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Attorney General's News Release

April 20, 2012

Attorney General Koster reaches settlement with Doe Run for the Sweetwater Mine and Mill

Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today said he has filed a consent decree to resolve environmental violations at Doe Run’s Sweetwater Mine and Mill in Reynolds County. The decree outlines environmental actions to clean up and contain lead contamination that Doe Run must take, and requires the company to pay $80,000.

“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. 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.

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; and
  • fund $35,000 in environmental education projects for K through 12 students.

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

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.

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