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Koster obtains injunction against composting facility

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Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster's office has obtained a preliminary injunction against two companies that operated a composting facility in Verona.

The injunction, obtained Jan. 6 in Lawrence County Circuit Court, prohibits Black Oak Organics LLC and CHP Environmental Inc., and owners Craig Post, of Springfield, and Alan Chappell, of Republic, from operating a composting facility, solid waste disposal area, solid waste processing facility or transfer station at the Verona facility, according to Circuit Judge Robert Wiley's order.

The preliminary injunction extends the provisions of a temporary restraining order filed against the companies in November.

During inspections of the facility conducted between 2007 and 2009, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources found that storm water flowing over compost piles, sawdust piles and asphalt shingles allegedly became contaminated with organic matter, and discharged into streams, where it could get into area groundwater.

The judge's order found the state has demonstrated the defendants have violated the Missouri Clean Water Law and the Missouri Solid Waste Management Law, and would cause imminent violations of the laws if not restrained from conducting activity at the facility.

Koster claims the owners continued operating the composting facility without a permit until the temporary restraining order was issued in November. In a statement provided to SBJ in early December, Black Oak Organics and CHP Environmental co-owner Post said only remediation work had been performed at the facility since the revocation of its permit, including bringing the site back to its original condition before the facility was established and removal of materials.

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