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In October 2000, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), and The Doe Run Resources Corporation (Doe Run) signed a proposed Administrative Order on Consent (AOC). The AOC addresses health and environmental issues related to Doe Run's lead smelter operation located at 881 Main Street, Herculaneum, Missouri.
Prior to this AOC becoming effective, the public was given the opportunity to review and comment. The AOC will become effective after EPA and MDNR have considered the comments made during the public comment period, responded to those comments, and made any changes as a result of the comments.
The comment period on the AOC began December 13, 2000 and, after granting a request for an extension, ended February 9, 2001. During the comment period two meetings were held with the community to discuss the AOC. A total of 33 comment letters and e-mails were received from 29 different sources.
Each letter was reviewed and approximately 185 specific comments were identified. Comments that were similar in nature were grouped together resulting in fifteen categories and 63 grouped comments. Below are the responses to these 63 comments.
The public comments received did not disclose facts or considerations which would indicate that the proposed AOC is inappropriate, improper, or inadequate. Therefore, EPA and MDNR will not withdraw their consent to the AOC or modify the AOC. However, some of the public comments describe additional activities which, EPA and MDNR believe, are appropriate to be incorporated into the workplans required to be prepared and implemented by Doe Run under the AOC. This will allow EPA and MDNR to make the AOC effective within a short time period following completion of this Responsiveness Summary.
The responses below indicate the additional activities described in the public comments that are proposed to be included into the workplans to be developed and implemented by Doe Run under the AOC. The responses also include a description of additional activities that the Agencies will undertake themselves, those activities which are already included in the AOC, as well as those activities outside the scope or authority of the AOC.
All of the Agencies involved in the development of the AOC and this Responsiveness Summary appreciate the time and effort made by the public to provide the comments described below.
Comments Received from the Public and Responses
A. Legal and Administrative Issues
1. Three commentors requested that the comment period be extended.
- The comment period was extended to February 9, 2001
2. One commentor requested that the Responsiveness Summary and written progress reports be put on the web, put at all locations with the administrative records, and sent out to residents.
- A copy of the responsiveness summary will be sent to each commentor in addition to posting on the world wide web and in the administrative record. Progress reports will be provided to the community. The frequency, content, and location of the progress reports will be determined through further discussions with the community.
3. One commentor requested information under the Freedom of Information Act.
- This request was responded to in a separate letter.
B. Air and Air Monitoring Issues
1. Nine commentors expressed concerns about ambient air monitors and requested additional air monitoring be conducted. The comments included the following: requests for monitoring lead, sulfur, sulfur dioxide, zinc, arsenic, and cadmium; requests to monitor the Illinois side of the Mississippi River, the slag pile, each school within five miles of the Doe Run facility, and each park within five miles of the Doe Run facility; requests that Doe Run meet the ambient air quality standards; requests that the monitors be read on a continuous basis, on a daily basis, or on a frequent basis at unannounced times; and a request for monitoring for contamination during soil cleanup.
To address these comments, EPA and MDNR are considering changes to the current ambient air monitoring program. Decisions have not yet been made regarding the installation of additional monitors. Note however, it is the responsibility of MDNR and EPA under the Clean Air Act to ensure that ambient air monitoring is conducted. Therefore, the AOC is not an appropriate vehicle to include requirements to install additional ambient air monitors
In addition, the agencies are evaluating whether changing the schedule or adding occasional random sample days will provide useful data. During the SIP development process, several air monitors were run on an every other day schedule for six months with no apparent pattern in ambient concentrations.
We intend to consider issues raised by the community in making decisions regarding additional monitoring. We intend to work with the community through the Community Advisory Group. We believe that in order for additional monitoring to meet the concerns of the community, the issues associated with ambient monitoring such as siting, resources, timing, and duration of monitoring, need to be discussed with the community prior to any decisions being made.
All monitoring data will continue to be made publicly available. This will include all data collected from any additional air monitoring studies. We plan to actively share this information through the Community Advisory Group.
The purpose of ambient air monitoring is to determine if the ambient air in the Herculaneum area meets or exceeds the national ambient air monitoring standards. The standards are national standards established and monitored using standard, published methods. MDNR and EPA cannot change the national standard through this AOC. The ambient air standard for lead is 1.5 micrograms per cubic meter averaged over a calendar quarter with each sample taken, at a minimum, every sixth day.
It appears from the comments that some commentors believe that by conducting ambient monitoring on a periodic basis, Doe Run is being allowed to emit pollutants without any form of monitoring for the period in between samples. This is not the case. As mentioned above, the purpose of ambient air monitoring is to determine if the ambient air in the Herculaneum area meets or exceeds the national ambient air monitoring standards. Doe Run is required to operate such that their emissions are not exceeding the limits specified in applicable regulations. Doe Run is required to monitor their operations and maintain records verifying the facility is operating properly. Some of the items to be monitored and records to be maintained by Doe Run include stack tests, ventilation rates, material throughput, production limits, pressure drop across baghouse cells, limits on hours of operation of some equipment, baghouse inspections, and reports of process upsets. Inspections by MDNR and EPA determine if Doe Run is in compliance with the regulations and emission control requirements. Should Doe Run fail to manage their regulatory obligations or exceed their emission limitations, they will be subject to enforcement actions from MDNR and EPA. The ambient air monitoring will determine if the level of emissions allowed by the applicable regulations needs to be lowered or if additional controls are needed. The ambient air monitoring is not a way to determine if Doe Run is exceeding an emission limitation. Rather, the ambient monitoring is a way to determine if the applicable regulations are sufficient to improve air quality in the Herculaneum area to levels below the ambient standards.
We anticipate that significant reductions in air emissions will occur as a result of the air emission control strategies to be implemented by Doe Run under the AOC. The primary air emission control strategy is to be installed by July 31, 2002, with additional controls installed over subsequent calendar quarters. The AOC specifies contingencies which are to be implemented by Doe Run should violations of the ambient air quality standard for lead continue to occur.
MDNR, under the direction of the Missouri Air Conservation Commission, has prepared and submitted a revision to regulations included in the State Implementation Plan (SIP). This SIP requires several lead emission control projects, and includes provisions for contingency controls if the ambient monitoring demonstrates that additional controls are needed. The SIP also limits production at various units in the plant. Some of the SIP requirements are also in the AOC. We believe through this process air quality in the Herculaneum area will improve to levels below the ambient standards. This opinion is based on a rigorous technical air quality analysis.
