Environmental issues drive St. Joseph’s takeover
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered a receiver to take over facilities owned by a pesticide manufacturing company in St. Joseph that has been accused for years of failing to comply with environmental laws regarding hazardous waste.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday that a receiver was appointed last month for facilities owned by HPI Products Inc., St. Joe Properties LLC and William Garvey.
A woman who answered the phone to HPI on Tuesday said no one was available for comment.
The defendants operate six facilities in Saint-Joseph that manufacture, store and distribute pesticides. Since at least 2007, thousands of containers of hazardous and non-hazardous chemicals have been stored at the sites, some of which are dilapidated, according to the EPA.
The federal government and Missouri state government have filed a lawsuit against the companies and Garvey since 2008, alleging multiple violations of environmental laws. They also allege that the companies failed to comply with the terms of a 2011 regulation requiring them to clean their facilities.
The judge’s order grants a June 2021 motion that temporarily freezes the defendants’ assets and allows the receiver to take control of the buildings, assets and limited operations for 60 days.
The receiver will determine whether the defendants have the assets to comply with the 2011 settlement.