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Owner of three Missouri mobile home parks faces state lawsuit

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 | 9:25 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Attorney General Chris Koster has sued the owner of three mid-Missouri mobile home parks for alleged violations of the Missouri Clean Water Law and has asked the court to stop the Columbia-based company from polluting more. The state is also seeking to collect fines.

Payne Enterprises Inc. and John Payne of Columbia own the three mobile parks involved in the action: Little City Mobile Home Park near Centralia; Tower Mobile Home Park in Fulton; and Westgate Mobile Home Park in Mexico.

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In August, Jessica Blome, assistant attorney general, asked Boone County Circuit Judge Christine Carpenter to issue preliminary and permanent injunctions to stop  Payne and Payne Enterprises from continuing to violate the Missouri Clean Water Law.

The lawsuit alleges 12 counts of violations involving the wastewater treatment facilities at the three parks and aims to collect damages for as much as $10,000 a day since 1993.

"We've been negligent about getting the paperwork in on time," Payne said when reached by phone Wednesday afternoon. He would not comment further about the lawsuit or the three mobile home parks.

Listed by mobile home park, the violations in the petition for injunctions and civil penalties filed by Koster's office include:

Little City:

  • Not renewing its state water pollution permit since it expired on Nov. 12, 2004.
  • Not filing required annual wastewater discharge monitoring reports to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources as required by Missouri Clean Water Regulation and its state water pollution permit filed for Little City since 1993.
  • Not filing annual operations reports required by the state water pollution permit filed for Little City since November 1996.

Tower:

  • Not filing monthly discharge monitoring reports to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources required by Missouri Clean Water regulations and Tower's state water pollution permit since March 2008.
  • Not ensuring Tower's wastewater treatment facilities are "maintained as a stable, water-tight structure" by not removing deep-rooted plants on lagoon berms and not keeping the slopes of the berms below the mandated ratio since at least Oct. 22, 2007.
  • Not properly marking where treated water is released and failing to install a locking gate at the wastewater facility since at least Oct. 22, 2007.

Westgate:

  • Operating the wastewater treatment facilities without a state water pollution permit.
  • Polluting Brushy Branch stream with untreated or undertreated wastewater on July 12, 2011, and potentially other dates.
  • Not keeping the lagoon berm slopes under the mandated ratio and not removing deep-rooted plants from the berms on July 12, 2011, and potentially other dates.
  • Failing to install a locking gate, proper fencing and warning signs on all sides of the fence around the wastewater treatment facilities.
  • Not filing monthly discharge monitoring results to the Department of Natural Resources that are required by Missouri Clean Water regulations.
  • Not paying annual wastewater treatment facility permit fees, late fees and interest.

Supervising editor is Katherine Reed.


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Comments

Corey Parks September 13, 2012 | 7:13 a.m.

$10,000 a day fine since 1993? Really. You think each of these trailer parks have 69 million dollars laying around in a savings account to be able to pay off these fines. Does Chris Koster think he is Dr Evil?
Lets say the state gets the 207 million dollars. What would they do with that money? Who would it go too?

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