Mining Company Wants Railroad to Help Clean Lead Contamination

Hundreds of miles of railroad lines in three Missouri counties will continue to spread lead contamination, making a $70 million cleanup a waste of time and money, say lawyers for the mining company that footed the bill through a bankruptcy settlement.

Arizona-based American Smelting and Refining Co. agreed in 2009 to pay nearly $1.8 billion to 19 states to settle pollution claims in the largest environmental bankruptcy case in U.S. history. More than $234 million was allocated to Missouri, with roughly $70 million of that going to cleanup efforts in St. Francois, Iron and Madison counties.

But in a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, attorneys representing Asarco claim the millions spent in those three counties will be wasted unless the Union Pacific Railroad does its part to clean up contamination it created.

Read more on St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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