Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has announed his office has obtained a temporary restraining order against Didion Land Project Association LLC and its owners and operators, Thomas Stewart and Daniel Fetsch, for violating the Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Law, the Missouri Solid Waste Law and the Missouri Clean Water Law.
In a press release from the AG’s office, Koster claims the defendants operated the Didion and Sons Foundry in St. Peters, Mo., beginning around April 2009. Since then, the defendants demolished the structures at the site and are set to begin construction.
The release notes that in early 2011 a Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) inspector saw the demolition activity and noticed piles of construction debris and foundry sand on the ground, as well as 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. However, Stewart refused to allow DNR access to the facility, a violation of Missouri law.
“Taking care of our environment is a responsibility we all share,” Koster says. “This office takes that responsibility seriously and will continue to vigorously enforce the laws governing the use of our natural resources.”
Because the defendants allegedly refused DNR access, the St. Charles County Circuit Court issued a search warrant to DNR so they could conduct a compliance inspection and take a sampling of the waste materials.
Koster adds that when the warrant was executed, the inspection found additional violations, including illegal storage of hazardous waste, illegal dumping of solid waste and failure to have water pollution permits. Many of the chemicals stored at the site create a potential risk for explosions or toxic releases, according to Koster.
The court has barred the defendants from any further activity on the site until further orders are entered by the court.