News Release 446

Department refers Jefferson County subdivision to attorney general for clean water violations

Volume 38-446 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, AUG. 5, 2010 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has referred the case against a Jefferson County subdivision to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office alleging violations of Missouri’s Clean Water Law.

The department alleges that P.C.B., Inc., which owns and operates the wastewater treatment facility serving the Sandia Heights residential subdivision near Hillsboro,  violated the state’s clean water law by allowing improperly treated wastewater to enter waters of the state and by operating the wastewater treatment facility without the required permits.

The wastewater treatment facility, which serves 31 residences and 50 mobile homes in Sandia Heights, discharges to an unnamed tributary to Sandy Creek.  Between May 2009 and January the department conducted several inspections of the facility and found excessive old sludge, observed dark effluent discharging into the Sandy Creek tributary, and discovered sludge deposits and organisms in the stream that are indicative of water pollution.

In addition, staff found that P.C.B. has failed to submit timely discharge monitoring reports as required by the facility’s operating permit, which expired in August 2001.

The Missouri Clean Water Law exists to protect public health and the environment, and the department is responsible for enforcing the law and regulations.

The department’s enforcement actions help protect public 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 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 to ensure future compliance by removing the economic benefit of continued noncompliance.

The department strives to work with facility owners and operators to fix problems before referring an issue to the attorney general. In situations where the responsible party fails to bring the facility into compliance and be protective of public 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.