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Doe Run Resources Corporation Settlement

(Washington, DC - October 08, 2010) Doe Run Resources Corp. of St. Louis, North America’s largest lead producer, has agreed to spend approximately $65 million to correct violations of several environmental laws at 10 of its lead mining, milling and smelting facilities in southeast Missouri, the Justice Department, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources announced today. The settlement also requires the company to pay a $7 million civil penalty.

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Overview of Company and Facility Locations

The Doe Run Resources Corporation and The Buick Resource Recycling Facility, LLC (collectively Doe Run), operate a lead mining company headquartered in St. Louis with facilities in an area of southeast Missouri known as the Viburnum Trend. 

Doe Run owns and operates the only remaining primary lead smelter in the United States in Herculaneum, Mo.  Doe Run also owns and operates several mining and milling facilities throughout the Viburnum Trend, as well as a secondary lead smelter (Buick Resource Recycling Facility), and a former primary lead smelter (Glover Facility). 

Ore from the mines at the Doe Run facilities is crushed, milled, and processed; lead concentrate is then transported from the mills by contract carrier trucks 110 miles to the Herculaneum smelter for smelting and refining, or 120 miles to the Southeast Missouri Port Authority to be loaded onto barges for shipment overseas, mostly to China.

The facilities involved in this settlement are all located in Missouri and listed below:

  • Brushy Creek Mine/Mill Facility, Bunker, Mo.
  • Buick Mine/Mill Facility, Boss, Mo.
  • Buick Resources Recycling Facility, Boss, Mo.
  • Fletcher Mine/Mill Facility, Bunker, Mo.
  • Glover Facility, Annapolis, Mo.
  • Herculaneum Lead Smelter Facility, Herculaneum, Mo.
  • Sweetwater Mine/Mill Facility, Ellington, Mo.
  • Viburnum Mine #35 (Casteel) Facility, Bixby, Mo.
  • Viburnum Mine/Mill Facility, Viburnum, Mo.
  • West Fork Unit Facility, Bunker, Mo.

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Doe Run has agreed to a proposed Consent Decree resolving civil violations of the following federal laws:  

  • Clean Air Act (CAA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 7410, 7412, 7475, 7503, 7661a, 7661b, and 7661c
  • Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C. §§ 1311, 1321, and 1342
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 6925-6935, and 6973
  • Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 11004 and 11023
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. § 9603

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Injunctive Relief

The proposed consent decree requires the injunctive measures below which are estimated to cost $65.8 million.  Doe Run has already corrected the EPCRA/CERCLA violations.

To address the CAA violations, Doe Run will:

  • Shut down the acid plant and sintering machine and stop shipping lead concentrate to the Herculaneum facility by December 31, 2013.
  • Comply with a production limit of 130,000 tons per year (tpy) of finished primary lead on a 12-month rolling average across its facilities until the shutdown in 2013.
  • Comply with the following rates and caps:
    • Sinter production shall not exceed a 12-month rolling tonnage of 326,370 tons. Blast furnace sinter consumption shall not exceed a 12-month rolling tonnage of 326,370 tons.
    • Emissions of lead shall comply with the 1.0 pound per ton of lead limit set forth in 40 C.F.R. § 63.1543. 
  • Continuously operate certified emission rate monitors (CERMS) for sulfur dioxide (SO2) at the smelter. 
  • Obtain federally enforceable state-issued permits and update its Title V permits to reflect the injunctive relief requirements of the consent decree.  

To address the CWA violations, Doe Run will:

