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EPA in Missouri

Viburnum Trend Lead Haul Roads Superfund Site – Operable Unit 2, Viburnum, Iron County, Missouri - Fact Sheet, March 2020

Administrative Record File Available and Public Comment Period

Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis for Non-Time-Critical Removal Action


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 is soliciting public input on the Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) for the Viburnum Trend Lead Haul Roads Superfund Site, Operable Unit 2 (OU2), also known as the St. Joe Minerals Corp. – City of Viburnum Site (Viburnum OU2). See below for How to Comment.

To protect human health and the environment, EPA is overseeing evaluation of alternatives for a potential removal action to address lead contamination in residential yards and child high-use areas. The Viburnum OU2 site (site) includes the city of Viburnum and additional nearby areas  Lead is the main contaminant of concern at this site, which was likely distributed throughout the city during decades of mining, milling and transporting of lead ores and concentrates. (Learn more about lead and public health below.)


image of Viburnum site map       CLICK TO ENLARGEEPA identified Doe Run Resources Corporation, or Doe Run, as the potentially responsible party (PRP) responsible for the lead contamination found at this site. Beginning in 2005, EPA and Doe Run entered into an agreement for Doe Run to begin cleaning up lead-contaminated residential properties in Viburnum. A Preliminary Assessment conducted by Doe Run and EPA in 2006 determined that over 200 residential properties were eligible for cleanup. A time-critical removal action has been completed for residential properties and child high-use areas determined to have sensitive residents and/or higher concentrations of lead in soil that had concentrations of greater 1,200 parts per million (ppm).

EPA and the PRP plan to address the remaining residential properties and child high-use areas with lead concentrations of less than 1,200 ppm in soil (that were without sensitive residents) through a non-time-critical removal action. EPA is soliciting public input on the EE/CA for a potential non-time-critical removal action to clean up the remaining properties. (See site map at right.)


An EE/CA is a study completed in advance of Superfund cleanups for non-time-critical removal actions. The EE/CA looks at environmental conditions and ways to clean up contamination. It identifies the goals for the cleanup and reviews the cost and feasibility of the cleanup options (also known as alternatives). The PRP, Doe Run, prepared the EE/CA to study removal options to address the contamination.

For this site, the EE/CA evaluated five alternatives, both individually and in combination. Those alternatives included:
  • No Action
  • Institutional Controls
  • Public Health Actions
  • Containment of Contaminated Soils
  • Contaminated Soil Removal
The EE/CA recommended the selection of the Contaminated Soil Removal alternative. Specifically, this alternative included the following elements:
  • Excavation of soils with lead greater than 400 ppm to a depth of 6 to 12 inches or until the subgrade soil concentrations are less than 1,200 ppm. Clean soils will replace excavated soils. Excavated soils will be disposed of at the Viburnum tailings facility or appropriate Subtitle C and/or D landfill.
  • At properties where excavation occurs, the owner will be provided health educational materials.


The Viburnum OU2 site is located in northwestern Iron County with smaller portions existing within Crawford and Washington counties in southeastern Missouri. It is part of what is commonly known as the New Lead Belt mining district, or Viburnum Trend, where lead production began around 1960. The Doe Run Resources Corporation – Viburnum Division (formerly St. Joe Minerals Corp. – Viburnum) is located in and near the city of Viburnum. The Viburnum Division includes four mines where ore was brought to the surface.

During construction, development, and early operation of these mines, it was not uncommon for lead-contaminated materials such as tailings and/or poor rock to be used for construction materials in building of the city of Viburnum, which was done by the St. Joe Minerals Corp. to support mining operations. As a result of mining-related activities that have occurred in and around the city, lead and lead compounds have been released into the environment in quantities sufficient to present an imminent and substantial danger to public health and welfare.


Lead is a toxic metal that is harmful if inhaled or swallowed. Lead is classified by EPA as a probable human carcinogen and is a cumulative toxicant that affects multiple body systems and is particularly harmful to young children. Lead exposure can pose serious health risks, particularly for children 7 years old and younger, pregnant women, and nursing mothers. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should also avoid exposure to lead to protect their children.

Lead exposure can cause a range of adverse health effects, including behavioral disorders, learning disabilities and seizures, putting young children at the greatest risk because their brains and nervous systems are still developing. Lead poisoning can cause negative health effects in infants and young children, including, but not limited to:
  • Slowed physical growth
  • Hearing problems
  • Nervous system and kidney damage
  • Learning difficulties
  • Behavioral problems, including hyperactivity (easily excitable or upset, unable to concentrate, short attention span)
  • Decreased intelligence (I.Q.) scores

Children are more sensitive to lead than adults and can develop lifelong learning disabilities and behavior problems from lead exposure. Children 7 years old and younger are most at risk from developing health effects from exposure to lead. It is important that children in this age range be tested annually because lead-poisoned children do not always look or act sick. The only way to know if your child has elevated blood lead levels is to have his or her blood tested.

EPA encourages parents to have their children tested for lead exposure. Talk to your pediatrician, general physician, or local health department about what you can do and about testing your child. Your doctor can do a simple blood test to check you or your child for lead exposure.

For more information on blood testing for children, you can contact:

Iron County Health Department
606 W Russell St.
Ironton, MO 63650
Phone: 573-546-7121


Public comments on the EE/CA will be accepted from March 18, 2020, through April 17, 2020. Upon timely request, the comment period can be extended by 15 days. 

The Administrative Record file (AR file), EE/CA and other documents for this site are available on EPA’s website. Additional site information is available online.


Written comments, requests for additional site information or to receive site updates, and questions about the EE/CA, AR file, or this Fact Sheet can be directed to:

Elizabeth Kramer
Community Involvement Coordinator
Office of Public Affairs
U.S. EPA Region 7
11201 Renner Boulevard
Lenexa, KS 66219
Phone: 913-551-7186
Toll-free: 1-800-223-0425

NOTE: EPA has established a voicemail box for accepting oral comments that can be reached at 913-551-8755.

EPA has compiled the AR file for public inspection. The AR file is the official site file that contains technical documents with respect to response actions at this site. EPA has assessed the ability of the public to access the AR file through an internet-based Information repository and has determined that the local community has this ability.

The EE/CA and AR file are also available during normal business hours at:

EPA Region 7 Records Center
11201 Renner Boulevard
Lenexa, KS 66219