Couple ordered to stop sewage discharge

A consent judgment has been reached in regard to a home on Landing Creek Road in Cole County that has been leaking raw sewage into ditches.

Last year, the Missouri attorney general’s office agreed to assist the county in its efforts to get the property owners, Joseph Meidel and Tamara Neuner, to clean up the property.

By law, the county health department and County Commission could not do anything about the leaking raw sewage. The county could investigate, but it was then up to the county prosecutor to pursue action.

County Prosecutor Mark Richardson had hoped to reach a resolution on the sewage issue while also dealing with Meidel on an unrelated criminal case, but that did not happen. Presiding Commissioner Marc Ellinger then asked the attorney general’s office to take action under Missouri’s clean water laws.

According to the consent judgment with the attorney general’s office, Meidel and Neuner are to pump and haul wastewater and prevent any discharge into the ditch adjacent to their property until a wastewater collection and treatment system approved by the county health department has been permitted and constructed.

Construction and installation of the system shall be completed within 180 days of the employment of a licensed contractor, the judgment states. If the couple can’t afford the approved system or can’t afford to hire an engineer to design the system, they must submit an estimate of the cost and three loan denials to the county health department. After submitting the denials, the couple will have to have all waste pumped and hauled from the property until an advanced system can be installed or the facility is lawfully connected to a wastewater treatment system permitted by the county health department and Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

The judgment also calls for Meidel and Neuner to pay a civil penalty of $2,000, but the state will suspend collecting $1,500 of that amount on the condition they don’t violate any conditions of the judgment for three years and pay the remaining $500 of the penalty immediately.

If Meidel and Neuner fail to comply with the requirements of the judgment, penalties could include $25 per day for each day of each violation up to 30 days, $50 per day for 31-60 days and $100 per day for 60 days or more.


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