During the comment period, several commentors specifically raised the issue of monitoring for sulfur dioxide and sulfuric acid mist emissions. The existing sulfur dioxide monitoring network is being evaluated by EPA and MDNR, along with the feasibility of monitoring sulfuric acid mists. As indicated above, we believe that the issues associated with ambient monitoring need to be discussed with the community prior to any decisions being made. We intend to work through the Community Advisory Group on this matter.
As for monitoring during soil cleanup, in our experience, conducting ambient air monitoring during soil cleanup is unnecessary. Lead releases during soil cleanups will have an insignificant impact on the ambient air quality. Dust control measures will be implemented during yard replacement that will virtually eliminate transport of lead into the breathing zone. Dust from yard excavation at similar lead-contaminated sites in Missouri has not been a significant problem in those communities. Air monitoring conducted in similar situations has not detected air quality problems associated with lead.
2. Two commentors requested that the ambient air monitors be owned, maintained and read by state agencies, or an independent entity, not Doe Run.
Six of the seven ambient air monitoring sites in Herculaneum are owned and operated by Doe Run on behalf of MDNR. This arrangement was made because Doe Run is in close proximity to the sites and Doe Run has the capability of maintaining the sites. To ensure that the data generated by the Doe Run maintained sites is accurate, MDNR has one co-located monitor and all data generated by Doe Run is quality assured by MDNR. In addition, Doe Run was required to submit a monitoring plan and quality assurance plan that was approved by MDNR. MDNR conducts quarterly audits of the monitoring performed by Doe Run. MDNR has no reason to believe that Doe Run is improperly operating the monitors or performing invalid laboratory analysis. However, because of the concern raised by these comments, MDNR is considering making other arrangements for maintaining the ambient monitors.
3. Three commentors stated that the air monitoring has shown that the air in the Herculaneum area is cleaner today that it was in the past, that Doe Run has taken efforts to reduce emissions, and the air standard is very low with only one monitor location exceeding the standard for lead.
We agree that the air monitoring data indicates that the air in the Herculaneum area is cleaner now than in the past. This is particularly true for monitors located some distance from the plant. However, the air does not meet federal standards and the air emission controls required at the Doe Run facility by the AOC should help improve the air quality in the Herculaneum area.
4. One commentor expressed concerns about Doe Run shutting down monitors depending upon the wind direction.
We have no indication that this has occurred. The monitoring data indicates that when the wind direction is from the plant toward a monitor, the measured concentrations are typically higher.
5. One commentor asked why Doe Run employees wear respirators outside the plant if there is no problem with the air.
Employees at the facility wear respirators according to Doe Run policies and requirements applicable to workplaces. The intent of the AOC is to clean the air that residents in the area breathe to acceptable levels. We have not alleged that there is "no problem" with the air. In fact, the air does not meet federal standards and this action will help to make the air in the Herculaneum area cleaner so that it does meet federal standards. Generally, the closer a person is to an emission source, the greater the concentration. Employees may wear respirators into areas where they are not required, much like they might wear safety toe shoes on the street.
C. Reporting Observations and Excess Emissions
1. Three commentors requested that a program be established for reporting observations of possible emission violations, problematic activities, and suspicious activities. This program should include a hotline with immediate response. The caller should be provided written findings. A protocol should be established for responding to the calls and penalties should be predetermined.
To address these comments, we anticipate working with the community through the Community Advisory Group. Residents may call MDNR at (573) 634-2436 to file emergency complaints. For non-emergencies you can contact MDNR's St. Louis Regional Office at (314) 301-7101. These complaints are followed up by MDNR inspectors from the St. Louis Regional Office or emergency response personnel. Please contact MDNR for documentation or reports of the follow-up activities. We anticipate through the Community Advisory Group, changes to the current protocol will be considered. The AOC is not an appropriate vehicle to establish a program for reporting observation of possible violations.
Section XVIII of the AOC specifies penalties for failure to perform the activities required by the AOC.
D. Blood Lead Issues
1. Five commentors expressed concerns about the persons to be included in the blood lead testing program. These commentors requested that all children under the age of 18, as well as adults, be tested. In addition, one commentor requested that persons be tested at any time a suspicious observation or medical diagnosis warrants such testing.
Children are more vulnerable to lead poisoning, more sensitive to the effects of lead, and absorb more lead than adults. Data indicates that young children are more susceptible to the effects of lead because of the greater absorption and retention rates in children, a greater prevalence of nutrient deficiency and incomplete development of the blood-brain barrier. Studies show that blood lead levels are consistently higher for infants and younger children then older children and adults. Children will experience a higher internal lead dose than adults at similar exposure concentrations. Older individuals with elevated lead levels usually have them because of an occupational and/or recreational (lead fishing weights, leaded stained glass, ceramics, etc.) exposure.
Fetuses are at even greater risk since lead can readily cross the placenta; therefore, exposure of women to lead during pregnancy may result in uptake by the fetus. Children at highest risk for lead exposure and adverse health effects are those children between the ages of 6 months to 72 months. This is the age range for considerable hand to mouth behavior. Therefore, children of ages 12 months to 72 months and women of child bearing age will be included in the program under the AOC. Children under 12 months are not included because it is very difficult to obtain an adequate amount of blood for a sample.
To address these comments, in addition to the program under the AOC, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the Jefferson County Health Department, and the Missouri Department of Health (MDOH) are investigating the development of a program which, if approved and funded, will include blood lead testing for children over 6 and adults. Until such a program is developed, individuals should pursue additional blood lead screening through their personal physician. Further, at any time an individual has suspicious observations, you should contact your personal physician.
2. Six commentors expressed concerns about the scope of the blood testing program. The commentors requested that persons be tested for lead as well as additional contaminants. Each person in the testing program should have their blood tested for all contaminants listed in the AOC (lead, cadmium, sulfur dioxide, arsenic, and zinc).
Lead is the contaminant of the most public health significance at this site. Thus, the AOC requires that Doe Run perform the specified blood lead program.
