Mining company ordered to address lead contamination in eastern Missouri

The Doe Run Resources Corporation has been ordered to clean up lead contamination in more than 4,000 residential properties in St. Francois County.

The work, ordered by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Missouri as part of a settlement announced Wednesday, is estimated to cost $111 million. The EPA is expected to contribute about $31 million of that bill.

The company will remove lead contamination in the Big River Mine Tailings Superfund Site, once one of the largest lead mining areas in the world. Mining in the 19th and 20th centuries left behind large deposits of waste, exposing the surrounding community to hazardous materials.

Under the settlement, Doe Run will help to test and excavate properties with elevated concentrations of lead.

In three zip codes in the superfund site, nearly 17 percent of children have elevated lead levels.

Read more: St. Louis Public Radio

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