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Responsiveness Summary
Herculaneum Lead Smelter Site

National Information


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.

2. Two commentors requested that the ambient air monitors be owned, maintained and read by state agencies, or an independent entity, not Doe Run.

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.

4. One commentor expressed concerns about Doe Run shutting down monitors depending upon the wind direction.

5. One commentor asked why Doe Run employees wear respirators outside the plant if there is no problem with the air.

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.

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.

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).

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.

4. One commentor requested that all blood lead testing and education be funded by Doe Run but performed by a third party.

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.

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.

7. One commentor asked if Dr. Verzola has been contacted concerning his history of blood testing with Doe Run employees.

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.

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.

3. Five commentors requested that soils in specific locations be tested and/or cleaned up. These locations included residences, high schools, and grade schools.

4. Four commentors requested that sod instead of seed be used to replace grass.

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.

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.

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.

8. One commentor requested that soils be cleaned to 200 parts per million.

9. One commentor requested that sample results be given to property owners.

10. One commentor suggested that old maps of Herculaneum be used to identify slag deposits.

11. One commentor requested that all contractors performing soil cleanup work be fully accredited in hazardous waste removal and handling.

12. One commentor requested that "Company Owned Property" be handled in the AOC in the same way as non-company owned property.

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.

2. One commentor requested that a disaster plan be developed.

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.

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.

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.

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.

4. One commentor noted that recent groundwater data shows that total metals were under the drinking water standards and is safe for consumption.

5. One commentor requested a written plan with contingency measures in the event of fire, flood, or earthquake as related to the slag pile.

6. One commentor requested that metallic mineral and NPDES permits be denied.

H. Community Meetings

1. Two commentors requested regularly scheduled (monthly or quarterly) community meetings.

I. Observations

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

2. One commentor who lives in the Herculaneum area noted that he has never seen or smelled emissions from Doe Run

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.

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.

3. One commentor requested that federal funds, state funds and employment be made available to the public.

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.

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.

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.

2. Two commentors requested that Doe Run wash streets and sidewalks along truck routes.

3. Two commentors noted that street sweepers are ineffective.

4. One commentor requested that materials be moved into and out of the Doe Run facility by rail and/or barge.

5. One commentor expressed concerns regarding potential contamination when materials are shipped by barge.

6. Two commentors requested that a separate bridge and truck route be built.

7. One commentor noted that dust was created from street repair work which elevated children's blood leads.

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.

9. One commentor requested that funds be given to the Street Department to maintain the roads.

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.

2. One commentor requested that the contractors performing yard cleanups be courteous to the homeowner.

3. One commentor requested tests for lead and other metals be performed inside homes

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.

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.

2. Once commentor requested a name and address to send personal medical records.

3. One commentor requested that the AOC be withdrawn until all health and contamination issues are determined, corrected and made available for public review.

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.

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.

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