Missouri's streams, rivers and lakes. Ammonia and Chlorine constituents of wastewater are extremely toxic and can be lethal to aquatic life. An operating permit also requires owners and operators of a permitted wastewater treatment facility to operate and maintain the facility so it complies with permit effluent limits.

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 a deterrent to future violations and to remove the economic benefit of continued noncompliance.

The department strives to work with owners and operators to fix the problems and reach a settlement agreement. However, 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.