  • Ensure continuing compliance with its current and future National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits:
    • Participate in an expedited process for resolving permit appeals it has filed relating to recently issued NPDES permits for its facilities in southeast Missouri.  New NDPES permit limits at Doe Run’s facilities contain more stringent water quality-based limits.  Doe Run may ultimately need to install major controls in order to comply with them. 
    • Conduct informal negotiation with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and the use of a court-appointed dispute-resolver to determine any remaining permit issues. 
    • Abide by the dispute-resolver’s decision and waive further appeal rights under state law. 
  • Collect surface and underground water data to evaluate water quality and potential for pollutant load reductions at ten of its facilities. Using this data, Doe Run will:
    • Establish underground water management plans at each facility designed to assess procedures and methodologies to reduce metals loadings in mine water and underground process water. 
    • At each facility, establish surface water management plans to manage process wastewater and stormwater (including mine water pumped to the surface) in compliance with all NPDES permits.
  • Complete several site-specific measures at the following facilities:
    • Herculaneum facility
      • Install and continuously operate a second lime slurry tank to address pH consistency.
      • Assess the characteristics of water entering the slag water collection system and investigate potential for treatment.
      • Install a truck wash recycling system to recycle wash water and reduce hydraulic loading to the wastewater treatment plant.
    • Glover facility
      • Evaluate the effectiveness of chemical reagents used at the wastewater treatment plant and implement any recommended changes in the use of these chemicals.
      • Evaluate the use of sodium sulfide to reduce thallium in the wastewater treatment system and implement any recommendations provided through this evaluation. 
      • Remove any slag washed out of the slag storage area and stabilize the containment berm around the slag storage area.
    • Buick Resource Recycling Facility
      • Continuously operate an additional sand vertical gravity filter at the wastewater treatment plant.
      • Install equipment for recycling non-contact cooling water in the battery desulfurization and crystallization areas and install return pumps for the blast furnace cooling water to allow reuse of the non-contact cooling water.
    • West Fork Facility
      • Remove and replace the substrate in the north biocell of the wastewater treatment plant and eliminate the discharge from the domestic wastewater treatment unit

To address the RCRA violations, Doe Run will

  • Take various measures to correct RCRA violations identified at the Brushy Creek, Buick Resource Recycling, and Herculaneum Lead Smelter facilities during prior inspections, comply with permits, and improve general RCRA compliance. 
  • Investigate and clean up the Herculaneum facility to health-based cleanup levels appropriate for the designated future use of the property after shutdown of the Herculaneum smelter. 
  • Provide initial financial assurance of $8.14 million in the form of a trust fund to be completely funded over the next three years for the cleanup work at Herculaneum. The trust fund will be used in the event the company is unable to perform the cleanup action. 
  • Expand its financial assurance and remediation accordingly should more significant engineering controls or greater monitoring be required as a result of the site-investigation.
  • Provide financial assurance for the cleanup of its six active or former mine and mill facilities including Brushy Creek, Buick, Fletcher, Sweetwater, Viburnum, and West Fork.  The total cost of this financial assurance is currently estimated by Doe Run to be $20-25 million in 2010 dollars.

Transportation and Yard Contamination Injunctive Relief

  • EPA and Doe Run have agreed on a modification of a 2007 administrative order on consent (Modified AOC) that requires:
    • Improved washing and inspection of trucks hauling lead-bearing materials.
    • Independent auditing of the washing and inspection activities.
    • Additional sampling of residential properties along the truck routes used for hauling lead-bearing materials.
    • An assessment to implement improvements to its transportation and handling operations. 
  • In order to address contamination revealed in Herculaneum residential yards, Doe Run is entering into a RCRA AOC (Yard AOC) requiring:
    • Annual sampling of all residential properties, vacant lots, and high child impact areas (e.g., schools, day care centers, churches) within 1.5 miles of its smelter facility.
    • Cleanup of all properties with lead soil concentrations above a 400 parts per million (ppm) action level within 18 months.
  • Once the smelter operation is shut down at the end of 2013 and the smelter property is cleaned up, Doe Run will sample all residential properties, vacant lots, and high child impact areas one final time and clean up any additional properties with lead soil concentrations above 400 ppm. 

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Additional Injunctive Relief

This settlement will require Doe Run to expend no less than $17.5 million to implement the following additional injunctive relief measures:

  • Enclosure of lead concentrate handling, loading, and storage areas under negative pressure with emissions routed to a baghouse at four facilities over the next five years (and any future facility at the time of opening) at an estimated cost of $10-12 million. 
  • Stream mitigation activities on 8.5 miles of Bee Fork Creek (near Fletcher Mine/Mill) at an estimated cost of $5.8 million. 
  • Mitigation projects in the affected communities over the next four year at an estimated cost of $2 million, including a minimum of
    • $300,000 for clean diesel retrofits
    • $200,000 for school laboratory clean-outs
    • $300,000 in school energy efficiency projects
    • $300,000 in ground source heat pump projects