In addition to blood lead testing, ATSDR and MDOH are evaluating environmental data to determine if cadmium is present at levels of concern. If cadmium is determined to be present at levels that pose a significant risk, ATSDR and MDOH will develop a testing program.
As for arsenic, current environmental data does not indicate that persons are exposed to arsenic at significant levels. Thus, no testing is proposed at this time. However, the AOC requires that a human risk assessment be performed. If significant human exposure to arsenic is found, that exposure will be addressed.
Zinc is an ecological contaminant and is generally not a human health concern. Most individuals are zinc deficient. Insufficient dietary zinc is thought to contribute to children's increased susceptibility to lead since lead impairs the activity of zinc requiring enzymes. Diets that are nutritionally adequate in zinc are helpful for reducing the risk of lead toxicity. Thus we do not feel testing for zinc is warranted under the AOC.
Current ambient air monitoring data does not indicate that the Herculaneum area exceeds the national air quality standard for sulfur dioxide. For humans, sulfur dioxide is a mucous membrane irritant. It can also exacerbate preexisting respiratory problems. However, sulfur dioxide is not a long term exposure threat to humans. At present, there are no tests available to indicate the presence of sulfur dioxide in humans. Thus, no testing of residents for sulfur dioxide will be performed.
3. Three commentors expressed concerns about the scope of the lead education program proposed in the AOC. The commentors requested that the education program include information regarding acute and chronic exposure, protective measures, precautions, and testing guidelines. The education program should be developed and provided to MDOH, public schools, city government personnel, county government personnel, and city public works personnel. In addition, one commentor suggested that Doe Run should be more aggressive in getting people to sign up for the blood testing program. And, one commentor requested that the school district should hold health screenings and have all children tested for lead levels at Doe Run's expense.
The educational campaign will be developed with the input of the community, health care providers, and local, state, and federal health agencies as a community intervention to increase awareness of lead poisoning. There is extensive educational and informational literature available by request from your local health department for all of these issues.
The Agencies believe that by providing several pamphlets on sources of lead, precautions for exposure prevention, and who to contact for more information is the best approach for educating the public and generating public interest. The pamphlets provide contacts where citizens may direct additional questions concerning lead exposure. The educational literature that will be identified in the Community Blood Lead Plan (yet to be developed) and will be provided to the Herculaneum Schools, City Hall, County Commissioner, and to physicians, if requested. Representatives of the Doe Run Company cannot require individuals to undergo blood lead testing. The Community Blood Lead Plan will require that residents are notified of the option to have their children screened.
4. One commentor requested that all blood lead testing and education be funded by Doe Run but performed by a third party.
All testing under the AOC will be performed by a third party laboratory funded by the Doe Run Company.
The 2000 blood lead survey was conducted in coordination with the Jefferson County Health Department. Blood draws were performed by the Jefferson County Health Department Personnel and analyzed by a third party private laboratory. The Blood Lead Plan that is to be developed under this AOC will include an educational program and blood lead screening procedures that will be reviewed and approved by MDOH in accordance with federal guidelines. Doe Run will be required to provide the funding necessary to implement the Blood Lead Plan.
5. One commentor stated that recent blood testing has shown reduced blood lead levels in the Herculaneum area. One commentor stated that low blood lead levels are present in children who live 1.3 miles from the plant.
A blood lead survey conducted in the Herculaneum area (within 1.5 miles of the smelter) in August 2000, indicated that average blood lead concentrations in children between 6 months and 6 years old were less than in previous surveys conducted in 1984 and 1992. However, the 2000 blood lead survey indicated that 15 percent of the children sampled had blood lead concentrations of 10 micrograms per deciliter (g/dL) or higher, which is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) level indicative of lead poisoning that requires intervention.
Blood lead levels have declined. However, they are still above acceptable levels.
6. Four commentors stated that elevated blood lead levels are present in children in the Herculaneum area. One commentor stated that the elevated levels exist although emissions have been reduced from the facility. One commentor questioned why blood lead levels need to be over 20 for the Health Department to be concerned.
The Health Departments (local, state and federal) are concerned about any child with blood lead levels of 10 g/dL or higher. There is overwhelming scientific evidence showing that some adverse effects occur at blood lead levels as low as 10 g/dL. It is recommended that children with blood lead levels of 10 g/dL or higher be reevaluated on a three month cycle. Also, information is provided to the child's care giver on what they can do to reduce the lead the child is being exposed to within the home.
Because 10 g/dL is the lower level of the range at which effects are now identified, primary prevention activities, including community-wide environmental interventions, nutritional campaigns, and educational campaigns, are being directed at reducing children's blood lead levels to below 10 g/dL. As such, 10 g/dL is the trigger level for intervention in children under six years old.
Interventions are applied according to the following individual blood lead levels:
At 10-14 g/dL, nursing care coordination (lead case management) will be initiated including individual care coordination, family education, basic nutritional information, environmental counseling, and anticipatory guidance.
At 15-19 g/dL, in addition to the above mentioned items, family assessment and home visit by a nurse is recommended; when two consecutive confirmed tests in a 3 to 4 month period measure greater than or equal to 15 ug/dL, an environmental assessment is required by a licensed lead risk assessor. If many children in the area are affected, a community assessment should be considered. If high risk, more frequent screening and at an earlier age is recommended.
At 20-44 g/dL, in addition to the above mentioned items, an environmental assessment by a licensed lead risk assessor and a complete medical evaluation is required.
At greater than or equal to 45 g/dL, in addition to the above mentioned items, medical management (i.e. chelation, hospitalization) is required.
Lead emissions from the facility are only one of several possible routes of exposure. Contaminated soil also presents a health risk, especially to children who ingest soil. Although the smelter stack has been replaced with a taller stack and emissions have been reduced, the deposition of lead from previous emissions has accumulated or may still be accumulating in yard soils. Therefore, there remains the potential for children to be exposed and have elevated blood lead levels as a result of lead contaminated soil in yards that have not been cleaned up.
Note that in addition to the lead smelter, there are many other possible sources for lead exposure in the environment such as deteriorating lead paint, health care products or folk remedies that contain lead, hobbies such as sculpting (lead solder) and staining glass, lead soldered parts and containers such as truck radiators and kettles used to boil water. Cigarette smoke/ashes also contain small amounts of lead. Lead may also enter foods if they are put into improperly glazed pottery or ceramic dishes and from leaded-crystal glassware. Lead may be released into the environment from industries involved in smelting, iron and steel production, battery manufacturing and recycling, electrical component manufacturing, and some construction work.
