The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) referred a case against a Springfield collision repair facility to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office to pursue civil penalties for violations of Missouri’s Hazardous Waste Management Law.
The DNR referred Creek Auto Works to the attorney general, alleging the business violated numerous hazardous waste storage and transportation requirements as well as emergency procedure and training requirements.
During a visit to the facility in late 2008, DNR discovered the facility had accumulated a large amount of hazardous waste. Creek Auto Works was advised to properly dispose of the hazardous waste. DNR says it performed two subsequent inspections, and both times the hazardous waste had not been properly disposed. The department issued a notice of violation on June 11, 2009.
The alleged violations the shop committed include:
Drums of flammable and toxic chemicals were stored in the open without a system in place to keep spills from escaping into the environment.
Staff were not familiar with proper waste handling procedures. Lack of knowledge of hazardous waste management and emergency procedures can compromise the safety of employees and customers, the DNR says.
The DNR says it attempted to negotiate a settlement agreement with the facility, but Creek Auto Works stopped responding to the department’s efforts.
“Due to the serious nature of these violations and the lack of response from the facility, the department referred this matter directly to the attorney general to compel compliance and to seek an appropriate civil penalty for the violations,” a release from the DNR says.
The Missouri Constitution requires civil penalties to be paid to the school fund of the county in which the violation occurred.
With department oversight, the facility has returned to compliance. DNR says it strives to work with owners and operators to fix problems before an issue is referred to the Attorney General’s Office for legal action.
Contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Hazardous Waste Program at (800) 361-4827.