News Release 025

Department of Natural Resources refers Lake Ozark area homeowners' association case to attorney general for enforcement action on clean water violations

Volume 38-025 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JAN. 21, 2010 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources today referred the case against a Morgan County homeowners' association to the Missouri Attorney General's Office to pursue legal action for clean water violations.

The department alleges that La Pergola Homeowners Association Inc., located near Laurie, failed to make the required improvements to its wastewater treatment facility needed to remain in compliance with Missouri's Clean Water Law.

The wastewater treatment facility is designed to serve a population equivalent of 37 and consists of a septic tank and recirculating sand filter with chlorination. Effluent from the facility discharges to the Lake of the Ozarks. In October 2009, department staff inspected the facility and reviewed its files, documenting the association's failure to complete wastewater treatment improvements it had agreed to make as a condition of receiving its operating permit.

Staff also found that the association failed to submit accurate discharge monitoring reports as required by its operating permit. Due to the continuous nature of these violations, the department has referred this matter directly to the attorney general.

The Missouri 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 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 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 human health and the environment, the department will refer the case.

For more information, contact the Department's Water Protection Program at 573-751-1300 or call toll-free at 800-361-4827.