Doe Run and the Jefferson County Health Department have documented elevated blood lead levels in certain children who live in the vicinity of the smelter. Nine of the sixty children screened for blood lead concentrations during the 2000 blood lead survey had elevated blood leads of 10 g/dL or higher. Regardless of the source of the lead exposure, we believe the actions to be taken by Doe Run under the AOC will reduce blood lead levels. We expect that the soil cleanup and air controls will reduce blood leads in residents caused by exposure from the smelter operation. The blood lead education program will provide information to residents on how to reduce exposure from the other sources.
7. One commentor asked if Dr. Verzola has been contacted concerning his history of blood testing with Doe Run employees.
We have not received comments from Dr. Verzola, nor has Dr. Verzola been contacted.
E. Soil Cleanup Issues
1. Four commentors expressed concern about previous yard cleanups performed by Doe Run. The comments included water now collecting in the yard, ruined trees, ruined grass, and contaminated dirt dumped near Joachim Creek. One commentor advised that Doe Run will not be allowed in their yard without a court order.
The soil cleanup conducted under the AOC will be carried out with close oversight by EPA and/or MDNR. The success of the yard cleanup depends in part on resident satisfaction; EPA and MDNR, therefore, will have an interest in making sure that Doe Run's actions are reasonably satisfactory to the resident.
The AOC requires the development of a Community Soil Cleanup Plan and includes a requirement that trees, shrubs, and fences be replaced. Since the AOC has not been implemented, this plan has not been developed. Thus, many of the details regarding the methods for replacing trees and grass have not been identified. The AOC requires analysis of the yard soil for lead content and either storing the soil on company owned property near the slag pile or managing the soil as a hazardous waste.
2. Two commentors requested that guidelines regarding soil cleanups be developed. These guidelines include restricting exposure during cleanups, proper disposal, risk factors, and soil replacement.
The AOC requires the development of a Community Soil Cleanup Plan that will include the guidelines to be followed during soil cleanups. As part of this plan, the AOC requires procedures be developed for dust control during soil removal, analysis of contaminated soil, and either storage of the contaminated soil or disposal as hazardous waste. In addition, the AOC requires that a human health risk assessment be completed. Many of the details regarding this plan and risk assessment have not yet been identified. However, the risk assessment will identify human exposure pathways and risks posed by the contaminated soil. The results of the risk assessment will be used to establish a final cleanup level for residential yard soils. Until a final cleanup level is determined, 400 milligrams of lead per kilogram of soil (400 mg/kg) will be used. The 400 mg/kg soil cleanup level for lead contamination was selected because it has been shown to be effective at lowering blood lead levels.
3. Five commentors requested that soils in specific locations be tested and/or cleaned up. These locations included residences, high schools, and grade schools.
The AOC establishes a schedule for investigating surface soil contamination in residential yards, day-care facilities, areas in schoolyards frequented by children, parks, and all other high use areas affected by the smelter operations. These areas located up to 1 mile from the Doe Run facility will be investigated first. If the investigation indicates that the Doe Run facility has contaminated areas beyond one mile, then these areas will be investigated up to 1.5 miles. If results of this investigation indicates contamination beyond 1.5 miles, additional investigation will be required to identify each of these areas contaminated by the Doe Run facility. All investigations are to be completed within three years.
The AOC requires that cleanups will also be conducted in a step-like manner. Properties up to 0.4 miles from the Doe Run facility and those areas within 1.5 miles of the facility which have a child with a blood lead level of 10 g/dL or higher will be cleaned first. Other properties will be cleaned at a rate of at least 60 properties per year. Those properties with lead concentrations over 2,500 mg/kg will be given a higher priority for cleanup. After two years, the rate of soil cleanups will be evaluated and adjusted if necessary.
If the properties mentioned by the commentors are outside of the areas specified above or testing indicates that contamination from the smelter does not extend out to those properties, those properties will not be included in the testing or cleanup under the AOC.
4. Four commentors requested that sod instead of seed be used to replace grass.
The AOC requires the development of a Community Soil Cleanup Plan and includes a requirement that grass, trees, shrubs, fences, and excavated yard soils be replaced. Since the AOC is not yet effective, this plan has not yet been developed. Thus, many of the details regarding the methods for replacing grass have not yet been identified. However, the AOC requires the replacement of grass. We intend to require, in the Plan, that the replacement soil be prepared in a manner consistent with accepted practices for a new lawn. We intend to request that Doe Run include in the Plan that each resident be given the option of sod or seed. We do not intend to require that sod necessarily be used nor that Doe Run necessarily care for the sod or seed once in place. It has been observed at other residential yard cleanup sites that sod and seed are both effective methods for grass replacement. Regardless of which is used, both sod as well as seed will need care by the property owner to ensure that it grows. Doe Run's responsibility regarding replacement of the grass will end once the seed or sod is in place. It will then become the property owner's responsibility to ensure the grass is given proper care for it to grow. If the seed or sod dies, Doe Run will not be required to replace it again under the AOC.
We understand that soil cleanups will be intrusive and will result in inconveniences. We also understand that replaced areas will need care to ensure that the replaced grass and shrubs grow. However, we believe that the resources being spent by Doe Run need to be focused on removing the contaminated soil and restoring the properties. Once the grass and shrubs are replaced, Doe Run will proceed to cleaning other properties.
5. Three commentors requested additional testing of soil. The additional testing included testing for cadmium and zinc as well as lead. In addition, periodic retesting of soil was requested including schools, parks, and replaced lawns.
The AOC requires that at least four samples be collected from each property being investigated. MDNR and EPA recommend the use of an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) meter to determine the lead content in each sample. An XRF is a portable meter that can determine metal concentrations in the field. XRF analyses will also show concentrations of zinc and cadmium, if concentrations are high enough. Ten percent of these samples will undergo confirmatory analysis at an approved laboratory. These confirmatory samples will be analyzed for cadmium, arsenic, zinc, and nickel. If the initial results for zinc and nickel indicate that the levels are below MDNR's "any use soil levels," the analysis for zinc and nickel may cease.
