In a long-running dispute, the EPA has ordered a truck salvage business and the Kansas Department of Transportation to prevent discharges of pollutants from the facility into nearby Rock Creek.
Rock Creek empties into Hillsdale Lake, which is a drinking water source for Miami County Rural Water District No. 2.
The EPA reported that the order was filed Thursday in Kansas City, Kan., against Truck Wholesale, 22640 Pleasant Valley Rd., which is on a 20-acre site along Interstate 35 in Wellsville.
The order applies to KDOT, which was authorized in 2004 to clean up the property; to the property owners, Mark Lambeth and Joel Lambeth; and to former salvage operator Danny Lambeth, the EPA said.
The order requires:
• Immediate development of a plan to prevent pollutants discharging into Rock Creek.
• Identifying solid and hazardous wastes at the facility.
• Developing a plan to determine where hazardous wastes have been disposed.
• Cleaning up the property and any surrounding areas that may be contaminated.
The respondents could face civil penalties of up to $6,500 a day for any violation of the order, the EPA said.
On several occasions this year, EPA officials said they have visited the site to direct KDOT and its contractor to contain wastes.
In January, KDOT, which had fought Truck Wholesale Inc. for eight years over laws governing the operation of salvage and junk yards, started removing equipment from the yard.
Officials with Truck Salvage have taken their appeals all the way to the Kansas Supreme Court, which turned them down.
On Thursday, an employee at the company said the problems were the fault of the contractor hired by KDOT.