Missouri settles with Virgina-based stream polluter

Keith Loria Jun. 16, 2010, 2:40pm


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) -- Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources have come to a $140,000 settlement with a Virginia-based corporation over violations to the state's Clean Water Law.

Lafarge North America Inc. was charged with clean water violations after efforts to stabilize an inactive underground limestone mine, comprised of a network of excavated caverns, with coal fly ash slurry resulted in the clogging of the mine, according to a press release.

Although Lafarge had a permit to try to stabilize the caverns by that method, the clog caused 1,300 tons of slurry to run over the ground and pour into a tributary of Mill Creek, which then polluted Mill Creek for a distance of at least two miles.

Under the terms of the agreement, Lafarge has until Aug. 1 to complete the restoration of Mill Creek and the Mill Creek tributary areas.

"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."

In addition to the $140,000 in civil penalties and natural resource damages, the company also has agreed to pay $10,491 to reimburse the state for the cost of the investigation. Lafarge also will pay any future costs incurred by the state to investigate, respond and monitor the cleanup of the contamination.

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