Date: September 17, 2015


Environmental Group Reveals Worlds of Fun is Polluting the Missouri River

Kansas City, MO: The Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) has sent a Notice of Intent to File Suit to Cedar Fair and its subsidiaries for significant and persistent violations of the Clean Water Act at Worlds of Fun, an amusement park in Kansas City. Through documents obtained from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), MCE has discovered that over the past five years, Worlds of Fun has violated the terms of its federal pollution discharge permit in at least 58 of the past 60 months. These violations include at least 159 exceedances of limits for five pollutants. The pollution created by the facility flows into two tributaries of the Missouri River, including Shoal Creek.

“The Missouri River is one of the greatest resources this State has, serving as the largest source of drinking water for Missourians,” said Alicia Lloyd, Clean Water Policy Coordinator for MCE. “There is no excuse for a facility of this size to be cutting corners at the expense of the communities who depend on the River,” she continued. MCE is a statewide environmental organization founded in 1969 to protect and restore the environment.

Specifically, the letter details exceedances of permit limits for chlorine, oil and grease, copper, pH, and total suspended solids from the facility. In addition, Worlds of Fun has been illegally discharging blue dye in violation of its permit and has been failing to adequately monitor and report its pollution discharges. MCE is represented by Great Rivers Environmental Law Center and Earthrise Law Center at Lewis & Clark Law School. Bob Menees, an attorney with Great Rivers Environmental Law Center representing MCE, said “The facility was given three years to meet the final requirements in its permit, but it has made no improvements, including failing to construct sufficient wastewater treatment facilities to reduce the levels of copper and chlorine it discharges into the river.”

Worlds of Fun is a subsidiary of Cedar Fair, which operates 14 other parks nationwide, according to its website. Lia Comerford of Earthrise has worked with local groups to address water pollution violations at other facilities across the country, including other amusement parks. “While problems such as these are not uncommon, the duration of time that these problems have persisted is unusual and in flagrant violation of state and federal water rules.”

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:

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:

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