July 11, 2022
LENEXA, KAN. (JULY 11, 2022) – Trager Limestone LLC, which operates the Nettleton Limestone Quarry in Caldwell County, Missouri, has agreed to pay a $210,000 civil penalty and perform watershed restoration at a cost of over $300,000, as part of a settlement with the federal government. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the settlement today, which resolves alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA).
“The placement of illegal fill material into streams and rivers degrades watershed health, creates loss of wildlife habitat, and deprives downstream landowners and the public from the use and enjoyment of public waters,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister. “This settlement represents the federal government’s ongoing commitment to protecting our nation’s waters.”
According to EPA, Trager Limestone filled in approximately 935 feet of Kettle Creek without first obtaining a required CWA permit. EPA says the impacted area contains a wide variety of fish species and that Trager Limestone’s activity resulted in loss of habitat. Further, the Agency alleges that Trager Limestone failed to develop and implement a required plan to prevent discharges of oil from their facility.
In 2019, EPA issued Trager Limestone a compliance order that required the company to, among other things, submit a plan to restore the impacted stretch of Kettle Creek. After Trager Limestone failed to comply with the order, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a civil complaint in the Western District of Missouri in April 2020.
As part of the settlement, which is available for public comment and review for 30 days, Trager Limestone agreed to pay the civil penalty; develop an oil spill prevention plan; restore 1,012 feet of Kettle Creek; and plant trees and perform other restorative work intended to enhance watershed protection on approximately 4.7 acres of quarry property.
The settlement can be viewed on DOJ’s website.
Under the CWA, parties are prohibited from discharging fill material into water bodies unless they first obtain a permit from the U.S. Corps of Engineers. If parties place fill material into water bodies without a permit, the Corps may elect to refer an enforcement case to EPA. The Kansas City, Missouri, Corps District referred the Trager Limestone case to EPA in 2018.
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