TRO issued in Mo. AG's environmental case

Bryan Cohen Nov. 16, 2011, 1:00pm


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced on Wednesday that his office has obtained a temporary restraining order against a St. Peters company for alleged environmental violations.

Didion Land Project Association LLC, Thomas Stewart and Daniel Fetsch allegedly violated the Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Law, the Missouri Solid Waste Law and the Missouri Clean Water Law while operating the Didion and Sons Foundry in St. Peters. The St. Charles County Circuit Court has barred the defendants from any further activity on the site until further orders are entered by the court.

"Taking care of our environment is a responsibility we all share," Koster said. "This office takes that responsibility seriously and will continue to vigorously enforce the laws governing the use of our natural resources."

The defendants started operating the Didion and Sons Foundry in approximately April 2009. Since that time, they demolished the structures at the site and have prepared to begin construction. Earlier this year, a Department of Natural Resources inspector saw the demolition activity and noticed piles of foundry sand and construction debris on the ground, in addition to several 55-gallon drums containing unidentified liquid wastes scattered around the site. The inspector made numerous requests to enter the site in order to conduct a compliance inspection. Stewart allegedly refused to allow access to the DNR, in violation of Missouri law.

The St. Charles County Circuit Court issued a search warrant to the DNR on Oct. 4 so it could conduct a compliance inspection and take a sampling of the waste materials. When the warrant was executed, the inspection allegedly revealed additional violations, including illegal storage of hazardous waste, illegal dumping of solid waste and failure to have water pollution permits. Many of the chemicals allegedly stored at the site create a potential risk for explosions or toxic releases.

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