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Pollutant Reductions

As a result of this settlement, Doe Run will reduce the following pollutants by the amounts below:

Air Pollutants Tons per Year (tpy)
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) 101,000 tpy
Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) 42,000 tpy
Lead (Pb) 162 tpy
Particulate Matter (PM10) 23 tpy
Carbon Monoxide (CO) 22 tpy
Nitrous Oxides (NOx) 13.5 tpy
Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) 2.5 tpy
Water Pollutants Tons per Year (tpy)
Oil & Grease 140.5 tpy
Zinc 41.8 tpy
Nitrate 16.4 tpy
Total Suspended Solids 6.4 tpy
Chemical Oxygen Demand 5.4 tpy
Lead 3.5 tpy
Cadmium 0.95 tpy
Biochemical Oxygen Demand 0.89 tpy
Arsenic 0.13 tpy
Copper 0.08 tpy

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Health and Environmental Effects

The pollutants reduced under this settlement are known to have numerous adverse, significant environmental and health effects.

  • Lead: Lead at high levels can cause convulsions, coma, and even death.  Lower levels of lead can cause adverse health effects on the central nervous system, kidney, and blood cells.  Fetuses, infants, and children are more vulnerable to lead exposure than adults since lead is more easily absorbed into growing bodies, causing delays in physical and mental development, lower IQ levels, shortened attention spans, and increased behavioral problems.  

    Doe Run’s remediation of contaminated yards and high child-impact areas as well as its transportation improvements are estimated to reduce lead pollution by a total of 822 tons.

  • Sulfur Dioxide: High concentrations of sulfur dioxide affect breathing and may aggravate existing respiratory and cardiovascular disease. Sensitive populations include asthmatics, individuals with bronchitis or emphysema, children, and the elderly. Sulfur dioxide is also a primary contributor to acid rain. 
  • Nitrogen Oxides – Nitrogen oxides can cause ground-level ozone, acid rain, particulate matter, global warming, water quality deterioration, and visual impairment. Nitrogen oxides play a major role, with volatile organic chemicals, in the atmospheric reactions that produce ozone.  Children, people with lung diseases such as asthma, and people who work or exercise outside are susceptible to adverse effects such as damage to lung tissue and reduction in lung function.

  • Volatile Organic Compounds: VOCs, along with NOx, play a major role in the atmospheric reactions that produce ozone, which is the primary constituent of smog.  People with lung disease, children, older adults, and people who are active can be affected when ozone levels are unhealthy. Ground-level ozone exposure is linked to a variety of short-term health problems, including lung irritation and difficulty breathing, as well as long-term problems, such as permanent lung damage from repeated exposure, aggravated asthma, reduced lung capacity, and increased susceptibility to respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
  • Carbon Monoxide:  Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is formed when carbon in fuel is not burned completely.  It is a component of motor vehicle exhaust, which contributes about 56 percent of all Carbon Monoxide emissions nationwide. Carbon monoxide can cause harmful health effects by reducing oxygen delivery to the body's organs (like the heart and brain) and tissues. 
  • Carbon Dioxide:  Carbon dioxide is one of six greenhouse gases subject to an April 17, 2009 proposed endangerment finding.
  • Particulate Matter:  Short term exposure to PM can aggravate lung disease, cause asthma attacks and acute bronchitis, may increase susceptibility to respiratory infections and has been linked to heart attacks.
  • Arsenic: Arsenic is a carcinogen, and chronic exposure can result in fatigue, gastrointestinal distress, anemia, neuropathy, and skin lesions that can develop into skin cancer in mammals. 
  • Cadmium:  Cadmium is a probable carcinogen, and can cause pulmonary irritation and kidney disease. 
  • Copper:  Drinking water containing large concentrations of copper can cause gastrointestinal distress and liver or kidney damage. High concentrations of copper can become toxic to aquatic life.
  • Zinc: Zinc can cause stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and anemia.

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Civil Penalty

Doe Run will pay a $7 million penalty, to be shared equally between the United States and Missouri. 

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State Partners

Missouri is a co-plaintiff.

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Comment Period

The proposed settlement, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, as well as the Modified AOC and the Yard AOC, was subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court or EPA approval.

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For more information, contact:

Danielle Fidler
Special Litigation & Projects Enforcement Division
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington DC 20460
(202) 564-0660

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