News Release 503

Department of Natural Resources refers Camden County resort, owners to attorney general for Missouri Clean Water Law violations

Volume 38-503 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, AUG. 26, 2010-- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has referred the case against a Camden County resort and the managers of its wastewater treatment facility to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office for violations of the Missouri Clean Water Law.

The department referred the case against Red Oak Resort, 524 Recreation Row, Camdenton, and Gerald and Judy Reinhold, St. Louis, owners of the resort’s wastewater treatment facility, to the attorney general alleging numerous violations of the Missouri Clean Water Law related to the maintenance and operation of the facility, and the quality of the discharge coming from it.

"Although we'd prefer to bring facilities like these back into compliance with the Clean Water Law through voluntary steps, it's important that we have -- and are willing to use -- legal options to protect both public health and the environment," said Mark N. Templeton, director of the Department of Natural Resources.

Department staff inspected the facility, which serves the resort as well as Mountain Lake Village Subdivision, in October 2009 and April 2010. During these inspections, staff observed solids in the receiving stream and partially treated wastewater seeping out from the sludge holding basin. Discharge from the facility eventually enters the Lake of the Ozarks.

Staff also documented a dechlorination unit had been installed without receiving a required construction permit from the department; found the company and the Reinholds failed to submit timely engineering reports for improvements required by the facility’s operating permit, and the facility chronically exceeded its permitted limitations for biochemical oxygen demand, ammonia and dissolved oxygen since 2008.

Due to the continuous nature of these violations, the department has referred this matter directly to the attorney general.

Missouri's 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 with the standards set out in the law.

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 it has 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 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 public health and the environment, the department will refer the case.