The AOC requires a long-term monitoring and maintenance plan for lead deposition in the area. The purpose of this plan is to identify re-contaminated areas and prevent these areas from becoming health concerns.
Typically the concentrations of cadmium and zinc will exist in a fairly constant proportion to lead. If lead concentrations are too low to require a cleanup in a residential setting, then other heavy metal contaminants, such as cadmium and zinc, are also likely to be low. If lead concentrations are high enough to require cleanup, then the other metals will be addressed at the same time. If results of the 10% confirmatory samples show that cadmium or other metals exist at high enough concentrations to create a health risk, but lead concentrations are too low to prompt cleanup, than the protocol can be amended to analyze for other metals at each residential yard.
6. Two commentors requested that the top 18 inches of soil rather than the top 12 inches be replaced in order for gardening to be conducted.
We intend to include in the soil cleanup plan the requirement that garden soil be replaced to a depth of 24 inches. We believe that for residential areas, replacement of soil up to one foot in depth is sufficient to protect the residents from exposure to lead and other metals. However, for vegetable gardening purposes, a depth to 24 inches is preferable. We intend for this provision to allow for a reasonable sized vegetable garden to residents who request them.
7. Three commentors expressed concern about the source of replacement soil to be used. The commentors requested that the replacement soil be from a source that is clean. The replacement soil should be tested for contaminants prior to placement.
The AOC requires that soil to be used as replacement soil have a lead concentration of no more than 240 mg/kg. Typically, each source of replacement soil will be sampled prior to use in residential yards. The AOC does not specify the location where this soil shall come from. As long as the soil meets the lead concentration requirements, it can come from any location. The replacement soil will have sampling and analysis conducted to confirm that this criteria is met.
8. One commentor requested that soils be cleaned to 200 parts per million.
The AOC requires that a soil concentration of 400 mg/kg of lead will be used as an initial cleanup level. This initial cleanup level was selected because it has been shown to be effective at lowering blood lead levels. We believe that this level is appropriate and protective for residential properties. This level is significantly lower than cleanup levels used at other similar sites. The AOC further requires that a human health risk assessment be performed to identify human exposure pathways. Upon completion of this risk assessment, EPA, MDNR, and MDOH shall specify a cleanup number based upon the results of the risk assessment and subsequent modeling. The 400 mg/kg cleanup level shall be used until the level using the risk assessment and modeling is determined. At that time, all subsequent cleanups shall use the risk assessment/model-based level which could be lower or higher than 400 mg/kg lead.
9. One commentor requested that sample results be given to property owners.
The AOC requires that field sheets with sample results be provided to residents within ten working days of receipt of the sample results.
10. One commentor suggested that old maps of Herculaneum be used to identify slag deposits.
Section V of the Statement of Work attached to the AOC requires that Doe Run identify interim slag storage areas and investigate those areas within two years of the effective date of the AOC. Doe Run should utilize these maps, if available, to identify these areas.
11. One commentor requested that all contractors performing soil cleanup work be fully accredited in hazardous waste removal and handling.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires health and safety training for individuals working with hazardous substances. Contractors performing the soil removal work will be required to have completed OSHA 40-hour health and safety training as defined in the regulations, 40 CFR 1910.120. There is also a certification requirement for contractors who conduct lead paint abatement projects. Please see Chapter 701, RSMo.
In addition, Section VIII.A of the AOC requires that the names and qualifications of contractors and subcontractors be provided to EPA and MDNR. EPA and MDNR retain the right to disapprove of any or all contractors and subcontractors. Any contractors and subcontractors who are known to have participated in, or are suspected of participating in any activities similar to those required under this AOC which have resulted in violations or releases of hazardous substances will be disapproved.
12. One commentor requested that "Company Owned Property" be handled in the AOC in the same way as non-company owned property.
The AOC requires that non-company owned property within 0.4 miles of the Doe Run facility shall be cleaned at the same rate and time as the majority of properties required to be cleaned. Those properties with lead levels above 2500 mg/kg will be given priority for cleanup. The only distinction made in the AOC regarding "company owned property" is that it will not be included in the initial 18 month cleanup period for other properties located within 0.4 miles of the smelter. The reason for this distinction in the AOC is that it is our understanding that company owned properties are generally not occupied by small children and that most properties owned by Doe Run have previously been cleaned by Doe Run. We believe that by using the methods specified in the AOC, Doe Run will address properties with the highest risk first.
F. Disaster Plan, Community Notifications, Oversight
1. Five commentors requested that the community be notified of acid spills, be notified where dirt is placed following a cleanup, and be notified of contingency measures.
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) requires that The Doe Run Company report spills of any CERCLA Hazardous Substance, pollutant, or contaminant that is released to the environment. CERCLA requires that releases be reported to the National Response Center immediately, and that the responsible party respond promptly to the release. The National Response Center
(1-800-424-8802) promptly transfers all spill incident reports to the EPA via a 24-hour manned telephone line. Many acids, including all common acids, are on the CERCLA Hazardous Substance List, and have specific quantities that trigger Federal reporting requirements. EPA maintains a data base of all reported spills that is available for public review. EPA and MDNR will review workplans to be developed subsequent to this AOC, and will ensure that adequate contingency plans and soil disposal procedures are included in the workplans.
CERCLA requires contingency planning for facilities that handle reportable quantities of extremely hazardous substances and reporting to Local Emergency Planning Coordinator of releases of hazardous substances. These requirements are already in place for the Doe Run facility. The agencies can require additional contingency planning documentation within all applicable health and safety plans developed as a requirement of the AOC.
2. One commentor requested that a disaster plan be developed.
EPA and MDNR will review workplans to be developed subsequent to this AOC and ensure that contingencies in the event of a release from activities required by the AOC are addressed.
3. Four commentors expressed concerns regarding Agency oversight of Doe Run under the AOC. The comments included requests that a project manager be on-site for removal of contaminated soil, persons performing oversight should not be affiliated with Doe Run, and all testing be contracted out. Two commentors alleged that Doe Run manipulates test results, and intentionally increases their emissions at night and on holidays.
