Missouri Coalition for the Environment Files Suit Against Worlds of Fun Alleging Clean Water Act Violations

Date: November 17, 2015


Missouri River and Kansas City Skyline, Photo Credit: MCE

Kansas City, MO: The Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) has filed suit against Cedar Fair and a subsidiary for repeated and significant Clean Water Act violations at Worlds of Fun amusement and waterpark in Kansas City. More than 60 days have passed since MCE sent a Notice of Intent to File Suit (NOI) to Cedar Fair and MCE is not convinced the company is committed to resolving the causes of its permit violations at the facility and the subsequent water pollution entering Missouri River tributaries. MCE’s lawsuit alleges Worlds of Fun has consistently violated its federal discharge permit for at least the last five years.

Worlds of Fun is a subsidiary of Cedar Fair, which operates 14 other parks nationwide, according to its website. The facility’s permit specifies pollution discharge limits for a number of pollutants, including chlorine, oil and grease, copper, pH, and total suspended solids. Worlds of Fun has regularly exceeded its allowable limits, discharging pollutants into two tributaries of the Missouri River, including Shoal Creek. Worlds of Fun has also failed to adequately monitor and report its own discharges.

The Missouri River flows over 500 miles through the State of Missouri. More than half of Missourians get their drinking water from the river and it is used for various other purposes, such as recreation, power generation, and the provision of ecosystem services. The Missouri River also provides habitat for various fish and wildlife, including the endangered pallid sturgeon. “All of us who depend on the river and its tributaries for drinking water and recreation are paying the costs Worlds of Fun avoids in not complying with its permit. Polluting the Missouri River at the expense of the public and the environment is unacceptable,” said Alicia Lloyd, Clean Water Policy Coordinator for MCE.

Bob Menees, an attorney with Great Rivers Environmental Law Center representing MCE, said, “The documents we obtained from the Department of Natural Resources reveal the facility’s self-reported permit exceedances to be ongoing and egregious. Such flagrant violations of state and federal clean water rules are a clear threat to water quality in the Missouri River.”

MCE is represented by Great Rivers Environmental Law Center and Earthrise Law Center.

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) state-level conservation organization, is a force for clean air, clean water and clean energy in Missouri.  Since 1969 it has educated and activated Missourians to protect the land we all love. Its web address is: www.moenvironment.org.

Great Rivers is a nonprofit public interest environmental law firm in St. Louis that provides free and reduced-fee legal services to those working to protect the environment and public health. Its web address is: www.greatriverslaw.org.

Earthrise Law Center is the environmental law clinic at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon.