WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of Justice and the state of Missouri are requesting a federal court hold pesticide manufacturer HPI Products Inc. in contempt for not complying with a 2011 environmental settlement and alleging the company is storing thousands of pounds of hazardous chemicals in its western Missouri facility.
A recent contempt motion filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Missouri attorney general on behalf of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, states the chemicals are being stored at an unsafe and dilapidated facility. The motion also requests a court appointed receiver to supervise HPI's business compliance with the 2011 consent decree and applicable laws.
“This is a serious public health and safety matter," said Jeffrey Wood, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Environmental and Natural Resources Division in a news release. “We also are asking the court to appoint a receiver to manage the defendants’ hazardous wastes in a manner that protects the citizens of St. Joseph, ensures the safety of employees at HPI, and prevents harm to the environment."
“EPA works with companies to assist them in complying with federal environmental laws when we have a willing party,” said James Gulliford, EPA Region 7 administrator in a statement. “We have passed that stage with HPI and value the diligent work of the Department of Justice in helping EPA carry out our congressional mandate to enforce federal laws that protect human health and the environment."
HPI operates six pesticide formulating facilities in St. Joseph, Missouri.