MDNR and EPA intend to conduct oversight of the activities required by the AOC through a number of mechanisms. First, EPA and MDNR representatives will be on-site at unannounced times checking for compliance with the AOC and approved workplans. Second, EPA and/or MDNR will hire an oversight contractor, not affiliated with Doe Run on a part time basis (at least once per week, and likely more frequently during the initial implementation of the AOC), to also observe activities conducted by Doe Run and report to EPA and MDNR. Third, EPA and MDNR will review all reports required to be submitted by Doe Run, pursuant to the AOC, for compliance with the terms of the AOC. We do not anticipate that a representative of EPA and/or MDNR will be on-site at all times that work pursuant to the AOC is being conducted. We do not believe that the cost for a representative to be on site at all times is warranted due to the effectiveness of the oversight mechanisms listed above. However, the agencies can increase oversight, if warranted, based on Doe Run's performance.
All sampling and analysis will be conducted according to an approved quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) program to ensure that all samples and analytical results are valid and accurate. All sampling and analytical results, whether generated by a Doe Run contractor or an EPA contractor, must follow these QA/QC procedures.
We have no documented evidence that Doe Run intentionally manipulates tests results or intentionally increases their emissions at night or holidays. Should such events occur, EPA and MDNR will pursue criminal and civil enforcement to the extent allowed by the applicable laws.
G. Slag Pile, Joachim Creek, Mississippi River, and Other Water Related Issues
1. Two commentors requested that restrictions be established and signs posted regarding the use of Joachim Creek and the Mississippi River for fishing, drinking water, and body contact.
Current data does not indicate the need for fishing advisories or other controls on Joachim Creek or the Mississippi River. More information will be collected through sampling and analysis during the implementation of the AOC. Should the results of the testing indicate the need for advisories, such advisories will be posted.
2. Three commentors requested additional testing. The additional testing should include all water testing for all contaminants listed in the AOC (lead, cadmium, sulfur dioxide, arsenic, zinc). The testing should include Joachim Creek, the Mississippi River, drinking water supplies, wells within five miles of the Doe Run facility, and a continuous monitor for drinking water.
Section IV.2 of the AOC requires that Doe Run develop a Slag Pile/Surface Water/Sediment Sampling and Analysis Plan. This plan requires that Doe Run identify and characterize the composition of the slag materials including potential contaminants, metal content, particle sizes, relationships between particle size and metal content, metal speciation, and any differences based on the age of the slag. This plan also requires Doe Run to characterize all surface water discharge points into Joachim Creek and the Mississippi River. Representative sediment and surface water samples shall be collected at these discharge points and analyzed for metals.
Section IV.5 of the AOC requires Doe Run to develop a Groundwater Monitoring Plan. This plan will include a Phase I program consisting of an assessment of all monitoring wells currently installed for the need to replace any of the wells, sampling of all existing site monitoring wells, installation of at least one additional background well, and sampling of residential wells within one mile of the slag pile. Samples will be analyzed for total metals concentrations of all metals that could potentially be present in the slag pile material. If the results of the Phase I sampling indicate that impacts from the facility are insufficiently identified, or that the monitoring well system is inadequate to detect all metals potentially present, a Phase II program will be developed which will expand the monitoring performed under Phase I. If sampling of wells less than one mile from the slag pile shows drinking water well contamination, the program would be expanded beyond one mile. We believe that this program will identify all residential wells impacted by the Doe Run facility and will detect any metals potentially present in the groundwater beneath the slag pile.
Drinking water wells for the City of Herculaneum are monitored by the City for metal content, as required by MDNR, and have not shown contamination in the past. Further sampling by Doe Run of these wells would be conducted if monitoring data indicates a change in conditions that may pose a threat to the municipal water supply. Sampling of the municipal wells could be incorporated into the sampling network at that time.
3. Four commentors expressed concerns about the slag pile. These comments included removal of the slag pile within a short period of time, elevated lead levels in fish and birds, hazardous materials contaminating Joachim Creek, the Mississippi River, and groundwater. One commentor noted that Doe Run has done nothing to address concerns with the slag pile.
Section IV.3 requires Doe Run to develop a Slag Pile Response Options Evaluation Report in which options will be evaluated for short and long term management of the slag pile. The options that will be evaluated include the removal of the pile, as well as assessing final closure and interim measures to manage releases from the pile while it is still in operation.
Section IV.4 of the AOC requires that an ecological risk assessment be performed in the slag pile area including both aquatic and terrestrial environments. This risk assessment will evaluate potential exposure pathways for fish, birds, and other animals resulting from contaminants being released from the slag pile into Joachim Creek and the Mississippi River.
4. One commentor noted that recent groundwater data shows that total metals were under the drinking water standards and is safe for consumption.
The AOC requires an assessment of all monitoring wells currently installed around the slag pile and of the sampling techniques being used by the facility to collect the groundwater samples. The results of this assessment will help us determine the monitoring well system's effectiveness to detect all contaminants that could potentially be released from the slag pile and if other sampling techniques should be used to collect the samples. Based on the assessment, replacement of some wells and installation of additional wells may be necessary. There are several metals present in the slag material which are not being analyzed for in current groundwater sampling being conducted on a quarterly basis by the facility. The AOC requires that the current conditions of groundwater be determined. The list of metals to be analyzed for will be expanded to include: arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, selenium, and silver.
Previous groundwater sampling results have shown that contaminant concentrations in groundwater under the slag pile fluctuate. The AOC groundwater investigations and monitoring well and sampling technique assessment will help us determine if metals are present in the groundwater as a result of a release from the slag pile or if they are present as a result of inadequate sampling techniques. The results of the AOC investigations will establish the current conditions of the groundwater and will identify any trends of contaminants being released to groundwater. If needed, the AOC will focus on cleanup of those metals which are found to consistently be present above the drinking water standards.
5. One commentor requested a written plan with contingency measures in the event of fire, flood, or earthquake as related to the slag pile.
The Slag Pile Response Options Evaluation Report will evaluate potential releases from flooding and seismic events. The slag pile is not considered a fire hazard and does not pose a threat of release in the event of a forest fire adjacent to it.
6. One commentor requested that metallic mineral and NPDES permits be denied.
These permits will be reviewed for compliance with the applicable requirements under the specific authorities granted MDNR, and for consistency with the requirements of the AOC. These permits are tools of regulatory control and authority. It is important that these permits be issued to further control the site and releases from it.
