The companies operating a recycling facility near Verona have responded to action by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster. Last week, Koster sought a temporary restraining order against Black Oak Organics and CHP Environmental.
"Black Oak Organics is not in the business of composting materials but is rather a landfill diversion company, managing source separated materials back into nature or the marketplace, in a manner that protects human health and environment," said Criag H. Post, owner of Black Oak Organics, in the companies' statement.
"Additionally, Black Oak Organics also is a wholesaler of the organic compost that is the end product of the CHP Environmental Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR)-approved composting process. This process diverts materials from landfills and uses them to create an organic end product (compost and erosion control) that is natural and sustainable for the local environment," Craig continued.
"Neither organization is in the business of solid waste disposal nor solid waste processing, as the attorney general's statement indicates. Further, the CHP Environmental compost facility has not been actively composting any materials since 2009. The site in question has been in the remediation process since 2009.
"Although there was an approved construction permit issued by MDNR to Black Oak and the construction permit is still pending, MDNR suggested Black Oak apply for this permit.
"Since 2008 when Black Oak received the approved construction permit to build on the CHP Environmental site, both companies have been attempting to work with MDNR and the Clean Water Commission to get the necessary permits and documentation to move forward after the successful composting pilot project.
"In an effort to encourage the completion of this matter, the Clean Water Commission issued a request in Nov. 2009, 'that the Attorney General's Office engage the company in negotiations to resolve any issues of fact for 30 days prior to instigating litigation.'
"Although Black Oak Organics and CHP Environmental have submitted a resolution letter, the attorney general's office chose to ignore it and instead file litigation. The temporary restraining order that was reported on Nov. 28 is just more of the same; continued litigation posturing that has been going on for the last two years.
"As residents and small local business owners in the state of Missouri, both gentlemen [Post and Alan Chappell, CHP Environmental owner] look forward to clearing their names, and the names of their businesses, of the allegations brought forward by Chris Kostner and the Attorney General's office. Our goal is to bring change to a system that is not conducive to small businesses in Missouri, even when those businesses that work toward the betterment of community, create local jobs, and support the environment of the State of Missouri," Post concluded.