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EPA Enforcement Action to Protect Streams in Missouri

Release Date: 01/28/2008
Contact Information: Kris Lancaster, (913) 551-7557, lancaster.kris@epa.gov



Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., Jan. 28, 2008) - EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and the Missouri Department of Conservation conducted a joint investigation of an illegal discharge of pollutants in Hermondale, Mo., leading to criminal charges against James Raulerson and James Raulerson Farms for violating the Clean Water Act.

The investigation began October 2007, when an anonymous call was received by the Missouri Department of Conservation stating that a tanker truck was observed backed up and discharging its contents into Belle Fountain Ditch in Hermondale, Mo. Upon arrival, state and federal emergency responders found that an undetermined amount of decomposing glycerin that was generated from Natural Biodiesel Plant LLC was released into the Belle Fountain Ditch. Approximately 100,000 fish and other aquatic life were killed.

A federal indictment, filed January 9, 2008, alleges that James Raulerson and James Raulerson Farms knowingly discharged or caused to be discharged pollutants, namely glycerin, methanol and oil into the Belle Fountain Ditch, a water of the United States.

EPA Region 7 Administrator John B. Askew said, "EPA supports the growth of the renewable fuels industry, however, workers need to be environmentally responsible. EPA will take whatever steps are needed to ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act."

EPA hopes these actions will result in greater compliance and improved water quality by sending a clear message about the importance of protecting our nation's waters. The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment.

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