H. Community Meetings
1. Two commentors requested regularly scheduled (monthly or quarterly) community meetings.
We are working with the community through the Community Advisory Group (CAG). The CAG has established the third Tuesday of each month as the regular meeting date. The agencies and Doe Run may or may not participate in these meetings at the discretion of the CAG. In addition, EPA and MDNR will continue to hold meetings to provide information to the public, when appropriate.
1. Nine commentors provided descriptions of the following observed problems in the Herculaneum area:
Black soot in home and on exterior surfaces
Black sand under concrete which may be slag
Health related problems
Smoke comes from the plant
Doe Run does not address complaints
New stack sends pollution into Pevely and Crystal City
Stack noise is a problem
Smell from Doe Run is bad
Bad taste and smell two miles from Doe Run
The amount of black soot that may be related to smelter emissions should be reduced as further controls are put in place at the facility.
Slag found under concrete does not pose an exposure risk through direct contact to people at the surface and should probably be left in place. Slag found to be presenting a health risk in residential settings will be removed as part of the residential yard cleanup. Slag present in the subsurface will be addressed through the groundwater investigations.
Health related problems that may be related to air and soil metal-contamination should improve as air controls and soil cleanup progresses.
Smoke coming from the facility may be subject to additional regulation by the agencies depending on the source.
Complaints related to environmental problems at the facility may also be directed to the agencies.
Rigorous air dispersion modeling shows that emissions from the main stack are greatly dispersed in the Pevely and Crystal City areas. This modeling shows that the contribution of emissions from the main stack to ground-level lead concentration is very small, and essentially negligible. However, the AOC requires investigation and cleanup of residential areas contaminated by the smelter operation. If the results of the investigations indicate that residential properties in Pevely and Crystal City are contaminated due to the smelter operation, they will be cleaned up.
The agencies have no authority to address noise problems.
Additional source controls should reduce many of the bad taste or odor issues.
2. One commentor who lives in the Herculaneum area noted that he has never seen or smelled emissions from Doe Run
Odors do not necessarily mean that a facility is in, or out of, compliance with applicable requirements. Ambient air monitoring as well as compliance inspections will continue at the Doe Run facility. Contamination is not always visible or detectable by an odor.
J. Property Values, Costs, Funding
1. Five commentors expressed concern over loss of property values and the inability to sell their property. These comments included requests that Doe Run purchase their property or provide some compensation.
EPA and MDNR are concerned about potential adverse effects on property values that may result when an action such as this is taken near a community. However, EPA and MDNR do not have the authority to require compensation to individual homeowners for losses of property value or other potential damages associated with the facility. Nor can EPA and MDNR require Doe Run to purchase properties. Property owners may want to consult with local government officials about the possibility of property tax abatement or adjustments based on impact on property values. Other large lead-contaminated sites in Missouri have not experienced real estate value declines. In fact, the two largest lead-contaminated sites in the state have experienced real estate gains during the cleanup process. The agencies and/or CAG members held meetings with the real estate and banking communities in these cases, which helped prevent negative impacts on the market. Previous experience nationally indicates that property price reduction due to nearby hazardous waste sites ranges from two to eight percent of the value of the property. However, property values were found to rebound fairly quickly following completion of cleanup activities. While there is no guarantee of such a rebound, we have no reason to expect that such a rebound in property values will not occur.
2. Three commentors requested that Doe Run pay for the following: fresh vegetables on a daily basis; repainting vehicles following acid spills; medical expenses; any additional testing that the property owner wants done; replacement of siding, roof, and insulation; and relocation costs.
We do not have the authority to require that Doe Run compensate residents for these items. The authority cited in the AOC authorizes EPA and MDNR to require Doe Run to conduct activities to abate the imminent and substantial endangerment to the public health, welfare and environment.
3. One commentor requested that federal funds, state funds and employment be made available to the public.
No federal or state funding is available to be provided to residents.
Potential federal employment opportunities can be found at www.usajobs.opm.gov.
4. One commentor requested funds for training Health Department personnel to address contaminated air as a source of lead poisoning. If not available, ATSDR should be available to the community.
Reducing lead concentrations in the air prevents problems associated with inhalation of airborne lead. This pathway for exposure will be addressed by added controls on air emissions to be implemented under the AOC. Doe Run will pay for and implement the added air emission controls. ATSDR and MDOH are both available to assist community members, local health agencies, private physicians and hospital staff as requested. Both ATSDR and MDOH have experience with community and medical professional health education. Thus, there is no need for further funding of the Health Department to address air emissions.
5. Two commentors noted that the cost to do the AOC is too high, unreasonable, unjustified, and the time period required for Doe Run to comply with the AOC be extended.
We believe the AOC is reasonable, necessary, and appropriate to abate an endangerment to the public health, welfare and the environment, and the work outlined in the AOC needs to begin.
K. Truck, Rail, Street Issues
1. Four commentors noted exhaust, dust, noise, and trash from trucks as problems in the Herculaneum area. One commentor requested that mandatory testing of the trucks be conducted.
We intend to work with the community advisory group to help facilitate whatever progress can be made to address truck, rail, and barge concerns. However, we do not have the authority in the AOC to require that Doe Run restrict exhaust, dust, noise or trash from trucks.
2. Two commentors requested that Doe Run wash streets and sidewalks along truck routes.
The agencies are not aware that lead contamination on streets or sidewalks has been identified as a significant source of exposure to humans. However, the AOC requires that a human health risk assessment be performed. If the risk assessment identifies lead contamination on streets or sidewalks as a significant source of lead exposure, it will be addressed.
3. Two commentors noted that street sweepers are ineffective.
It is our understanding that Doe Run currently has and uses a street sweeper to clean the streets at their facility. As indicated above, the agencies are not aware that lead contamination on streets has been identified as a significant source of exposure to humans. However, the AOC requires that a human health risk assessment be performed. If the risk assessment identifies lead contamination on streets as a significant source of lead exposure, it will be addressed.
4. One commentor requested that materials be moved into and out of the Doe Run facility by rail and/or barge.
We do not have the authority in the AOC to require that shipments be made by rail or barge. However, we intend to work with the Community Advisory Group to help facilitate whatever progress can be made to address truck, rail, and barge concerns.
