Kansas City settles dirty water lawsuit with state

Keith Loria May 24, 2010, 2:00pm


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - The city of Kansas City has agreed to pay $255,000 in penalties for clean water violations in a settlement announced by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster on Monday.

Koster and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources reached the settlement with the city after it was alleged to be violating the state's Clean Water Law.

"We all must serve as stewards of our state's environmental integrity," Koster said.

"Missouri understands this obligation and has passed laws to ensure that our rivers and streams remain unpolluted. This office will continue to enforce those laws aggressively."

Kansas City, which owns and operates a system of seven wastewater treatment facilities and 2,600 miles of sewer lines, has received numerous notices of violations by the DNR over allegedly releasing sewage into rivers and streams in the state.

An investigation by the Attorney General's Office revealed that one incident occurred when a 3-foot section of clay pipe washed away, allowing all the sewage in the pipe to flow into a creek, Koster says.

Kansas City did nothing to fix this for four days, he added, and an estimated 3 million gallons of sewage emptied into the creek from the pipe, filling at least a quarter of a mile of the creek with sewage.

Under terms of the settlement, the City has agreed to reduce potential risk from future spills by developing and implementing an overflow response plan.

Kansas City must also pay approximately $255,000 in fines, with $135,000 of it put toward a Supplemental Environmental Project Plan. In addition, the city will pay the state $15,000 towards the DNR's investigation costs and damages.

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