Developer of The Links fined for Clean Water Act violation

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 | 8:03 p.m. CDT; updated 10:52 a.m. CDT, Thursday, September 1, 2011

COLUMBIA — The company that built The Links will pay a $430,000 civil penalty to settle a series of stormwater violations that occurred during the development.

Lindsey Construction Company, Inc., and The Links at Columbia, LP, agreed to pay the sum after being cited for a violation of the federal Clean Water Act, which was discovered during a construction site inspection by the Environmental Protection Agency in May 2007.

Two inspections had been conducted earlier by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Ken Midkiff, conservation chair of the Sierra Club Osage group and a clean water advocate, said he wasn't sure of the extent of what the state's natural resources department did.

"I don't know that they've done anything," he said. "I think the Missouri Department of Natural Resources should have done more to handle this situation than they did."

The violations at the northeast Columbia apartment complex and nine-hole golf course stem from the discovery of what Midkiff referred to as a "pretty dire impact to Hominy Branch," a tributary to Hinkson Creek.

Violations include:

  • Failures to implement and maintain practices to minimize runoff;
  • Failures to follow a stormwater pollution prevention plan;
  • Failure to comply with water quality standards;
  • Failures to conduct site inspections.

“Usually the penalties are about equal to the cost of the original work so I applaud the decision,” Midkiff said. “That’s a pretty hefty penalty.”

The public has 30 days to comment on the settlement, and the court must grant approval before the decision is final.

The penalty would be paid to the United States.

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