Suit alleges environmental violations at Missouri mine

Suit alleges environmental violations at Missouri mine

A Missouri land-holding corporation that leases mining rights to the Doe Run Co. has filed a federal lawsuit against Doe Run, alleging violations of federal environmental laws at and near mining operations in Reynolds County.

Nadist LLC, based in St. Louis, said in the suit filed Friday in federal court in St. Louis that it will terminate the lease with Doe Run for mining rights at Sweetwater Mine and Mill unless the company addresses such problems as lack of permits and accumulation of waste.

The suit seeks unspecified damages, but said it is mostly concerned that Doe Run clean up at the mining site and adjoining properties. The suit says that testing of soil, air and water samples show they are contaminated with lead, zinc, arsenic and other heavy metals at unacceptable concentrations.

Runoff into two creeks has contaminated the Ozark aquifer, the local source of drinking water, the suit said.

“The object of the lawsuit is to have the court ask Doe Run to clean up the land, where there were serious and alarming levels of contamination found by DNR and EPA,” said Hugh Law, attorney for Nadist.

“We look forward to them recognizing their responsibilities.”

A phone call to Doe Run was not immediately returned.

In a letter on May 3, 2005, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that the extent of contamination at the Sweetwater Mine Site would qualify it for placement on the National Priorities List for hazardous waste cleanup.

The 7,700-acre site near Ellington, in southern Missouri’s lead belt, includes a lead and zinc mine, mill and 592-acre tailings pond. The recommendation rests with the EPA regional office in Kansas City, Kan.

Source: Associated Press

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