The Missouri Department of Natural Resources received three complaints about foam waste from a local business making its way onto other property.
DNR spokeswoman Tayna Turner said authorities have already visited the site and the investigation is ongoing. Turner said DNR is investigating the incident as a potential water pollution and solid waste dumping case.
Turner sa id DNR is investigating Copher Enterprises and working with the company to ensure it is in compliance with environmental regulations.
“We will work with them as much as possible because the ultimate goal is to clean up the environment and make sure the safety to the public and our natural resources,” she said.
“According to solid waste laws, your waste cannot leave your property, so if the solid waste did leave is property, that would go against our regulations.”
Turner said in this case, if the solid waste were to be found in the state waters, there would be a water pollution violation as well. She said it is still under investigation whether that occurred.
The potential penalties are unclear because the investigation is ongoing, she said.
Turner said the property owner whose trash went onto someone else’s property is responsible for the cleanup.
“However, the property owner, the neighbor, whoever the waste had gone onto, they would have to provide permission in order for that owner of that solid waste to be able to clean it up,” Turner said. “So there is that aspect of it as well, that they would need to cooperate together in order to rectify the situation.”
Turner mentioned that foam is considered solid waste and is not hazardous, but still could potentially raise concerns for the environment .
“The impact is unknown based on how much based on how much or little could potentially be in a stream along the side of the bank,” Turner said. “It could be an eyesore and the animals could potentially ingest it.”
Turner said the investigations generally wrap up within 30 days, but she did not know how much longer the investigation will go.
Copher Enterprises, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
One property owner that is affected, John Garrison, said the plastic foam came after a rain storm, “I’m just speechless almost … I’m really upset, I’m trying to keep my composure with this … I want to see justification with this.”
He said the business has not offered to clean up the plastic foam yet, and has not made any contact with him.
“There has to be something done with this, it just seems like they obviously don’t care,” Garrison said, “Or they would be down here to try to clean it up and that’s not the case.”
Check back for more on this developing story and watch ABC 17 News at 5 for a full report.