Mo. AG reaches settlement with mine and mill in Reynolds County

REYNOLDS COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced on Friday that he has filed a consent decree to resolve environmental violations at Doe Run's Sweetwater Mine and Mill in Reynolds County.

According to Koster, the order outlines certain environmental actions to clean up and contain lead contamination that Doe Run must take, and requires the company to pay $80,000.

He says the consent decree expands the work at Sweetwater beyond what is required in the state's December 2011 settlement with Doe Run.

In the earlier settlement filed jointly with the federal government, Doe Run agreed to pay a $7 million civil penalty for violations at several Doe Run sites including Sweetwater.

"This agreement sets out a series of steps to help assure Doe Run protects the environment from lead contamination at the Sweetwater mine," Koster said. "Preventing lead contamination is critical not only to the environment, but to the health of rural Missouri residents who live near mines, mills, and smelters."

The consent decree addresses a 450-acre waste pile at Sweetwater that contains sandy material that can be picked up by the wind and blown off-site.

According to the Mo. attorney general's office, Doe Run agreed to immediately implement a wind erosion plan to keep material from blowing off-site and to cover the mine waste with dirt and native plants when mining ends in order to prevent future erosion.

According to Koster, the settlement also requires Doe Run to:

-Upgrade a sewage lagoon.

-Implement a cleanup of soil contamination.

-Assess pollution in Sweetwater Creek.

-Develop a program to improve compliance and staff training.

-Pay the state about $45,000 for litigation costs and oversight of work at the Sweetwater mine.

-Fund $35,000 in environmental education projects for K through 12 students.

Koster says he appreciated the work of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in reviewing and commenting on the many technical environmental aspects of the decree.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.