5. One commentor expressed concerns regarding potential contamination when materials are shipped by barge.
As indicated above, we intend to work with the Community Advisory Group to help facilitate whatever progress can be made to address truck, rail, and barge concerns.
6. Two commentors requested that a separate bridge and truck route be built.
We do not have the authority in the AOC to require that a bridge and/or truck route be built.
7. One commentor noted that dust was created from street repair work which elevated children's blood leads.
We do not have the authority in the AOC to require procedures be followed by City or State street repair crews to minimize or limit dust. However, if dust created by street repair work is identified as a significant risk, the agencies may be able to work with the City to establish protocols that create less exposure.
8. Three commentors requested guidelines regarding exposure from trucks transporting contaminated soil from yard cleanups. These guidelines should include restricting exposure by covering and watering the trucks. One commentor requested guidelines for diesel exhaust and noise.
The AOC requires that Doe Run develop a Community Soil Cleanup Plan. This plan is required to include procedures for dust suppression during soil removal. This will include procedures to minimize dust during transport.
The procedures for performing cleanups and transporting contaminated soil will be included in the Community Soil Cleanup Plan. We do not intend to restrict the use of diesel trucks or equipment in performing these activities.
9. One commentor requested that funds be given to the Street Department to maintain the roads.
EPA and MDNR do not have the authority to require in the AOC that funding be provided to the Street Department for road maintenance.
L. House Cleaning
1. Four commentors requested that the interior portions of homes be cleaned, floor coverings replaced, and separate accommodation provided to property owners and their pets during the cleaning. These comments included replacing carpet and/or installing hardwood floors.
The cleaning of the interior of a home or replacing flooring is outside the scope of the AOC.
However, the AOC states that Doe Run may, as a public service, remove, replace, or stabilize sources of lead where a child with a blood lead level of 10 g/dL lives. These sources could include floor coverings. As part of the service, HEPA vacuums could be available for loan to private residents to clean the interior of their home. Residents should contact Doe Run to make the arrangements. If adequately cleaned, carpets and floors should not require replacement.
If a resident has concerns regarding lead contamination in their home, please contact MDOH at (314) 877-2800 for a list of licensed lead risk assessors.
2. One commentor requested that the contractors performing yard cleanups be courteous to the homeowner.
We agree, however, we cannot require this in the AOC.
3. One commentor requested tests for lead and other metals be performed inside homes
The testing of the interior of homes is outside the scope of the AOC. However, if a resident has concerns regarding lead contamination in their homes, please contact MDOH at (314) 877-2800 for a list of licensed lead risk assessors. Private laboratories will need to be contacted about investigations relating to metals other than lead.
4. One commentor noted the intrusiveness of soil cleanups and stated that where contamination is high, residents should be given the option of enduring such cleanup or negotiating the sale of their property to Doe Run.
The AOC does not restrict the sale of property, nor does it require that the purchase of property be included as an option instead of conducting the soil cleanup. The intent of the AOC is to clean residential properties to acceptable levels.
Although residential yard cleanups are intrusive and inconvenient to the resident, it is necessary to address the more serious problem of exposure to contamination.
M. Health Studies
1. Five commentors requested the following studies be performed:- The cancer rates in the Herculaneum area;
- The effects of acid spills on the residents;
- Toxicological studies to determine short and long term exposure to residents;
- Effects on the immune system, physiological well being, permanent learning disabilities in adults, brain, central nervous system, memory, attention span, post traumatic stress disorder, pituitary tumors, hormone disorders.
The risk assessment conducted as part of the AOC will incorporate components of long-term toxicological studies. The authority cited in the AOC authorizes EPA and MDNR to require Doe Run to conduct activities to abate the imminent and substantial endangerment to the public health, welfare and environment. We believe that sufficient information currently exists to support our claims that an imminent and substantial endangerment exists. In addition, we believe the investigations required by the AOC are sufficient to characterize the extent of contamination released by the Doe Run facility.
However, we intend for the state and federal health agencies to address these issues outside of the AOC. MDOH is currently evaluating cancer rates. ATSDR has started working with MDOH to determine how best to address the concerns of the community regarding potential health impacts. Several activities are being evaluated. Both ATSDR and MDOH intend to meet with the community and elicit more detailed information regarding health concerns.
2. Once commentor requested a name and address to send personal medical records.
Due to potential privacy issues, we recommend that all personal medical records be submitted to your personal doctor. For assistance with cancer concerns contact Stan Cowan, Comprehensive Cancer Control Coordinator at P.O. Box 570, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102 or (573) 522-2843. For other health concerns contact Denise Jordan-Izaguirre (913) 551-1310, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Ben Puesta (913) 551-1312, email email@example.com.
3. One commentor requested that the AOC be withdrawn until all health and contamination issues are determined, corrected and made available for public review.
As indicated above, EPA and MDNR believe that sufficient information currently exists to support the actions outlined in the AOC. Studies of this magnitude could take years to complete. We do not feel it is wise to postpone activities outlined in the AOC. Further, in order to abate the imminent and substantial endangerment, the activities required by the AOC are necessary. The actions described in the AOC need to be initiated now, rather than be delayed while human health studies are conducted. The sooner the AOC is implemented, the sooner the risk of exposure to contaminants near the smelter can be reduced.
N. Doe Run Operating Issues
1. Four commentors requested that Doe Run not be allowed to operate until concerns are addressed because of proximity to residences, and failure to meet the ambient air quality standards.
Shutting Doe Run down would likely be met with strong opposition from several segments of the community. Requiring shutdown of the Doe Run facility is not warranted at this time. We believe that the proposed emission controls will be sufficient to bring the Herculaneum area into attainment with the national ambient air quality standards. Although the area is a non-attainment area for lead, and is in close proximity to residences, we believe that emissions and releases from the facility can be mitigated and continued operation will not pose an imminent and substantial endangerment if the activities required by the AOC are completed.
2. Two commentors noted that Doe Run should be commended on their efforts to date to reduce pollution and that Herculaneum benefits from Doe Run being in the community.
Doe Run's willingness to address environmental issues in Herculaneum cooperatively has allowed the agencies to negotiate this AOC. Otherwise the agencies would have been forced to take legal actions that would likely result in significant delays in implementation of environmental controls and protective measures.