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Koster gets restraining order against area composting facility

Posted online
Last edited 11:47 A.M., Nov. 29, 2011

Attorney General Chris Koster's office has filed a temporary restraining order against Black Oak Organics LLC and CHP Environmental Inc., which operated a Lawrence County composting facility in Verona.

Under the terms of the restraining order, the defendants are barred from operating the composting facility, a solid waste disposal area or a solid waste processing facility until further court orders are made, according to a news release.

Koster filed a suit against the companies, owned by Craig Post, of Springfield, and Alan Chappell, of Republic, in June 2010, claiming the operations violated the state's clean water law, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.

Post, who said he had not yet read the terms of the restraining order when called this morning, declined to comment.

The companies' Springfield-based attorney, Jim Arneson, could not be reached by deadline.

The suit seeks a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 per day for each violation of Missouri's Clean Water Law, as well as reimbursement of all costs associated with the case.

Inspections of the Verona facility conducted by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources between 2007 and 2009 found that storm water flowing over compost piles, sawdust piles and asphalt shingles became contaminated with organic matter. The contaminated water discharged into a receiving stream and then to Honey Creek, where it could seep into area groundwater, according to the release.

About a year prior to Koster's lawsuit, the DNR revoked Black Oak Organics' permit to operate the Verona composting facility, which recycled food and construction waste for sale as landscaping mulch or as erosion control.

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