Sharon Berten's story is a distressing — and sadly too common — example of what happens when government employees pass the buck while failing to protect the public.
Berten is battling the negligent owner of a cattle sale barn that has polluted her northwest Missouri pond with manure. She has made the right moves, reaching out to state and federal bureaucrats for three years. Yet the problem remains.
The organizations have included the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the state attorney general’s office and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And don't forget the court that failed to temporarily close the sale barn for its transgressions.
The agencies have issued notices, written up reports, demanded fines and worked out a so-called settlement, all to little avail. Now Berten desperately pins her hopes on a state lawsuit against the owner going to trial this summer.
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