News Release 035

Department of Natural Resources refers southwest Missouri pesticide recycler to Attorney General for hazardous waste violations

Volume 38-035 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, FEB. 1, 2010 — The Missouri Department of Natural Resources Tuesday referred the case of a southwest Missouri pesticide recycling company with locations in Newton and McDonald counties to the Missouri Attorney General's Office for violations of Missouri's Hazardous Waste Management Law.

The department referred the case of Greenleaf LLC, which had locations in Neosho and in Pineville, to the attorney general alleging the company improperly handled hazardous waste, putting the public and environment at risk.

"The scope of Greenleaf's carelessness in the handling of extremely harmful chemicals is staggering. It threatened the health and welfare of its employees, the general public and the environment," said Department of Natural Resources Director Mark N. Templeton.

Improper pesticide recycling activities at Greenleaf's two facilities resulted in a large volume of hazardous waste created and mismanaged.  Hazardous waste was not in proper, labeled containers and had been spilled in many locations, and employees were routinely exposed to the waste. Properly managed hazardous waste is less likely to threaten human health and the environment.

The Department of Natural Resources worked in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Agriculture to evaluate Greenleaf's compliance with state and federal laws. The Department of Agriculture also conducted inspections at the facility where it was determined Greenleaf was not in compliance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

The Department of Natural Resources oversaw the removal and proper disposal of approximately 73,272 pounds of hazardous waste from both of Greenleaf's facilities.

Due to the serious nature of these violations, the department referred this matter directly to the attorney general to seek an appropriate civil penalty for the violations.  Pursuant to the Missouri Constitution, civil penalties are paid to the school fund of the county in which the violation occurred.

The department made several attempts to negotiate a resolution with Greenleaf, but has not received an adequate response.

Missouri's Hazardous Waste Management Law exists to protect the public and Missouri's air, soil and water resources 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 achieve and maintain compliance. The main goal in any enforcement action is to work with a facility to successfully achieve compliance with regulatory standards and then ensure it has the tools to remain in compliance.  As part of that process, penalties may be assessed 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.

For more information, contact the department's Hazardous Waste Program at 573-751-3176 or call toll-free at 800-361-4827.